Andy Kettlewell helped activate significant customer and business value by adopting advanced AI and cloud technology to leapfrog the demand planning and forecasting process at Walgreens.
With more than 8 million average daily customers and 200 million item/location combinations, Walgreens needed to evolve its traditional customer demand drivers in order to move beyond direct marketing and price promotions and to better decipher the various factors that influence and shape customer behavior and demand.
Andy led the implementation of Antuit.ai, a Zebra Technologies company, across 9,000+ stores, along with an intelligent and intuitive application layer that enables planners to orchestrate replenishment decisions better. AI and machine learning, coupled with novel datasets, helped Walgreens forecast at a hyper-granular level and better understand how weather events, social media, local events and localized illness trends impact how, when, and why consumers shop at Walgreens.
Additionally, Walgreens was able to join digital and store demand planning to provide omnichannel planning, which would ultimately provide much-needed coordination between suppliers, DCs, transportation and stores while improving workflow for Inventory and Demand Planners.
Walgreens has substantially improved demand planning and forecast accuracy, resulting in higher in-stock levels, increased sales and higher NPS scores from its customers while reducing overall inventory. Most importantly, Walgreens is building (and keeping) customer trust by ensuring products are available when and where they need them — whether in-store, online, via same-day delivery or pickup.
Andy constantly looks for better ways of solving traditional retail problems, for which he has to keep abreast of the technology landscape and its impact. Most importantly, driving such innovative initiatives involves taking the rest of the organization along – particularly when you have so many conflicting priorities.