How Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing the Retail Supply Chain
When a customer visits a retail location, they have no idea the science behind stocking the shelves and ordering products.
Optimizing the retail supply chain can be difficult.
With so many moving parts and products moving so rapidly, managing the supply chain is like hearding cats. The slightest problem can lead to pieces falling on the ground – lost sales, lost profit, and lost customers.
Problems in the retail supply chain can be costly, with many companies already shedding profit. It’s estimated that with the right system in place to manage the supply chain, you can save between $2 million and $10 million each year.
Machine learning, a predictive analysis system that turns raw data into improved business outcomes, can help. 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, 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 and anytime, and the orders can be filled almost 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 are 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. It’s helping businesses find success even as market demands and customer expectations increase.
How Retail Machine Learning Works
Retail machine learning uses the raw data from the retailer, often, 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 – like an angry customer or a sick employee.
The machine learning system can take all that data – demographics, buying trends, weather, lead times, road conditions, and more – and 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, so you can 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.
Boutique firms like Fellow Robots have done all the work for you. As a specialist in retailers, 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.