Intelligence for Retail

As the retail industry emerges from the pandemic environment, advances in technology coupled with massively changed competitive and global dynamics have put increased pressure on the hyper-critical nature of strategic decisions. Retail leaders understand that a solid grasp of internal and external data sources, the implementation of advanced analytics, and the resulting intelligence for retail are all needed more than ever.

Intelligence is the key. While increased acceptance plus advances in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) make compelling arguments, the retail industry needs a broader and more strategic view of incorporating analytics into its business models.

Introducing Tailored Intelligence for Retail

Tailored Intelligence represents the infusion of cutting-edge analytics supplied by our Demand Intelligence platform with some of the retail industry’s most experienced business process and change management professionals. This holistic approach results in meaningful results and greater financial benefit for our clients.

In the early days of the pandemic, you may have attended one or more of our Reconstructing Retail webinar series, during which we emphasized that Parker Avery is here to help. Above all, our goal is to be a trusted advisor to our clients—through the good and challenging times equally. We are fortunate to have enjoyed strong professional and personal relationships with many of our clients.

Parker Avery’s Tailored Intelligence line of services allows us to deepen that relationship as we help clients integrate, design, and adopt new and better ways of operating, propelled by advanced analytics, industry-leading business practices, and practical change management tactics adapted to their unique environments.

Determining the Best Solution

As a firm, The Parker Avery Group has completed countless software selection projects for our clients, across the broad spectrum of retail business functions: merchandise financial planning, assortment planning, pricing, promotions, and so on. During these initiatives, our guiding principle is to integrate our knowledge of industry solutions and best practices while maintaining objectivity to determine the solution that meets a company’s desired future-state business and technical requirements.

Bottom line: we meet our client’s needs by thoroughly evaluating and suggesting the best solution that meets their unique requirements.

We hold this same principle with Tailored Intelligence: what our clients need may not always be our own advanced analytics offerings. It does no good to claim we are a trusted, objective advisor, and then push a solution set that is not the best fit for a client. At the end of the day, Parker Avery and our partners do well when our client’s needs are most optimally satisfied. For our solution partners, we continue to supplement their execution systems with the infusion of our team's deep retail and consumer goods industry expertise.

All that being said, I’d like to give a brief overview of Parker Avery’s Tailored Intelligence, and why we enthusiastically offer this array of services.

What Makes Tailored Intelligence Different?

At a high level, Parker Avery’s Tailored Intelligence seamlessly interweaves advanced analytics into a retailer's business processes. Many software providers claim to provide this, but the difference lies in our deep industry expertise. This fusion of deep science with the business is driven by Parker Avery retail and consumer goods professionals who have made business decisions countless times under varying circumstances. Our team has worked in the retail industry for decades, in leadership and consulting roles, and we use this expertise to ensure our analytics solutions are fully integrated into your business processes.

Why is this so important? The proliferation and increasing quality of open-source AI and ML tools with the combination of cloud computing have led to an explosion of the application of AI in retail systems. Data science departments and analytics programs are becoming ubiquitous throughout many industries, and retail is no exception.

The evolution of algorithms is happening at an ever-faster rate. Retail has seen AI and ML technologies infiltrate every aspect of the business from planning and pricing to fulfillment and operations. Amazon has been leading this charge with great success. There is no question that the landscape is changing rapidly, and current events are expediting the matter.

What remains is the need for analytics insights to be seamlessly integrated into retail business processes. Because we believe full automation in many parts of the business is still a long way off, the ultimate decisions across enterprises are still made by people. The value garnered from AI/ML integration rests with the decision-makers in the business. Therefore, any integration of artificial intelligence must be tailored to these roles. Further, any recommendation driven by machine learning must make the decision more intuitive by providing the accompanying insight into why the recommendation is being made. The lack of such insight from the analytics, regardless of the quality of the recommendation, renders it superfluous.

Related Case Studies

AI-Driven Retail Warranty Price Optimization

AI-Driven Retail Warranty Price Optimization

Optimizing SKU-Level Forecasting Accuracy

Optimizing SKU-Level Forecasting Accuracy

Superior Demand Forecasting Accuracy

Superior Demand Forecasting Accuracy

The Value of Tailored Intelligence

The pursuit of cutting-edge analytics is important, but it is only one component of what is necessary to realize the value in the age of AI. Innovation and incorporation of the latest AI/ML algorithms lead to accurate recommendations that are only financially measurable when trusted by the organization. Through decades of hands-on experience architecting and implementing demand platforms for some of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods and retail clients, we learned that building trust was generally the most time-intensive. As such, financial results were seen over time. This process, although successful, is fraught with risk. Let us explain.

Too often, major implementations of analytical systems fail not because of the quality of the data, science, and algorithms—but because of the misalignment with the business process, lack of clarity of the recommendation, and the organization’s hesitation to understand and accept the new way of thinking and operating.

Parker Avery’s Tailored Intelligence bridges those gaps.

The journey into analytics should always begin with the business decisions in mind. It should consider what would incentivize the final decision-maker to move forward with a given allocation method or a replenishment suggested order quantity, take the suggested markdown, or keep from overwriting the forecast in the demand plan. Hindsight analysis of the decision, though useful, can be short-circuited by business process design and a change management plan that starts before the data is ever pulled for implementation.

Tailored Intelligence for retail is AI/ML uniquely tailored to your challenges and integrated into your business.

If you’re ready to have a conversation to understand how Tailored Intelligence can help your retail business, please reach out to us.

Sam Iosevich, Chief Analytics Officer and Managing Partner

Sam Iosevich
Chief Analytics Officer and Managing Partner

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