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Food Lion, Other Grocers Will ­se AI for Food Suppliers


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The new system is intended to improve how buyers predict demand, and get products to store shelves faster.

Food Lion and five sister U.S. grocery chains will use artificial intelligence to revamp their food-ordering process.

Credit: Steve Helber/Associated Press

Food Lion and five sister U.S. grocery chains owned by Dutch retailer Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize will use artificial intelligence (AI) to revamp their food-ordering process, improving how buyers predict demand, and stocking store shelves with perishables and other products faster.

Ahold executive Chris Lewis said the technology delivers "one logical view of inventory across the brands," so buyers can aggregate demand across thousands of outlets.

The company's forecasting and replenishment system, from supply-chain software firm Relex Solutions, has enhanced inventory accuracy and reduced the volume of extra stock kept on hand, should items sell faster than expected.

The technology incorporates functions distributed across multiple systems, and automates certain steps, like checking inventory levels at stores and distribution centers.

Lewis said algorithms update recommended order quantities daily, accounting for factors such as "if product gets refused at the warehouse, or if sales in particular regions are up because of weather."

From The Wall Street Journal
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