Demand forecasting is not created equal for all sectors of retail. Forecasting for a clothing store is drastically different from forecasting for a grocery or convenience store. A retail store that sells jeans needs to predict which styles they are running low on and how many they might want on hand, but they don’t need to worry about the jeans expiring within a few days of arrival like a grocer does with a banana or a convenience store does with their grab n go sandwich.
Food demand forecasting for grocery and convenience retailers is complex as they face the uncertainty of food, especially fresh food. One size fits all doesn’t often work for these retailers when it comes to forecasting fresh versus forecasting center store. Forecasting the demand for food products requires retailers to face short shelf lives and variances between items whereas forecasting the demand for center store deals with large quantities that are consistent across products.
Food and grocery retailers need to maintain the right balance of supply and demand to meet the needs of their customers daily, as well as during spikes such as a holiday weekend. The goal is to prevent out-of-stocks while also minimizing waste. This is a difficult task to do when gut instinct or a pencil and paper method is used. It is only possible with AI-enabled technology.
As AI-enabled technology has grown, food demand forecasting advances have been made to enhance business decisions and explore more modern alternatives to traditional forecasting, allowing retailers to be ready both in-store and online.
Forecasting fresh - Never be out of stock again
For grocery and convenience retailers dealing with fresh products, it is critical to have reliable, understandable data that can be used to make accurate forecasting decisions. It is all about delivering the right amount of product at the right time. Many forecasting systems are ill-equipped to deal with fresh by being limited to only daily forecasts. Oftentimes, the data analysis does not dive deep enough to tackle the challenges faced with intraday shelf lives which can sometimes last only an hour.
From inventory management, fresh ordering, production planning, to fulfillment of online orders, ADC’s total store ops platform, offers an AI-enabled forecasting engine built for fresh. The platform offers highly advanced time-series forecasting capabilities and gives data down to the hour. This more granular data provides real-time visibility into the different departments and their needs, arming retailers with the data they need to make the right decisions to increase sales while also increasing gross margins and reducing waste.
With ADC, retailers can:
- Create forecasts and track progress toward specific business goals and KPIs (i.e. Forecasts for production planning down to the hour).
- Understand and easily explain the factors salient to those forecasts.
- Build dashboards that provide insight for faster decision making (i.e. Identify which SKUs perform the best).
- Incorporate client-specific events and factors to truly fit into the client’s business (i.e. holidays, promotional events, etc.)
- Plus, more…
At ADC, we understand how important it is to have reliable, understandable data that can be used to make forecasting more accurate. Request a demo today to see how ADC’s on-demand forecasting is the right fit for fresh.