The company operates through a network of regional distributors, with widely varying retail store types and distribution channels across the United States. Product planning must factor in different state laws for controlled substances, including 17 “control states,” where alcoholic beverages are purchased through ABC Boards in each state. As such, transaction data comes in varied formats and timeframes.
The COVID-19 pandemic drove massive fluctuations in product depletion across retail stores (off-premise), as well as consumption in restaurants and bars (on-premise). This severely reduced forecasting accuracy and resulted in significant inventory shortages and overages across the country. Further, their existing depletion forecast was only available at the distributor level and did not provide visibility into long-term production planning.
The company wanted better forecasting capabilities to improve product planning and distribution for each region in the U.S. on an item-level basis.