Ensuring the right inventory is available to meet customer demands became even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of its recent digital transformation with Blue Yonder’s cloud-based Luminate Planning, HEMA, a department store retailer, was able to improve its demand forecasting and fulfilment capabilities to meet those customer demands.
Seeking an end-to-end omnichannel supply chain solution to optimise its demand forecasting and omni-channel fulfilment capabilities, the retailer turned to Blue Yonder by implementing its Luminate Planning demand forecasting and fulfilment capabilities to all product groups and channels in 2020.
This cloud-based solutions portfolio – built on Microsoft Azure and powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) – provides HEMA with a more accurate view into demand by consolidating and synchronising demand signals, as well as external variables across all stores and online sales channels. HEMA uses demand forecasting to supply the right inventory through the distribution network to minimising stock-outs and maximising inventory turns.
“We have greatly benefited from the AI forecasting engine, generating a more accurate forecast by taking multiple external variables into consideration and creating less work for our demand planners who no longer have to set up seasonal models and promotional lift factors,” commented Jan Daan van Erven Dorens, Manager, Supply Chain Development, HEMA. “The model reacts to shifting customer demand, and especially during COVID-19 related store openings/closings, we have been able to get the right inventory to the locations that needed it and increase speed in our supply chain. In addition, we have also experienced benefits from the fulfilment capabilities, including supporting a multi-echelon supply network, improving efficiency in the end-to-end supply chain and prioritising stock movements to channels that really need it.”
A long-time Blue Yonder customer, HEMA already has a broad Blue Yonder footprint comprised of category management and workforce management solutions. “By moving from an on-premise to a cloud-based solution, HEMA was able to utilise the power of AI/ML to help bring about more accurate forecasting and demand planning,” added Johan Reventberg, EMEA president, Blue Yonder. “During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, HEMA was able to meet consumer demands by ensuring its shelves were stocked with the right products in store and it was fulfilling orders quickly through its distribution centres. Because they chose to digitally transform in advance of the pandemic, they were able to thrive and improve customer service.”