Sandwich chain Eat benefits from Blue Yonder data science

Sandwich chain is using new technology as it looks to improve sales and demand forecasting for its short-life products.

Following a trial with predictive analytics company Blue Yonder in 2014, the retailer has now integrated the vendor's analytics solution, Forward Demand, into its back-office systems. It is hoped that the technology will also reduce waste and allow regional store managers to deploy their staff in the most efficient way.

Used across Eat's 114 UK stores, the Blue Yonder system uses factors such as weather, holidays and other events to predict sales from one day, week and month to the next. 

Strahan Wilson, chief financial officer at Eat, commented: "The complexity of forecasting the demand for one-day shelf life products means that had we pursued a traditional route, not only would we have had to spend time and money developing a demand planning solution, but we would also have to hire data scientists to manage the model on an ongoing basis. 

"Uniquely, Blue Yonder offered us not only a state of the art demand forecasting solution, but through their SaaS model agreed to maintain and evolve the model as our business changes. We are delighted with this new partnership."

Offered through a cloud-based platform, the technology is based on unique machine-learning capabilities of an algorithm – a process that was developed at the large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland.

Last year saw the launch of Blue Yonder's Data Science Academy, which provides a platform for organisations to train staff, knowledge share and get to grips with the increasingly pertinent topic of big data management.

As the facility develops, over 50 of Blue Yonder's data scientists are expected to be involved in educating attendees as part of a wider learning programme.  

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