All posts by Tara McAdams

Planalytics Joins NielsenIQ Connect Partner Network to Provide Analytics for Measuring and Managing the Impact of Weather on Sales

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Planalytics announced it has joined the NielsenIQ Connect Partner Network, the largest open ecosystem of tech-driven solution providers for retailers and manufacturers in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. This new relationship gives clients the opportunity to truly understand and proactively address how consumer demand for specific products is influenced by the weather.

Through this partnership, Planalytics will leverage NielsenIQ sales metrics to provide weather-driven demand analytics that indicate when, where, and how much the weather has or will positively or negatively impact sales of specific products.

“We are excited to continue expanding the NielsenIQ Connect Partner Network, which fuels a smarter market for the retail and FMCG industry,” said Russell Sylvester, European Market Leader, Connect Partner Network, NielsenIQ. “Through the unmatched breadth of our collaborative ecosystem of trustworthy and innovative partners, our clients are uniquely positioned to solve their biggest problems and stay ahead of a rapidly changing consumer landscape.”

Evan Gold, EVP of Global Partners and Alliances at Planalytics, said, “This new relationship will bring together NielsenIQ’s sales metrics with Planalytics’ weather-driven demand values. Businesses will benefit from a single version of the truth in regards to weather impacts and the opportunity to drive significant topline and bottom-line benefits.”

Weather analytics and actionable insights powered by NielsenIQ and Planalytics will help businesses more accurately account for weather-based sales variability and provide a clearer picture of business performance. In addition, forward-looking projections will enable businesses to stay a step ahead of shifting demand trends. By better aligning store inventories with consumer demand, companies are able to improve service levels with key retail partners, capture sales and market share, and improve profitability.


ABOUT Planalytics

Planalytics Inc. delivers demand sensing analytics to retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, restaurants, and service companies. Planalytics’ deep, unmatched expertise – based on analyses on over 200,000 categories derived from trillions of actual consumer purchases – provides trusted data-driven visibility and metrics to help businesses stay ahead of the demand variability that directly impacts sales and profitability. Leading consumer brands across the globe rely on Planalytics weather metrics to improve planning accuracy and optimise inventory allocation/replenishment, digital advertising, and other core activities. Learn more by visiting www.planalytics.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: David Frieberg, VP of Marketing, dfrieberg@planalytics.com

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Asda improves availability and waste performance by adjusting demand forecasts with weather analytics

Grocery Dive

Sponsored content by Planalytics


Asda is one of Britain’s leading retailers, serving more than 18 million shoppers every week from a network of supercentres, superstores, supermarkets, and other formats. Asda has partnered with Planalytics to incorporate analytics into their demand forecasting system that drive weather-based, store-level replenishment adjustments across a wide array of products.

The following interview is with Nigel Turton, senior supply chain manager with Asda’s Supply Insights & Systems team. Nigel has been involved with the Planalytics’ initiative since the beginning, helping rollout, test, expand, and track performance results of weather-driven demand analytics within Asda.

Why was gaining a better understanding of how the weather impacts the business so critical for Asda?

(Nigel Turton): “As a retailer here in the UK, the weather has always played an important part in influencing customers and what they purchase. Whether that is the sun shining and more burgers and ice cream being sold, or cold, icy mornings that make us crave warm comforting food like soup.

When we are talking to our store managers on the daily conference call, whether that’s to review performance or discuss how things are looking on the shopfloor, the weather is almost a constant topic of discussion. Our job is to ensure we have the right product for our customers at the right times and we don’t want to disappoint them. So as a Supply Team we always have to ensure we are constantly looking at the weather and ensuring we can adapt our supply to match whatever weather is thrown at us.”

How did the business come to the conclusion it needed to leverage weather analytics rather than use weather data and forecasts?

(NT): “Ensuring that the right seasonality shape is built in the base forecast is where it all started for us back in the 1990s when we centralised forecasting and replenishment into the Home Office. The analytics required for that were not difficult, the systems and processes we had ensured this was a core part of the job.

