Challenge

How do you get pin point precision in retail promotions?

This multi-billion-dollar North American retail chain operates in a market increasingly crowded with new and competitive entrants. Its response? A commitment to constant innovation and customer-centricity.

Having worked with Accenture to transform everything from demand planning to procurement and delivery assurance to store allocations, the retailer turned its attention to promotions.

With 17,000 items on promotion in 1,200 stores each week, the retailer’s promotional business is worth $9 billion a year. Getting inventory allocation right really matters. Under-ordering means gaps on the shelves, while over-ordering creates excess inventory. The impact of both on customer experience and the bottom line is substantial.

The retailer asked Accenture to help it transform its ability to predict and meet demand for promoted products—and ensure as many customers as possible could benefit from store promotions.

What Accenture did

Raising retail performance with SynOps.

Using SynOps for Supply Chain, Accenture helped the retailer transform its ability to predict the level of demand for items on promotion, right down to the impact on individual stores. Using a new AI-powered forecast analytics and allocation solution, planning teams can fine-tune promotions and allocate inventory to stores more accurately, including from overseas suppliers. Accenture’s solution has four interlinked components:

Demand forecasting

Machine learning models forecast demand up to eight weeks in advance while new insights are created into the impact of competitors’ promotions.

Store distribution

Analytics reveal each store’s contribution to promotional sales, including sophisticated “what if?” scenario modelling for testing assumptions.

Order management

Orders with 3,000 global vendors are continuously monitored to ensure the right quantity of goods get to the right stores at the right time.

Reporting and analytics

Accenture’s experienced analysts provide clear, detailed and timely reporting on the effectiveness of promotions at store, banner and regional level.

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People and culture

Making the customer the center of attention.

With Accenture’s help, this retailer is changing its whole approach to the supply chain. Its promotions teams have been able to leave behind one-size-fits all models that emphasize the product and instead refocus on the flows of value to the end customer.

That means ensuring the right products get to the right stores in the right numbers at the right time, so no-one has to miss out on a promoted product. It means predicting customer demand and adapting store allocation with newfound precision and flexibility, taking into account a whole range of complex interlinked factors in each locality.

Together, Accenture and the retailer are building a truly customer-centered supply chain. Delivering on the promise of promotions helps retailers to build customer trust, which is one of the hallmarks of being a responsible retailer. In a hyper-competitive market, that’s an essential differentiator.

Before, around 10% of customers searching in store for an item on promotion weren’t able to buy it. That figure has now plummeted to 2%.

Value delivered

33%

Increase in productivity.

30%

Reduction in inventory.

15%

Boost to forecasting accuracy.

15

Percentage point decline in delayed overseas orders.

200

Basis point improvement in material availability for offshore products.

Transforming promotions

Transforming promotions, building customer trust.

Today’s highly savvy customers demand more. SynOps for Supply Chain is helping deliver it. Accenture has transformed this retailer’s ability to predict and meet customer demand for its promoted products.

Before, approximately one in every ten people walking into store hoping to buy a promotional item would be disappointed. With Accenture’s enhanced demand forecasting and order management, that figure has now plummeted to just one in fifty. That doesn’t just mean higher revenues, it also means a better customer experience. It’s having a significant impact on building and sustaining customer trust.

These are vital commodities for retail success today. By embedding intelligent operations at the heart of a customer-centered supply chain, Accenture is helping this company streamline operations and boost performance. It means the retailer can focus on what it does best: delighting its customers every time they visit its stores.

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