Intelligent Stock Management: The Networked shelf

Smart Business

Intelligent Stock Management: The Networked shelf

Empty shelves, masses of customers in the store, and no supplies in sight: the night-mare of every retailer. Customers are not very tolerant of so-called “out-of-stock situations”, as they can also purchase their products through other channels.Intelligent Stock Management

by Bernd Schöne

For example online or in other stores, or switch to alternative products. Losses for manufacturers and retailers due to empty shelves, studies show, amount to around one billion euros per year in Europe alone. To make empty shelves a thing of the past, Reply, an Italian IT developer, is offering an intelligent networked shelving system that provides fast and accurate inventory data. Through its subsidiary 4brands Reply, a specialist in the optimization of business processes between companies and retailers, the company has created the “Connected Shelf” – an intelligent, fully networked shelf. In addition to reducing gaps in the shelf, the Connected Shelf opens up opportunities for stationary retail to target shoppers in a similar way to online retail and to generate new insights about shoppers.
Gaps in shelves can be prevented with intelligent monitoring tools, and inventory data is based on real-time stock levels on the shelf. In addition, reliable inventory forecasts are made possible with predictive analytics tools and cross- and up-selling potentials can be generated, and new shopper insights gained. By using IoT technologies, gaps in the shelves can be detected before they occur, and counter-measures can be adopted early by moving products from storage to the shelves. Using the SAP HANA cloud platform, store managers are provided with a cockpit that dis-plays current and imminent shelf gaps. This platform-as-a-service is used to process data in IoT scenarios. Here, too, the mass data is processed in real time. In this case, sensors report shelf withdrawals and replenishments. Prediction algorithms enable reliable fore-casts for imminent shelf gaps. The information from the cockpit solution can also be integrated with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to optimize replenishment processes, the manufacturer states.Intelligent Stock Management

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