Coles partners with RELEX for AI retail optimisation

By William Smith
One of Australia’s leading retailers, Coles, has partnered with retail optimisation firm RELEX Solutions to bring AI to its operations...

One of Australia’s leading retailers, Coles, has partnered with retail optimisation firm RELEX Solutions to bring AI to its operations.

The partnership will involve supply chain and inventory planning across the retailers supermarkets and fresh produce distribution centres across Australia. 

AI-driven transformation

Coles’ Executive General Manager Central Operations and Transformation, Kevin Gunn, said: “Fresh produce presents many unique challenges compared to other parts of the grocery business: shorter shelf life, seasonality, price elasticity, along with the diverse and complex growing seasons and regions we are challenged with in Australia.”

“Using the RELEX solution to centralise the control of the replenishment model allows Coles to provide increased efficiency in one of our most complex supply chains and improve the customer experience through more targeted ranges, improved availability, fresher products, and simpler processes for our team members and our suppliers. The centralised ordering of fresh produce will also help to reduce waste on our existing range and minimise waste on new ranges, which is important to us as Coles aims to become Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.”

“An automated, cloud-based replenishment solution”

RELEX’s Living Retail Platform uses AI to drive operations such as demand forecasting, automatic replenishment, inventory planning and space optimisation. It also features workforce and promotion optimisation features.

Coles CIO Roger Sniezek said: “RELEX is a modern, automated, cloud-based replenishment solution provider to a number of leading grocers across Europe and the U.S. It represents a best-in-class technology solution that will deliver another major component of our technology-led strategy. The initiative forms part of Coles’ Easy Ordering program, which is a critical project in delivering on our Smarter Selling strategy.” 

“The new replenishment platform will integrate with Coles’ existing in-house advanced analytics smarter forecasting solution, which has already been rolled out to other non-fresh categories. This will enable an improved customer offer by not only taking into account past purchases, but also factoring weather and local community events into the forecasting algorithms.”

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