Carrefour has become the first French retailer to use artificial intelligence to optimise inventory management and reduce waste by integrating software developed by SAS into its supply chain.
Drawing on the €2 billion annual investment budget included in the “Carrefour 2022” transformation plan, mainly for IT and digital technology projects, Carrefour Supply Chain ultimately selected the Viya solution.
Following the completion of an 18-month trial, the SAS platform will be used to collect and process data from stores, warehouses and e-commerce websites to better predict demand and refine supplier orders. Carrefour says more intelligent supply chain management will ultimately reduce stock outages and overstocking in stores and warehouses.
The integration represents the first time an AI solution has been integrated into the supply chain for food products – and, shortly, non-food products – in the French retail sector.
SAS Viya provides Carrefour with a multi-channel distribution and inventory optimisation solution to reduce waste and create value. The aim of this far-reaching project is to create a unique online and physical environment in which recognised and loyal customers are guaranteed the most suitable offer anytime and anywhere.
AI will also enable people in new occupations – such as data scientists for data processing and demand planners for business expertise – to work in parallel on forward planning tasks. Optimising the work of the supply and planning teams, the SAS platform can process a variety of data from the Carrefour Supply Chain information system.
It will also make teams more agile by allowing them to integrate new working methods and continuously improve their forecasting processes. The SAS open AI solution will also offer Carrefour experts an opportunity to develop their own bespoke algorithms to meet their specific needs.
“The deployment of the SAS platform will help us turn the corner in optimising our supply chain,” said Franck Noël-Fontana, Forecast Director at Carrefour France. “By freeing up time for teams, artificial intelligence will allow them to focus on developing differentiated forecasting strategies and better meeting customer expectations while reducing waste.”
For its part, SAS will use its technological and business expertise to benefit Carrefour teams, supported by the solutions integration expertise of its long-standing partner Capgemini.
“Beyond the operational benefits of a fluid and efficient supply chain, this project will also improve the Carrefour customer experience,” said Boualem Alouache, Retail Director SAS France. “Based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, this Big Data project will optimise each step in the supply chain and increase customer satisfaction. We are proud to be driving the success of this project, with Capgemini’s support at the integration phase.”