Dan Sturman on category management in a world of constant change
Jan 19, 2021
What you will learn from this podcast:
• What next-generation shoppers are looking for on the supermarket and grocery store shelves. Dan advises on how category management should prepare for this change. • How can category management professionals get better at predicting in a world of constant change? Dan sheds light on the shopper behavior during the Super Bowl. What happens if there are no games or the game happens at a different scheduled date and time? What alternative product categories will be impacted and need to be considered? How does this impact no social gathering and tailgating at the football game? What other "stay-at-home" products will be demanded instead? How does it impact food spoilage? Dan answers all of these questions. • How companies prepare for key events, competition moves, and retail reaction. Hint: "war games" scenarios. Is there a way to see the impact of each scenario? As a side note, HIVERY Curate can allow users to easy model these scenarios in the AI engine to present the impact at category, SKU or brand levels or by distribution such as by cluster store or store-specific levels. • Dan shares useful tactics and insights on how CPG manufactures and retailers can enhance shopper expectations and maintain retailer relationships. Dan talks through a fascinating story about how intelligence on shoppers can transform your sales. Make sure you listen to the "Target store and sales of multi-serve meals" story. • How CPGs and retailers can address the "The Paradox of Choice" and why sometimes less is actually more. • How data science can help with better predictions by looking at the relationship with seasonal events such as hurricane season and impact on category assortment. • How forecasting is currently done. Generally, there are several different business groups involved. It all starts with the account team who are closest to the customer. They factor in key events such as promotions and allow other internal teams (i.e. demand planning and supply chain) to add their view. This can be a very intense and time consuming process but generally works well until an event that has not been planned occurs. Responding to change can be an extreme challenge. As a side note again, HIVERY Curate helps. Rapid scenario planning can be conducted to quickly inform new strategy and articulate it to all stakeholder groups. • Dan finally covers what he believes the future of category management is. With the increase in online purchasing, Dan talks to us about the need to have an optimized omnichannel strategy. While shopper convenience (i.e. delivery, in-store pick-up, curbside pick-up) and choice are good, it leads to additional costs. Dan shares a few real examples (Walmart, Kroger) and discusses best practices.
Mark Lawrenson on the science of optimization methods and solving real-world problems more optimally
Jan 05, 2021
What you will learn from this podcast:
• When optimization or applied mathematics was first used to solve real-world problems. We go back to 1947 and George B. Dantzig, when not only the first computer program was written but also new applied mathematics methods were invented, now called linear programming. • The fascinating world of Applied Mathematics. Mark breaks down everything from Operations Research, Linear Programming (using 1 and 0.5 as inputs), Complete Methods (solving problems optimally), Heuristic Methods (solving problems faster although not always optimally), and Genetic Algorithms (inspired by nature's way of optimizing) to relatively modern methods like Integer Linear Programming (using 0, 1 or 2 as inputs). These methods have previously advanced the military to optimize the distribution of weaponry. Now, these methods are used by commercial industries and have found their way into category management to ensure the right products are in the right, specific shelf space at the right, specific store. • Mark goes deep into explaining his fascinating research: "A model-based genetic algorithm framework for constrained optimisation problems"; and his new framework that solves real-world problems differently and more efficiently. • Why HIVERY Curate (formally HIVERY Propel) is different to any other planogram category management optimization solution out there. Marks explains how he has applied and combined optimization techniques (i.e. how much of product X to put on that specific shelf in that specific store) with machine learning methods (what product to put (X or Y or Z) on that specific shelf in that specific store) along with the secret ingredient; the constraints that make HIVERY Curate category recommendations realistic and implementable at a store-level. • If you are interested in learning about how our world can be run more efficiently, love maths and solving real problems. This is a must-listen. Resources:
Zach Simpson on shifts in category management, artificial intelligence and making career changes
Nov 19, 2020
What you will learn from this podcast:
• Zach's career journey from baseball to Walmart to his own company and HIVERY. Zach shares his insights into the lack of advancement of retail technology during this journey in category management. • Zach explores the "snowflake" effect of product categories and space; how each store is so different (as a snowflake), yet when it comes to space assortment, the retail industry continues treating each store and their SKU supply the same. • Why Zach, after over 11 years at Walmart with titles like Frozen Food Senior Buyer, Merchandising Director, and VP of Beverages Merchandising decided to "jump ship" to HIVERY, a young AI startup? • Zach provides a sneak preview of product innovation at HIVERY; and how customers play a critical role in this process. •. Zach dives into key problem sets faced by a wide retail segment from wholesale networks to traditional grocery stores in space, assortment, and category scenario planning. • Lastly, Zach gives career advice and shares his insights into personal and professional development, innovating from within and facilitating change.
Tim Rowland on retail robotics and the future of senses
Nov 04, 2020
What you will learn from this podcast:
• Why getting the right product at the right price and in the right amount is becoming more and more difficult for both CPG manufacturers and retailers. Listen to how Badger Technologies and robotics are solving this through "seeing". • Tim explores the concept of "hidden products" - products that are not "shown" in the correct manner on shelves - as well as "hidden price promotions". Promotions are often delayed due to the slow process of getting the actual new sales tag on the shelf or the reverse, with sale promotion tags hung for too long and appearing out of date. With robotic technologies like Badger, old challenges can be addressed effectively. • How robotics can not only assess the status of products on the shelf and price promotion compliance but also help grocery stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets assess floors for spills and hazardous conditions. This helps both shoppers and retail staff encouraging visits and ensuring stores are both clean and safe. • More interestingly, some larger supermarkets and discount stores are using robotics to assess promotional display compliance in aisles ensuring that every marketing dollar is spent accordingly. Display compliance gives CPG manufacturers an "eye" on what is happening in-store and potentially issues contractual penalties for retailers' non-compliance. • Tim also covers the challenges in having robots in supermarket stores and implications of human traffic and their advantages: an ability to scan 40,000 individual store products, responding to hazardous conditions, promotional compliance - all in around 3 hours! • Will robots replace supermarket workers? Tim shares his views on robots and the human labour force; you will be surprised with his insight. • We close with a fascinating view of future robotics in retail stores. Can robots sense "freshness" and ensure our fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy are about to expire?
