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Symphony RetailAI Finds 87% Of Retailers Have Not Embraced AI

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Dallas, Texas-based Symphony RetailAI, a global provider of integrated AI-powered marketing, merchandising and supply chain solutions, has released findings of an executive survey, “Role of AI/ML in Supply Chain and Demand Forecasting,” conducted in partnership with Incisiv.

Survey respondents indicated their prioritization of data-related initiatives, with 82 percent focusing on data-driven demand forecasting and 61 percent citing improved master data management as a top supply chain priority.

Symphony RetailAI asked retail executives to evaluate their supply chain performance over the past two years and indicate areas of the supply chain where they intend to focus improvement efforts. Respondents also had the opportunity to describe their organization’s use of artificial intelligence and machine learning and identify perceived barriers to the adoption of these technologies.

Retailers can no longer cope effectively using historical supply-chain capabilities

Symphony RetailAI’s survey found that 87 percent of retail executives think their company’s supply-chain performance either lags the competition (22 percent) or is only on par (65 percent). Only 13 percent of retail executives think they outperform their peers, further highlighting the untapped opportunities for AI.

New economic factors and other global obstacles also underscore the importance of AI, as current top-of-mind supply chain issues include many that can only be meaningfully mitigated with the application of data science. The survey found that nearly nine out of 10 retailers state that they have an opportunity to improve in demand forecasting and the same percentage want to do better contingency supply source planning.

Retailers understand AI’s potential for supply chain but need clear path to move forward

Eighty-seven percent of retail executives surveyed by Incisiv say they have not yet taken meaningful steps to embrace AI. Only 6 percent of respondents were self-described adopters of AI, while another 8 percent have dabbled or enjoyed early success with piloted technology.

Many of those who haven’t made progress with AI are uncertain about how to move forward successfully – in fact, 39 percent indicated they are unsure how to apply AI to real-world scenarios.

Symphony RetailAI and Incisiv also found that 92 percent of retailers feel that their inability to integrate data from multiple sources prevent them from pursuing AI solutions. Other roadblocks include poor data quality at 79 percent and 31 percent said they lack confidence in AI to make good recommendations.

Even with these perceived roadblocks, retail executives are aware of the risks. The survey found that 22 percent of respondents are concerned about falling behind to the competition due to a lack of an AI-based strategy.

“As new threats loom and other economic factors create supply chain unpredictability, these results highlight the need to future-proof grocery supply chains to handle unexpected disruptions,” said Troy Prothero, SVP product management and supply chain solutions for Symphony RetailAI.

“The importance of using data, including AI-driven demand forecasting, to gain a competitive supply chain advantage isn’t going away, so organizations that prioritize new ways of using data for decision-making will be better positioned to succeed.”

For more information, visit symphonyretailai.com.

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