We also started to use tactically placed inventories to cope with sudden spikes due to weather, which avoided the need to be analysing and reacting to the daily impacts. But holding inventory for weeks or months at a time ‘just in case’ became an area to optimise as the years have passed by. Space in stores and DCs is a premium, as is the cash tied up in the inventory, so we had to look to improve our daily sales forecasts to move us to a more ‘just in time’ approach and away from the ‘just in case’ mentality.

In the 2000s, internally we began some rudimentary analytics of how the weather impacted our sales by product group and by groups of stores. We coupled this with a third-party 14-day weather forecast and built a process that allowed the teams to make judgement-based ‘weather calls’ that resulted in us loading daily forecast adjustments to influence the orders and inventory in our stores.

Over time we refined our analytics as we learned more, but as we landed in the 2010s we were reaching the limits of our abilities to crunch the amount of data required to help us get to the next level of granular analysis. So we started looking at alternatives that would do the analytics for us.”

What key learnings can you share from your experience integrating weather analytics into your demand forecasting systems?

(NT): “We always adjusted our forecasts for the weather even before we partnered with Planalytics, and this may have made it harder for us to move to Planalytics versus if we had been doing nothing for weather.

We worked hard to demonstrate back to the business that Planalytics could improve our performance, although finding a methodology that worked for our business took time. Once we began implementing we engaged the teams with the new forecast adjustments from Planalytics. Everyone has their own ideas about how weather impacts certain products and everyone has varying multiple weather forecasts at their fingertips. The important part was to present a consistent data-driven analysis approach and focus the teams on reviewing the outputs and creating a feedback loop so we have the right outcome for the customer.”

Can you share any information regarding the benefits realised?

(NT): “I can’t share the specifics, but our goal when we set out was to improve the accuracy of our forecast adjustments at store level and close the gap between the best and worst stores when it came to availability and waste performance when impacted by weather and using this tool we can say we’ve achieved this. The results we are seeing have exceeded our expectations and this project is making a real difference to our business.”


Planalytics continues to work with Asda to ensure the analytics are maximising forecast accuracy and value return through improved availability and waste reductions. Nigel wrapped up the discussion by saying “the team at Planalytics are great and their multi-disciplined team are right there on every call with us. They are always very supportive, willing to help in any way they can, and always at the front of their mind is how we get most business benefit from their service.”

From a Planalytics perspective, the opportunity to work closely with a leading and innovative player has been wonderful and the continuing relationship is only helping to further optimise the deployment and benefits that weather-driven demand brings to grocery replenishment.

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Retail Sales Picture Brightens

WWD
Jean E. Palmieri


The National Retail Federation and Planalytics are bullish on the outlook for 2021.

The Roaring ‘20s might just be back after all.

That was the projection from the National Retail Federation and Planalytics, which said retail sales are expected to grow between 6.5 percent and 8 percent this year to reach a total of $4.3 trillion — a level not seen for 17 years.

And even though apparel sales have had a sluggish start to the year, they are expected to benefit from a “dress for egress” trend as warmer weather and expanding vaccinations draw people out of their homes.

In a webinar Thursday afternoon, Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights for NRF, said that despite the pandemic, retail sales actually rose 6.7 percent last year with an 8 percent jump over the holiday season. And not all of the gains came online.

“E-commerce certainly grew,” she said, “but that’s not the full story.” Overall, e-commerce sales rose 22 percent over 2019, with a peak in April during the height of the pandemic lockdowns. But the situation “settled down,” and by the end of the year, e-commerce accounted for 16 percent of total sales, up 3 percent from 2019.

So while online continues to attract the most attention, “the role of stores is still integral,” she said. That’s not to say that physical retail has not had to adapt, but by embracing buy online, pick up in stores, curbside pickup and in-person pandemic precautions, brick-andmortar stores continue to be essential to consumer spending.

Turning to this year, Cullen said that as a result of the vaccination effort, economic recovery and general growth, retail sales are seen outpacing GDP, which is expected to grow 4.5 percent to 5 percent. “Consumers are in fairly decent financial shape,” she said, pointing to the government stimulus payments, increased savings and personal wealth levels which are “all positive symbols for retail spending in 2021.”

