Symphony Retail Solutions, a provider of software and services for retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, has named Ryan Powell VP of merchandising and category management. In his new role, Powell will be responsible for all areas of the company’s merchandising and category management business, including product management, innovation, R&D and go-to-market strategy.
Powell most recently led the global category management practice at Capgemini and previously served in executive positions with JDA, Red Bull and MVP Innovation. He is a recognized expert in category management solutions and best practices and has extensive experience working with both retailers and CPG companies, says Symphony. Powell will focus on ensuring customer business value, understanding current and future industry and technology trends, and leveraging Symphony’s AI technologies to drive growth and efficiencies for retailers and CPG brands.
“Ryan is a proven leader with a passion for innovation, and he is the ideal person to lead our merchandising and category management group,” said Graeme Cooksley, CEO and president, Symphony Gold business unit. “Ryan joins us at an exciting time when we are rapidly extending Symphony Retail’s leadership in merchandising and category management and widening the innovation gap between ourselves and other solution providers.”
More than 250 retailers and 450 CPG manufacturers in more than 60 countries utilize Symphony’s solutions. According to the company, this market penetration has made it possible for Symphony to generate more than 50 million planograms and execute more than 8 million store category assortments annually. Albertsons, Blokker, Lipari Foods, Pague Menos and Giant Eagle are among the retailers and CPG brands that have migrated to Symphony’s cloud merchandising and category management solutions.
Symphony Retail’s newest offering brings artificial intelligence and machine learning to category management, with CINDE (Conversational Insights and Decision Engine), a digital analytic assistant for grocery and hard goods retail. CINDE incorporates AI, prescriptive analytics, natural language speech technology and immersive visualization in a system that receives input from users and provides conversational answers. CINDE goes far beyond the simple tasks currently performed by many voice and AI-powered applications, says Symphony, providing instant answers to the most complex category management questions.
At the heart of its retail solutions is a Customer 360° platform, which gathers and analyzes customer attributes for online shopping, grocery, restaurant, store location and customer location data (mobile location tracking) and other demographic data. Symphony says its offering is flexible and data-agnostic, meaning retailers can rely on data and insights derived from the Customer 360° platform, or from a third-party vendor.
“Symphony Retail Solutions is transforming retail by driving customer intelligence into all planning and execution decisions,” said Powell. “While our competition is only talking about partnerships, I look forward to further accelerating the growth of the world’s leading customer-centric assortment and space planning solutions that are already used by many of the world’s grocery retailers and CPG manufacturers. I’m thrilled to join the company that is continuously innovating and shaping the future of retail solutions.”