ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS September 28, 2020. US Foods, a $25B foodservice distributor serving approximately 300,000 restaurants and foodservice operators, recently completed the initial phase of the company’s journey into advanced demand analytics. Early in 2020, the company embarked on a project to develop an open source demand forecasting system that would help them drastically improve their forecast accuracy. However, despite an existing tenured and skilled team of analysts and data scientists, they quickly realized such a major initiative required deeper analytics proficiency than the company possessed internally.
Seeking assistance, US Foods reached out to The Parker Avery Group, an Atlanta-based retail and consumer products consulting and strategy firm with strong analytics expertise and a proprietary cutting-edge demand analytics platform.
George Arutyunyants, Parker Avery’s Senior Director of Analytics, worked closely with US Foods in leading the deployment of the firm’s open source analytics platform to suit the foodservice company’s specific requirements. George also led the development of comprehensive training and documentation to ensure US Foods’ data sciences team could continue to use the system without the need for ongoing outside expertise.
“The objective of this effort was to eventually attain 99.5% accuracy in our high-level forecasts,” says Chuck Sample, US Foods’ Vice President of Analytics and Data Science. “We were enormously pleased to achieve 99.45% accuracy within the first three months of bringing Parker Avery on board—far ahead of our expected timeline. What’s even more significant is that Parker Avery helped our team quickly learn and adopt the new system so that it is sustainable internally going forward. As we continued this initiative despite the pandemic disruptions, The Parker Avery Group’s flexibility, collaboration, and mentorship have been invaluable.”
“We were enormously pleased to achieve 99.45% accuracy within the first three months of bringing Parker Avery on board—far ahead of our expected timeline.”
Because of Parker Avery’s comprehensive knowledge transfer, US Foods was subsequently able to independently apply an extension of the platform to an additional demand analytics capability. Prior to the project, this type of development would have taken several months, but the company’s analytics team achieved the new capability in a single day. Over the next six months, US Foods will continue to leverage the demand platform across multiple functional areas.