Technology Helps Old School Markets in Competition with E-Grocers
When the COVID-19 virus hit the United States, it exposed a lot of weaknesses in business operations. For example, the lack of personal protective equipment crippled many businesses, and the rush on grocery stores produced empty shelves.
Empty shelves shocked shoppers because the supply chain hadn’t endured shortages since the last World War.
Even as e-grocery usage has skyrocketed in our coronavirus-catalyzed world, brick-and-mortar grocery stores have soldiered on. While strict in-store safety guidelines may gradually ease up, shopping will remain “low-touch and socially distanced for the foreseeable future.”
In a story on techcrunch.com, adapting is explained by micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs), dark stores and other supply solutions that help e-grocers optimize profitability. Several old and new technologies can help brick-and-mortar stores remain relevant and continue raking in profits.
The article by Sunny Dhillion writes that grocers should take three important steps: Rely on the data, rely on biology and rely on the hardware.
“The hallmark of shopping in a store is the consistent availability and wide selection of fresh items — often more so than online. But as the number of in-store customers continues to fluctuate, planning inventory and minimizing waste has become ever more so a challenge for grocery store managers. Grocers on average, throw out more than 12% of their on-shelf produce, which eats into already razor-thin margins.”
Walmart is again shown to be using its deep pockets to its best advantage. Eden Technologies deployed an internal tool at over 43 distribution centers nationwide and promises to save Walmart over $2 billion in the coming years. For instance, if produce intended for a store hundreds of miles away is expected to soon ripen, the tool can help divert it to the nearest store instead, using FDA Standards and over 1 million images to drive its analysis.
It isn’t easy running a grocery store, no matter the size of the company. and when a pandemic interrupts the supply chain, well we all end up driving all over town looking for toilet paper. The article lists more information about other platforms and other approaches to keeping food shelves full and stress levels down.
read more at techcrunch.com