But while consumers spent more on goods than services last year, the reopening of restaurants, movie theaters and other entertainment venues coupled with less hesitancy to travel are expected to shift the emphasis to services once again, she said.

In a recent survey, Cullen said 45 percent of consumers say that as vaccines become more available, they are more comfortable shopping in stores, 39 percent said they would go to a restaurant, and 33 percent said they’re ready to take a vacation. Among those over the age of 55, those numbers were even larger: 55 percent, 44 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

One laggard, however, has been apparel, where sales are down 14.9 percent since the beginning of the year. That number is expected to improve as in-person gatherings increase. Apparel is also seen getting a boost from the upcoming Easter holiday.

Earlier this week, the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics projected that consumers plan to spend an average of $179.70 overall this Easter. A total of 79 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend a collective $21.6 billion.

“With new stimulus funds from the President’s American Rescue Plan, positive trends in vaccinations and growing consumer confidence, there is a lot of momentum heading into the spring and holiday events like Easter,” said NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay. “Many have figured out how to celebrate holidays safely with family and that is reflected in consumer spending this Easter.”

Easter gifts, food and candy are expected to be the biggest categories this year but consumers surveyed said they also plan to spend $30 to freshen their wardrobes, as compared to $27 in 2019, according to Cullen.

The weather is expected to cooperate in most parts of the country. Evan Gold, executive vice president of partnerships and alliances for Planalytics, said that although there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the pandemic and other macro issues, “weather is not an unknown” and “no other external variable” impacts retail sales more than weather.

February was the coldest in six years in the U.S., and March has been cooler yet drier for most of the country, Gold said. For Easter week, the temperatures should be warmer than usual in the West and mostly dry for all regions. As the thermometer continues to rise in April, Gold said consumers will start shopping for new wardrobes as they get out of their houses and enjoy the warmer weather and visits with family and friends.

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Mi9 Retail and Planalytics Partner to Improve Demand Forecasting Accuracy and Increase Profitability for Retailers by Incorporating Weather Analytics

Yahoo Finance


MIAMI, March 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Mi9 Retail, the number one vendor for tier one retailers (RIS 2021 Software LeaderBoard) that enables them to automate and optimize merchandise management and retail planning is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Planalytics, the leading provider of weather-informed demand analytics and insights.

Weather is a highly volatile, continuous, and directly impactful external demand driver for retail businesses. The weather influences where people go, the activities they pursue, and their buying behavior. Planalytics provides businesses with visibility into this critical demand information with metrics that isolate and quantify weather-based shifts in consumer purchasing.

By integrating Planalytics’ weather impact insights into the Mi9 Retail demand forecasting solution, retailers can better position their businesses to both capitalize on sales opportunities and manage the costs created by variable weather patterns. “This partnership bolsters Mi9’s strategy of expanding our third-party signals capabilities in order to help our retail customers adapt to future events and mitigate supply chain disruptions,” says Neil Moses, CEO of Mi9 Retail.

By incorporating weather information into their forecasts, retailers can realize annual forecast accuracy improvements of up to 30 percent for specific products, time periods, and locations. In the area of inventory optimization alone, these forecast accuracy gains translate into measurable benefits:

  • As much as a 2 percent increase in total topline sales as the result of improved availability
  • Up to 70 basis points of additional profit due to increased sales and reduced inventory costs (e.g., carrying costs, markdowns, shrink, etc.)

“The partnership between Mi9 and Planalytics enables businesses to proactively manage the never-ending volatility of weather and capture quantifiable and sustainable benefits,” says Scott Bernhardt, Planalytics President. “The power of our technical integration allows Mi9 customers to quickly realize substantial gains that seamlessly scale across their entire business.”

Several leading global retailers in the fashion/apparel and cosmetics verticals have already decided to take advantage of this partnership and incorporate weather-driven in their existing Mi9 Retail environments.


