High Tech for Horticulture, Anyone?

Written by infra

July 25, 2021

The impact of technology on the horticulture industry is sharper than other retail segments.

Why? The horticulture industry has hardly a few months of the year for trading, with an equally sensitive and time-bound supply side. As if this is not enough, though Horticulture supply chain characteristics are unique to even sub-categories like Ornamentals vs Arboriculture, there doesn’t exist a technology solution designed for the nuances of Horti supply chain!

But is it required? What is the value of / lack of such?

A McKinsey report(1) highlights “Embracing technology technology is a strategic imperative for retailers.” This is very much applicable to Horticulture industry, more so given the dearth of technology in this industry.

The report goes on to say “Given the margin pressures within the industry, retailers that want to remain competitive in the coming years must consider technology and automation a strategic imperative.” Horticulture is no exception. There cannot be any stronger reminder than the current times! Especially if such technology enables revenue growth and margins immediately! At the core of this approach is Supply Chain Technology that addresses the nature of demand, supply and all the elements connecting these two, in the context very specific Horticulture industry. Such technology designed specifically to address these nuances unleashes massive benefits, a few examples are below:

Revenue Growth

The horticulture industry has just a few months in a year to make the most, while the rest of the retail categories have the luxury of an entire year. The impact of intelligent assortment by observing patterns of demand for every plant/ SKU and automatically learning (“machine learning”) the opportunities – goes a long way, as much as 10%-20% revenue growth.

Planning

Planning effectiveness is even more intense given the narrow window of trading months. Planning with frequent manual adjustments affects revenues and inflates costs, both completely avoidable. Machine learning driven planning drives a significant 50% improvement in forecast accuracy, with our technology fine-tuned to the contours of Horticulture industry sub-segments – Ornamentals, Perennials etc. And this can be done at scale not possible manually, for every SKU, every delivery run and every unloading event at the stores etc.

Quality of Revenue

By understanding, promoting good quality revenue and identifying moderation strategies for mid and low-quality sales is of course possible manually but doing it at scale, automatically, for every category, plant/SKU, store, time period combination is the key enabler here.

Cost to Serve

No point in having all of that end to end supply chain data and not have an understanding of cost sensitivities with reference to revenues! Granular understanding of cost composition, the sensitivity of cost elements, opportunities for cost moderation – all of which need massive ERP and BI systems traditionally – can be done on the fly and in one simple system, at a fraction of cost!

Supply Chain

And underpinning all of this is the supply chain platform itself, that drives moderation of transportation and warehouse/DC costs at a scale, thanks to the paper-less capabilities of our advanced Warehouse Management and Transportation Management, Routing and Execution systems bundled with the platform. The result is improved utilisation of transportation and warehouse space, thereby reducing the cost of supply chain operations by 20-30%, proven in one of the largest Horti retailers in the UK!

And all of this need not be expensive. We take pride in introducing affordable AI to the Horticulture Industry and are super excited to launch this Horti specific supply chain platform STEER that will transform how Horti supply chains are run to drive Horti Retailers’ businesses.

Stay tuned. We will explore each of the above topics in depth. Meanwhile, explore further details of Supple STEER product

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