Fresh: the most important part of your digital transformation strategy
In grocery retail, making the decision to leverage new technology has always been a catalyst for change. And as consumer expectations for high-quality fresh food and seamless omnichannel experiences continue to expand, IT leaders and procurement teams are tasked with finding solutions that unlock significant ROI and accelerate broad digital transformation across the business. Fresh is the most important part of any grocery retailer’s digital strategy and identifying the best-in-class technology for fresh operations is critical.
Explore this page to find out why grocers are taking a purpose-built approach to technology and download your free Fresh RFP template to get started on your search!
What’s wrong with the solutions fresh departments already use?
They rely on antiquated inventory management methods
Inventory data powers critical e-commerce functions and drives supply chain decisions. Center store systems rely on a brittle approach, where current-day inventory is calculated by taking yesterday’s inventory, adding shipments, and subtracting sales and scanouts. Since variation is limited and fairly predictable in non-perishables, it is possible to create accurate enough center store inventory, even accounting for errors in sales, shipments, and scanout data. But in fresh, there are simply too many moving pieces; the method is unreliable and data goes bad fast.
They aren’t built for the nuances or complexities of fresh
Most systems built for center store operations don’t adapt well to the variable nature of fresh. As a result, inaccuracies in demand forecasts, inventory estimations, and order recommendations are rampant. These inconsistencies and gaps impact everything from data accuracy and ordering decisions to digital storefront product availability and in-stock rates.
They don’t adapt to inevitable information gaps and imperfect data
When the solution you’re using as a source of truth isn’t accurate, it becomes more of a problem than a solution. Unfortunately, most systems aren’t capable of recognizing information gaps, let alone closing them. All-in-one systems are built for center store inputs and inventory, which means they aren’t capable of navigating and correcting the inevitable challenges that occur in fresh data. Instead, IT teams and fresh managers spend hours triaging data discrepancies, recalculating inventory, and managing full backrooms. Perpetually messy data and constant inaccuracies lead to excessive shrink, frequent stockouts, and lost sales.
Checklist for best-in-class fresh technology
During the RFP review process, make sure the solution offers capabilities for these categories and functions:
- Meat and seafood
- Prepared foods
- Demand forecasting
- Store ordering
- Product replenishment
- Inventory management
- Replenishment coverage
- Order guide management
- Production planning
- Reporting and analytics
Infrastructure and Processes
- Cloud-based software
- Minimal IT lift and maintenance
- Efficient deployment timeline
- User training and onboarding
- Data security and privacy
- Upfront pricing and fees
Want to win in fresh? Lead the way with best-in-class tech.
Grocery retail is incredibly competitive and 81% of grocery leaders already know that upgrading store technology is critical to meeting omnichannel growth and expectations. For IT leaders, prioritizing purpose-built technology like Afresh can make that possible.
What’s most important is choosing the right solution – one that builds resilience across your fresh supply chain, improves customer experiences wherever they shop, and drives profitable growth across the chain. As technology leaders navigate this new frontier of technology, leveraging an RFP process will help you achieve a digital transformation that benefits your customers, employees, and your profits.