In The News


NRF review – no escaping AI

By Glynn Davis 

Artificial intelligence (AI) was the only talk in town when senior retailers and technology providers descended on New York City for the annual Retail’s Big Show, organised by the National Retail Federation (NRF), where the latest technology innovations are showcased.

The 40,000 people attending from 104 countries representing 6,200 brands at this year’s event were inundated with solutions highlighting various AI capabilities. Pretty much every technology solution present was seemingly driven by AI.

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Weather management

The weather’s impact on the supply chain can be dramatic and the use of technology can enable retailers to predict demand and adjust their supply chain accordingly. Aaron Cano, SVP of analytics & marketing operations at Fresh Direct, works with Planalytics to deal with weather-driven demand (WDD): “It has a huge impact on demand. If it snows two inches or rains for five days then what’s the impact? Demand can increase 20% on Thursday and Friday before rain is forecast. If we know the forecast a few days out then we can amend the supply chain.”

He also highlights how staffing levels are impacted by the weather from people not turning up for work so it is sensible to gear up the staffing levels beforehand. “There is ripple effect on the business from the weather. With a forecast we can automate, through machine learning, changes to the supply chain,” says Cano.

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