Smart & Final Adopts AI Solution

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Smart & Final Adopts AI Solution

By Mike Troy - 06/24/2020
Smart & Final Adopts AI Solution
With Hypersonix, Smart & Final can get a 360-degree view of customer behaviors, localized product assortments and operational processes.

Smart & Final is rolling an AI analytics platform from Hypersonix to support the retailer's enterprise analytics and digital transformation initiatives. The move follows the completion of a pilot program that began two months ago. 

“Hypersonix is a key ingredient in leveraging actionable analytics that can be operationalized by our business teams as part of our on-going digital transformation,” said Ed Wong, EVP and chief digital officer at Smart & Final. “We established a great innovation-centric collaboration with Hypersonix where we are finding new ways to address our needs in key strategic areas for our business.”

Built by former executives from SAP, PayPal and IBM, and funded by Intel Capital, Hypersonix offers a cloud-based Unified Data Analytics Platform that is designed to ingest and integrate disparate data sources that reside in software applications from various vendors. These applications include point-of-sale, e-commerce, merchandising, marketing, and inventory platforms. Hypersonix removes data silos and provides a 360-degree view of customer behaviors, localized product assortments and operational processes, to enable improved data-driven decisions.

“Smart & Final is clearly a shopper-centric and innovative retailer, and we are excited to partner with them,” said Todd P. Michaud, president and chief customer officer of Hypersonix. “As an increasingly data-driven culture, Smart & Final is leveraging our autonomous intelligence applications powered by robust data science and machine learning to enable profitable revenue growth.”

Smart & Final has empowered non-technical stakeholders with descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analytics with the roll out, the companies said in a statement. The AI firm has also helped Smart & Final understand how its various customer channels are performing while optimizing each channel to serve the rapidly changing needs of their online and in-store shoppers.

“Quickly turning insight into action is the key to success in today’s competitive retail environment,” said Joe VanDette, group vice president, marketing at Smart & Final. “The accessible, conversational nature of Hypersonix’s platform allows our business leaders to leverage that insight directly, without the constraints typically associated with traditional data analysis.”

The technology is designed to offer what the company calls a simple “Google-like” user experience. This approach supports non-technical users across the organization to harness data-driven insights without dependency on data analysts or information technology professionals. Smart & Final’s users are also able to use text or voice to quickly query their data on any device including their computer, tablet, or smart phone. The Hypersonix platform, regardless of the user device, has been augmented with a virtual intelligent decision agent named “Jarvix,” which leverages the latest innovations in natural language processing.

Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final operates 255 locations, including larger-format stores, Smart & Final Extra!, which combine a warehouse-store format with traditional grocery offerings. All of the chain’s stores sell groceries and household essentials in both bulk and individual sizes without a membership fee. The company is No. 57 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food retailers in North America.