About Mi9 Retail

Mi9 enables the world’s leading retailers to automate and optimize their entire Plan-to-Sell® process, from planning to managing to selling merchandise in-store, online, and on any device. Our corporate retail systems facilitate better demand forecasting, planning, and merchandise management; our point-of-purchase systems increase revenue and customer engagement; and our analytics tools speed time to insight. Mi9 cloud-based solutions incorporate the latest innovations in AI and machine learning to boost system intelligence, automate manual routines, and deliver exception-based workflows. Mi9 Retail is committed to helping retailers on their paths to success, so they can maximize revenue, increase margins, and reduce costs. For more information visit https://mi9retail.com/.

About Planalytics

Planalytics Inc. delivers demand sensing analytics to retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, restaurants, and service companies. Planalytics’ deep, unmatched expertise – based on analyses on over 200,000 categories derived from trillions of actual consumer purchases – provides trusted data-driven visibility and actionable insights to help businesses stay ahead of the demand variability that directly impacts sales and profitability. Leading consumer brands across the globe rely on Planalytics weather metrics to improve planning accuracy and optimize inventory allocation/replenishment, digital advertising, and other core activities. Learn more by visiting www.planalytics.com.

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Planalytics Forms PROServices Division to Support Weather-Impacted Service Industries

PRESS RELEASE


Initial Offerings Targeted at Turf & Landscape and Heating & Cooling Professionals

BERWWN, PA, March 18, 2021 — Planalytics, Inc., the global leader in Business Weather Intelligence, has announced the formation of a new Professional Services Division to provide weather insights and demand analytics to better support manufacturers, distributors and retail service providers involved in Turf and Landscape, Heating and Cooling and several other major weather-impacted categories where service performance is critical.

In making the announcement, Planalytics founder and CEO, Frederic Fox stated: “We are forming this new division to better focus on the unique needs of our pro services customers. Our ProServices division will build upon our proven record of delivering advanced weather demand analytics and exceptional value return to manufacturers, retailers and service providers globally. Our focus with this service, as with everything we do, is to help our customers understand and manage the risks / opportunities associated with weather and how their customers respond to different weather drivers.”

One of the ways that Planalytics has been able to help its current clients in the HVAC industry is by identifying where and when customers are likely to begin contacting their call centers. Jeffrey Doran, Planalytics Director of Specialized Support Services and veteran meteorologist, points out that “…there is no such thing as normal weather. On top of that, just because a lot of customers rang up call centers on a particular week last year doesn’t mean they will do the same thing this year… especially when they are reacting to conditions that are suddenly too hot or too cold. ”

For businesses that support turf and landscape professionals, the weather challenges are even more complicated. “Manufacturers and distributors of products to prevent or eliminate pests have the added challenge of having enough products on hand to match practically any weed, insect or disease situation that may arise,” Fox adds. “But with so much pressure on managing working capital, companies are constantly struggling with how much to produce, where and what to warehouse, and when to replenish.”

Fortunately for those companies, Planalytics professionals have decades of experience supporting agricultural businesses to draw upon. “Just as we have learned how much weather affects human behavior,” Doran continues, “we know that weeds and insects have biological clocks of their own. Emergence of common weeds like crabgrass and dandelions is determined by soil temperatures that can vary widely from one year to the next, even at the same location. Not only can that present challenges for golf course superintendents, it’s particularly problematic for lawn servicing companies.” With so much competition for consumers’ business, landscapers’ success depends on keeping everybody’s lawn looking pristine all through the season, regardless of the weather.”
To learn more about Planalytics Professional Services offerings, sign up for one of their upcoming Webcasts – “Weatherizing Your Turf & Landscape Business” on March 30th or “Weatherizing Your Heating & Cooling Business” on March 31st – by visiting www.planalytics.com/events


About Planalytics

Planalytics Inc. delivers industry-leading weather analytics to service companies, retailers, manufacturers, and other weather impacted businesses. Planalytics’ deep, unmatched expertise – based on analyses on over 200,000 product and service categories – provides trusted data-driven visibility and actionable insights to help businesses stay ahead of the weather-affected supply and demand changes that directly impacts sales and profitability. Leading companies across the globe rely on Planalytics to improve planning accuracy and optimize inventory allocation/replenishment, digital advertising, and other core activities. Learn more by visiting www.planalytics.com.

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