AI-powered transformation in FMCG: Revolutionising demand forecasting strategies

Discover how AI-driven strategies revolutionise FMCG demand forecasting, slashing errors, reducing costs and unlocking growth opportunities.

Johannesburg, 03 May 2024
TrueNorth Group leverages advanced machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics.
TrueNorth Group leverages advanced machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics.

In the fast-paced realm of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), where precision and agility are essential, executives in the C-suite grapple with a host of challenges, including those faced by information management leaders. According to McKinsey Digital, AI-powered forecasting can slash errors by a staggering 20% to 50% within supply chain networks. These improvements translate to a remarkable 65% reduction in lost sales due to inventory out-of-stock scenarios, alongside a notable decrease of 5% to 10% in warehousing costs. The estimated economic impact of AI in the supply chain ranges from $1.2 trillion to $2 trillion in manufacturing and supply chain planning. "As executives in the C-suite embark on the digital transformation journey in the FMCG industry, it's imperative to align technology strategies with the unique pain points of the industry.

Here's how leaders in the C-suite can harness key technological priorities to redefine demand forecasting:

Data analytics as the bedrock: Embrace data analytics as the foundation of demand forecasting transformation. By leveraging advanced analytics, FMCG companies can tap into vast datasets encompassing market dynamics, historical sales patterns and consumer behaviour to generate precise demand forecasts.

Automation for enhanced efficiency: Embrace automation to streamline demand forecasting processes and boost efficiency. Implementing automated systems for data collection, analysis and decision-making minimises manual efforts and reduces errors in forecast generation.

Digital enablement technologies: Invest in digital enablement technologies to foster data-driven decision-making across the organisation. Cloud-based solutions, AI-powered analytics platforms and collaborative tools facilitate seamless communication and collaboration among cross-functional teams involved in demand forecasting.

Tailored solutions for local markets: Deliver next-generation solutions tailored to local market conditions to spur growth and competitiveness. Utilise advanced analytics to gain insights into regional consumer preferences and market trends, enabling targeted marketing campaigns and product offerings.

Skilled team development: Invest in developing skilled teams equipped with expertise in emerging technologies. Providing training and upskilling opportunities to existing employees – and attracting top talent with experience in data analytics, AI and digital transformation – is crucial.

ERP modernisation: Prioritise ERP modernisation initiatives to streamline business processes and enhance decision-making. Transitioning to cloud-based ERP solutions offers enhanced scalability, agility and accessibility, enabling real-time data insights and informed decision-making across the organisation.

In aligning technology priorities with the specific needs of the FMCG industry, executives in the C-suite can spearhead transformative initiatives that redefine demand forecasting processes, optimise supply chain operations and drive business growth in today's dynamic marketplace. Embrace innovation, empower your teams and leverage technology as a strategic enabler to unlock new opportunities and maintain a competitive edge.

As Hennie Fouche, Managing Director of TrueNorth Group, aptly puts it: "In response to the persistent challenges of stock-outs and overstocking plaguing the CPG and retail sectors, AI-powered solutions offer a transformative approach." TrueNorth Group specialises in leveraging advanced machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to facilitate accurate demand forecasting, ensuring optimal inventory management strategies.

Additionally, TrueNorth Group offers an Azure OpenAI masterclass designed to upskill data employees in utilising Azure OpenAI to increase ROI. By harnessing the power of AI and continuous learning, FMCG companies can stay ahead in today's rapidly evolving landscape, driving efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction.