How Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing the Retail Supply Chain
When a customer visits a retail location, they have no idea what goes on behind the scenes of the store. Nor do they realize the true science behind stocking the shelves and ordering products. Let’s be honest for a minute, optimizing the retail supply chain can be difficult and overwhelming. Details, parts, and products move rapidly and managing the supply chain is comparable to herding cats. The slightest problem can lead to pieces falling on the ground. And unfortunately, that leads to lost sales, lost profit, and lost customers.
Problems in the retail supply chain can be costly. And many companies are already shedding profit. It’s estimated that with the right inventory management system in place to manage the supply chain, you can save between $2 million and $10 million each year. Machine learning is a predictive analysis system that turns raw data into improved business outcomes. It provides insight into the inner workings of your business, helping you to optimize accordingly. We’ll look closely at the retail supply chain and show retailers how machine learning can increase your profit on orders and give you an edge in the competitive market.
What Is the Retail Supply Chain?
The retail supply chain is changing. It’s growing more complex as the market expands. The supply chain must accommodate changes in consumer behavior. These changes are motivated by the growth of online retailers, consumer demand for customization, and the growth of mobile sales. This complex system is known as omnichannel distribution.
Customers expect they can place orders anywhere, anytime. And in an age of instant gratification, these orders are expected to be filled immediately. If a retailer can’t meet this expectation, then the customer will go to the store that can. Smart retailers are looking for solutions. Simply reducing the lead time for orders and finding new suppliers is not enough. The customer-focused, end-to-end supply chain competitive retailers are rolling out require flexibility and synchronization. Technology like retail machine learning can help retailers overcome these challenges. Designed to manage complex systems, it provides the flexibility that retailers need. Innovative technology is helping businesses find success even as market demands and customer expectations increase.
How Retail Machine Learning Works
Retail machine learning uses raw data from the retailer. Most often, this is data that you already have on hand and aren’t using. The system utilizes this data and predictive analysis to better manage the retail supply chain. With retail machine learning, you can prevent products from going out of stock while reducing the current inventory. Before a product goes out of stock, the system can have a replacement already on order.
Many retailers are currently attempting this predictive analysis work. The problem is, the work is done by instinct and experience instead of data. The retailer and manager will “wing” it and guess. Many times, the retailer might be right. But often too, they are wrong. There is simply too much variability and data to manage, and the retailer has other priorities. Priorities such as an angry customer or a sick employee, for example.
The machine learning system can take all that data – demographics, buying trends, weather, lead times, road conditions, and more. In addition, machine learning has the capability to find patterns to make an intelligent, predictive forecast. Machine learning helps take the guesswork out of retail supply chain management. You have the information you need to make better decisions for your company. You can eliminate the errors and problems that cost your retail location money and profit. Therefore, giving you the time and save energy to better focus on growing the business.
How to Implement Retail Machine Learning for Your Business
With the retail machine learning technology already developed, implementing it for your business is easy. Innovative tech firms like Fellow Robots have done all the work for you. As a specialist in retail, Fellow Robots connects your business with technical experts like data scientists and engineers. For them, it’s just a matter of linking your business needs to the right solution.
Stay ahead of the game with retail machine learning. Contact us to learn more.