Prince Retail Group taps RELEX Solutions for inventory automation

RELEX Solutions, a supply chain and retail planning firm, will be working with Prince Retail Group in automating the latter’s demand forecasting for its supermarkets nationwide.

This investment by Prince Retail Group, a homegrown retail chain, aims to expand its reach to remote areas in the country. 

Prince Retail Group and RELEX established the partnership at the height of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when access to basic essentials proved to be challenging. But Prince Retail Group had prior knowledge and experience of the challenges faced by retail channels in rural communities.

Implementing the RELEX unified retail planning solution enabled Prince Retail to maximize its resources and streamline operational costs and processes while improving service levels to even the most far-flung stores. The retailer’s forecasting and allocation teams can easily input and view inventory information on a single platform, including intricacies and constraints unique to a specific vendor or store. The result significantly reduces discrepancies brought by disparate, manual forecasting methods.

RELEX Solutions’ automated demand forecasting prevents oversupply of goods
Automated demand forecasting can reduce operational costs

“Automating our demand forecasting helped us increase our availability by at least 10%, enabling us to flourish and deliver a better customer experience despite the uncertainties brought by the pandemic,” said Rina Janine Go, chief merchandising, marketing, and distribution officer at Prince Retail Group of Companies.

Optimizing operational costs

This partnership is also aimed at addressing the Prince Retail Group’s supply chain challenges. Before, demand forecasting was an entirely manual process for the staff of the retail company, leaving teams with significant risks for error when internal variables and local developments such as lockdowns, shortages of raw materials, or adverse weather conditions occurred.

Maintaining a steady and accurate inventory flow and optimizing operational costs in preparation for expansion was taxing as almost every Prince Retail store was about 100 kilometers from the nearest port.

RELEX unified retail planning solution platform, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), automates the complex and time-consuming decisions of calculating forecasts based on user data and harnesses machine learning to optimize predictions.

Use of AI

“The use of AI greatly supported us to improve our decision-making with data-driven insights that ultimately catalyzed our growth and enabled us to serve our customers better than ever before,” Go said. “It helped us seamlessly expand, even with an online channel and other initiatives to reach more customers who were struggling with where to buy their essential necessities.” 

In 2021, the corporate group’s subsidiary Prince Hypermart partnered with the B2B application, “My Suki”, to launch an e-commerce app to cater to the growing number of digital customers, particularly the large base of resellers who source their goods from Prince. The unified tool for demand forecasting allowed the retailer to seamlessly integrate inventory for both online and offline channels in real-time.

“The collaboration with Prince Retail is a great opportunity to show how Filipino companies can take advantage of automation and AI to realize further growth,” said Stefano Scandelli, Senior VP, EMEA and APAC at RELEX Solutions.

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