Department store retailer increases forecast accuracy leading to improved planner productivity and better fulfillment with AI/ML-powered Luminate Planning
Ensuring the right inventory is available to meet customer demands became even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to its recent digital transformation with Blue Yonder’s cloud-based Luminate™ Planning, HEMA, a leading department store retailer, was able to improve its demand forecasting and fulfillment capabilities to meet those customer demands.
The first HEMA store opened in 1926 in Amsterdam. Today, the company has close to 800 stores in 13 countries on three continents with 19,000 employees serving over 6 million visitors every week. The retailer also operates an e-commerce presence in all the countries in which it operates. HEMA stores offer only 100% HEMA-designed products, and the company also recently started selling its products via wholesale partnerships. Seeking an end-to-end omni-channel supply chain solution to optimize its demand forecasting and omni-channel fulfillment capabilities, the retailer turned to Blue Yonder.
HEMA implemented Blue Yonder’s Luminate Planning demand forecasting and fulfillment 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 synchronizing 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 minimizing stock-outs and maximizing 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. 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,” said Jan Daan van Erven Dorens, manager, Supply Chain Development, HEMA. “In addition, we have also experienced benefits from the fulfillment capabilities, including supporting a multi-echelon supply network, improving efficiency in the end-to-end supply chain and prioritizing 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 utilize the power of AI/ML to help bring about more accurate forecasting and demand planning. 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 centers (DCs). Because they chose to digitally transform in advance of the pandemic, they were able to thrive and improve customer service,” said Johan Reventberg, EMEA president, Blue Yonder.
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