Grocers of all sizes can employ technology solutions to ensure that their shelf replenishment is firing on all cylinders.
Specific examples of automated replenishment solutions include:
AI-Based Demand Forecasting: According to Mississauga, Ontario-based Invafresh, while traditional demand-planning approaches in food retail have typically been reactive, proactive strategies based on artificial-intelligence (AI) forecasting can leverage real-time data and advanced analytics to do everything from optimizing inventory management to improving customer satisfaction.
[Read more: "Grocers Can Demonstrate Using AI for Good"]
Invafresh’s AI-enhanced forecast engine can anticipate future demand and considers the unique elements of fresh food retail, including time sensitivity, shelf-life considerations, promotions, seasonal activity and cannibalization.
Internet of Things (IoT) Sensor Technology: IoT — that invisible network of connected devices that facilitates communication between devices and the cloud — has proved to be a force for good when it comes to product traceability, visibility and even replenishment. Caesarea, Ill.-based Wiliot's ambient IoT Pixels help food retailers do everything from getting a real-time view of where a particular product case has been and where it’s going, to seeing other attributes like source, temperature history, critical tracking events and carbon footprint.
Most importantly, IoT Pixel users can see a real-time view of their shelf-level inventory, enabling improved on-shelf availability, merchandising, reducing overstock and out-of-stock, and omnichannel fulfillment.
Digital Shelf Cameras: Shelf-mounted cameras that can scan the vicinity every hour, like those from San Francisco-based Focal Systems, use state-of-the-art deep learning and Al to accurately detect ins, outs, lows, planogram noncompliance, restock events and spoiled produce. This ultimately helps optimize ordering, inventory management, merchandising and in-store labor. Springfield, N.J.-based Village Super Market Inc. will roll out the Focal Systems Operating System (FocalOS) chainwide at its ShopRite and Fairway Market banner stores.