Dr Katrijn Gielens on the disruptive transformation of retail and strategies to adapt
Oct 19, 2020
In this podcast episode we explore:
• What "convenience" means in retail in the digital era (and pandemic). Gone are the days when convenience was about pre-packaged "TV dinners"; today the scope of convenience is expanded to searching for the right products, getting the right price, and having them delivered to your door - right here, right now. • The issues around retailing, especially around assortment planning. How can you introduce new products while balancing existing and considering new retail experiences, services and space? • Great strategies for retailers to consider to navigate these unprecedented times. • Hyper-personalisation and whether it is legal when it comes to prices. • What does assortment planning mean? A large assortment range can bring large diverse groups to your store. However, you then face the challenge to decide what assortment and how much of it is needed. You need to curate the store carefully. You don't want your consumers to experience "choice overload" nor out of stocks. Dr. Gielens covers the balancing act of attracting traffic into the store (large assortment to attract) and initiating conversation (right assortment to buy). The key word you will hear in this podcast is "curate". This is why leveraging new technologies such as AI can help retailers put the right assortment in their stores. • Lastly, Dr. Gielens shared some good resources for further reading.
Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru®, on the impending supermarket trends and post-COVID-19 world
Sep 24, 2020
In this podcast episode you can learn about: • Emerging trends in the supermarkets: in light COVID-19, what will stay and what will change? How would masks, curbside pickup, online shopping, and home delivery change the supermarket experience? What should retailers and supermarkets focus on to generate the revenue needed to continue to operate? Will large assortment offerings still be around? • Pre-COVID-19 the average American went 2.2 times a week to buy groceries and spent around 22 mins on every shopping trip. Now the average American goes once a week, in and out as quickly as possible. Given the average American consumer spends $5,400 per year* on unanticipated and impulse purchases, what does the new consumer shopping behavior mean to retailers? • What technology are retailers and supermarkets investing in today? How will "space" in the post-COVID-19 world begin to be leveraged? Will we see more ghost supermarkets: stores transfer existing spaces only to fulfill online orders? • How hard is it for CPGs to get their products on supermarket shelves as space and range are being re-examined completely? With the category "resets" happening just twice a year, the future of product availability and variety is at risk. Phil believes while the online assortment range can cater for over 40 thousand products, physical stores will see a reduction to 20 or even 15 thousand products! This means that optimizing space and assortment at a store-specific level is going to be even more critical. • How can retailers thrive in the new normal? Phil shares powerful insights into what retailers and supermarkets should do to prepare, especially around assortment planning. Spoiler alert! Zip Code assortment specific recommendations. "Gone are the days of the same assortment in all stores." • Is the category advisory under threat? Will it still be around? Phil believes retailers are no longer relying on CPGs for category planning. Instead, they are turning to science and technology as it becomes smarter and more accessible. • Finally, Phil covers his predictions on what changes to expect in the supermarket and other retail spaces: from aging truck driver force to product and store consolidation to indoor farming... Connect with Phil Lempert: Supermarket Guru Farm, Food, Facts podcast Lost in the Supermarket podcast Facebook Live
Josh Flannery on becoming an entrepreneur, entering the Japanese market, and drinking sake, yes sake
Aug 20, 2020
In this podcast episode you can learn about:
• Josh gives amazing insights into what it takes to expand a startup to Japan. The importance of starting off with proof points in your own country, improving your offering, and only then going outside of your home country. It's the same approach HIVERY took when it was founded in 2015. In fact, it was around late 2017 when HIVERY started to get traction in Japan and then opened up an office in late 2018. As Josh put it, "build credibility locally...", then go overseas. • Josh provides tips on how to leverage credibility via simple tools of 'case studies'. Case studies are real stories about how your solution helps a specific customer in a specific industry overcome their problems by using your solution. It generally covers the challenge a customer faced, your approach to addressing the challenge, and the results. Generally speaking, at HIVERY we like to start with media release followed by case studies. It's a good way to build awareness before moving a potential customer down the pipeline of the buyer's journey when releasing the case study. Josh provides a tip in developing a case study to ensure it's localised to the Japanese market. • Localisation of products and services is critical to getting traction in an overseas market. Josh talks about the aspect of going 'local'. HIVERY's vending solution, HIVERY Enhance, had to be customised to cater to the Japanese vending machine market, including developing new algorithms to consider the impact of hot and cold beverages. • According to Josh, there are three important things to consider when entering the Japanese market (and applicable to most Asia-based counties): 1)Learn the market well, 2)Partner where possible, and 3)Customize your offering. • Josh also shares important tips to young entrepreneurs looking to start new ventures, including 1)How to create a killer pitch, 2)The difference between types of accelerator programs, 3)How much equity should you give up, and more. • Along the way we will learn more about Josh's career from UNSW innovation programs to NSW Government to Rainmaking Japan. Josh shares his perspective on working with the government. He addresses the reasoning behind a common preconception of the government being "slow"; it is about reducing one thing: risk to all parties. • Lastly, and more interestingly, we get into the fascinating world of Sake - a Japanese drink that is made by fermenting rice. Josh is actually an expert. Resources:
You can read the book chapter "What Makes a Global Business Model?" co-authored by the host, Milena Salmon here: shorturl.at/vV346