Automated demand forecasting's breakfast session

Explora co-hosted its hybrid breakfast session “Automatic demand forecast planning and replenishment” with #Microsoft & #Databricks on 9 Dec at the SOHO House. The event attracted more than 30 attendees.

(A full house of guests in SOHO House | Sheung Wan. Photo: Odilia)

"I am glad to join this breakfast session last Thursday, and the topic is quite relevant to my daily operation work. My job responsibility is to manage the stock demand and supply planning," said a manager from Venchi.

The breakfast session turned out great, with a full house, allowing local business professionals to make invaluable cross-industry contacts. Following the coffee session, Edmond and Laurent Chindeko from #Explora shared their insights about the what's, why's, and how's of #demandforecasting and #replenishmentplanning.

As the world begins its slow pivot from managing the COVID-19 crisis to recovery, new consumer behaviours span all areas of life, from how we work to how we shop and how we entertain ourselves.

This consumer centricity increases the strength of the retail supply chain. Traditional aggregate forecasts are no longer sufficient. Companies must be able to predict and manage demand per day, per individual SKU, and at the store level, almost near real-time.

To predict consumer behaviour, we need to have enough data about historical sales, promotion shoppers, and causal factors for the company to estimate the safety stock level correctly.

(Storytelling: How to achieve demand planning & replenishment excellence using Azure Microsoft & Databricks | Photo: Odilia)

Many thanks to Edmond and Laurent Chindeko, who demonstrated some replenishment use cases commonly shared in F&B/retailers/logistics that can be enhanced using the latest technologies and data science.

There are a couple of key takeaways in those use cases we shared around demand planning and replenishment procedures, and they are listed in the bullet points below:

  • Traditional solutions can't scale to fine-grain. Fine-grain demand forecasts can capture the patterns that influence demand closer to the level at which that demand must be met.

  • A scalable solution predicts the optimal stock profile across all products and branches. It can improve store operations efficiency, shorten order processing time, reduce "stock-out" and "overstock", and increase accuracy with different causal data.

  • Data is knowledge. It supports domain-specific business decisions.


(Get Started: Accelerating Data-Driven Innovation | Photo: Odilia)

Special thanks to Tiffany Law from #Microsoft, who shared the common challenges slowing down #bigdata and #ML projects. She saw many instances of siloed data across teams and departments, which made developing unified data pipelines very challenging.

To become truly data-driven, an organization must implement a scalable unified analytics platform. She showcased one interesting use case about Starbucks, which unified petabytes of streaming and historical data to deliver real-time and accurate store-level forecasts.

"Starbucks built Brew Kit to offer zero-fiction analytics framework. It built on top of Azure Databricks and essentially creating a single source of truth so that data can be democratized," said Tiffany Law from #Microsoft.

We are glad to have our guest speaker Tim Hurman to share his experience about workforce planning and business value using Explora's service and Azure Databricks platform in Tricor.

(Turning Data Into Business Value | Photo: Odilia)

"High-quality data processed within 30 minutes and accurate to within 24 hours after our analytics data project with Explora. With previous manual practices, we had taken 3 months to do this," said Tim.

Data can optimise, innovate with, and automate to drive business value. With a data and analytics capability at the core of your strategy, you are able to get a single source of truth.

Sign up for Explora's offer to get a FREE ASSESSMENT and HEALTH CHECK for your data transformation initiatives or replenishment project initiatives.

Explora will engage in more activities about data governance next year. Please stay tuned to our website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page for further announcements!




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