Predict the Unpredictable
Updated: Jul 30
What could you achieve with better predictions? Take advantage of new opportunities, reduce waste, or make
better resourcing decisions? Better demand predictions have an iceberg of benefits available to you, your team and your consumers.
Problem is that its impossible to predict… or is it !
I can see why it is hard as for years my morning used to start with a coffee and a croissant. Then, with no warning, I dropped the croissant in favour of a muffin. Like many other consumers, habitual or occasional, I am fickle. My mood, the weather, working-from-home, versus a commute, or a day out in the town change what, where and when I make purchases. The impact of COVID not only disrupted what I did at the start, it still does today as I have not settled back down to regular routine.
These changes across your entire consumer base can subtly or dramatically influence sales. Thus, demand is becoming more and more difficult to predict and without a meaningful prediction it’s impossible for retailers to ensure consumers can get what they want when they want it while also being commercially efficient.
Traditional methods of predicting demand have worked for many years, even generations but averages, or ‘what I sold last week’ are becoming unhelpfully inaccurate and their limitations are being exposed by our ever faster changing world.
We know the only way to understand demand is by identifying and adjusting to what influences sales, much like a local single shop owner does (i.e. understand how changes in local competition / events / weather / school holidays / parks / commuters / traffic... impact their sales ), but it’s just not scalable. So how can you recreate that knowledge and agility across any number of sites (ten, hundreds, thousands)..
The good news is that you need data and the world is now awash with data (the new oil) which makes it all possible. That said, it's clearly way too much for an Excel spreadsheet to handle and most legacy systems just don’t have the capabilities, but for Artificial Intelligence it’s rocket-fuel.
AI can dive into all that data to identify across thousands of influencing factors, the complex trends that are hidden from human eyes. Knowing those influencing factors historically means the new brand of AI (catsAi) makes surprisingly accurate predictions day in day out. What could you do with that new intelligence?
Interested to know more .. drop us an email