Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is strengthening its commitment to data science in a drive to transform its supply chain by implementing a new artificial intelligence-powered platform which works by learning about customers’ behaviours.
The company has selected Blue Yonder’s end-to-end platform to add the power of AI across multiple supply chain functions, including demand prediction and replenishment, warehouse management, digital control tower, macro space planning, staff management, range management, and yard management. It is hoped the scheme will also assist in waste reduction of perishable products.
Sainsbury’s tech division will work with Blue Yonder’s team to create a new autonomous supply chain system which it is claimed will help the stores to free up workers for more customer-serving jobs.
Blue Yonder’s platform will be implemented across more than 2,000 stores across Sainsbury’s brand portfolio that also includes Habitat and Argos outlets.
Sainsbury’s chief technology officer for retail John Elliott said: "Having a predictive, autonomous and adaptive supply chain powered by world class technology products and Sainsbury’s tech engineering means we can show up for our customers whenever and however they shop with us.
"Blue Yonder provided a strong balance of advanced capabilities, machine learning experience and a culture and value set closely aligned to our own, including a commitment to sustainability."
Late last year, Sainsbury’s started working with both Accenture and Google to implement machine learning technology to identify the trends driving customers’ eating habits. It already gathers data from multiple sources; it has over 18.5 million members of the Nectar loyalty scheme and claims to have 33 million customer records at its disposal. To delve even deeper, Sainsbury’s commercial and technology teams, in partnership with Accenture, are building machine learning solutions on Google Cloud Platform.