business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal reports that US chains owned by Ahold Delhaize “are turning to artificial intelligence to overhaul the way they order food from suppliers,” using a system developed by supply-chain software firm Relex Solutions “to improve how buyers predict demand and get perishables and other products to store shelves faster.”

Chris Lewis, executive vice president of supply chain at Retail Business Services LLC, Ahold’s U.S. business services company, says that the new technology “provides ‘one logical view of inventory across the brands,’ allowing buyers to aggregate demand across thousands of stores … The technology incorporates functions that had been spread across multiple systems and automates some steps, such as checking inventory levels at stores and distribution centers, that can take workers several hours to perform. Algorithms update recommended order quantities daily, factoring in variables like ‘if product gets refused at the warehouse, or if sales in particular regions are up because of weather,’ Mr. Lewis said.”

The technology was piloted at Hannaford and Food Lion and now will be rolled out to the rest of the company’s banners, including e-commerce business Peapod, over the next three years.
KC's View: