The global supply chain has been struggling of late, but for most enterprises, supply chain operations has been in the spotlight since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with analytics rising as a key palliative for major fluctuations in supply and demand.
Food and beverage company PepsiCo encountered anomalous supply chain signals early in the pandemic, as consumers began filling their pantries with staples amid lockdowns that rolled across the globe.
“Certain products were flying off the shelves for various reasons early in the pandemic,” says Jason Fertel, ecommerce engineering head at PepsiCo. “Folks wanted to get as much oatmeal as possible, for example.”
To respond, PepsiCo turned to analytics and machine learning to predict out-of-stocks and alert retailers to reorder. The insights also helped the company optimize its marketing campaigns.
“Using some of our intelligence and the technology and products we built, as products were going out of stock, we were able to very easily turn off ad campaigns automatically,” Fertel says.