Retail and CPG companies are now working overtime to maintain inventory supply and minimize shortages despite wildly erratic consumer behavior. Thanks to advances in planning and order optimization, real-time adjustments to major swings in demand, like nationwide school closings and shifts to online buying, are more easily executed. Nevertheless, this has meant long hours for everyone - from the manufacturer, to the planner, to store distribution teams - and every time a basic staple reappears on the shelf or online, we consumers appreciate it.
There is an increasing belief that machines can replace human activities. With supply chain becoming more complex, humans would need to make hundreds of thousands of decisions to stay competitive. Does this mean companies need AI and No Touch Demand Planning?
CPG companies are increasingly harnessing growing volumes of consumer data through online marketing and direct-to-consumer sales platforms. These companies can enhance their trade promotion activities through artificial intelligence and machine learning, but they must collaborate with retailers to do so. Together, the two can better identify ineffective promotions, forecast more accurately and optimize promotions to generate an optimal sales fit.
Consumer Goods industry is still adapting to the new rules of the game that are being set by Amazon and other e-commerce players. CPG companies' online channel is rapidly growing with 43% of CPG’s revenue growth already being driven by ecommerce and online sales expected to double in next five years.