Alloy.ai's software also helps Ember drive inventory efficiency, scale its access to retail point-of-sale data, and align internal functions around a single source of truth for sales, inventory and demand planning.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / November 16, 2023 / Alloy.ai, an AI-powered software platform that helps consumer brands increase revenue by letting them rapidly sense and adjust to changes in consumer demand and supply chain disruptions, announced today that Ember, a global temperature control brand and technology platform, is using Alloy.ai to get real-time visibility into consumer demand for better planning and retail execution. Ember, a leading design and technology company that previously pioneered the world's first temperature control mug, has found that since adopting Alloy.ai, forecast accuracy has improved by 35% year-over-year - driving a substantial increase in value through inventory efficiency.
'Previous to Alloy.ai, forecasting was a bad pain point for us. Last year, our best accuracy month was 60% attainment of our forecast,' said Zachary Horton, director of logistics, supply and demand planning at Ember. 'This year, with Alloy.ai fully implemented, we're tracking 95% based on the point of sale.'
Since the adoption of Alloy.ai, the company now bases their demand planning on actual consumer demand data, mitigating the risk of out-of-stocks or excess inventory. As a result of this 35% improvement in forecast accuracy, Ember reports a significant return on investment - a 67X multiplier on the cost of Alloy.ai software. These savings take the form of:
- Inventory efficiency: Prior to Alloy.ai, Ember set sales targets 'top down' - a common practice in which the planning, manufacturing and sales team are given a target to sell-in to retail. Alloy.ai allowed the company to plan based on actual consumer demand, allowing them to be more efficient and accurate with inventory and manufacturing decisions. This is helping the company avoid excess inventory and the associated storage costs.
- Operational efficiency gains: By automating the aggregation and cleaning of data from retail partners such as Best Buy, Costco, Amazon and Target, Ember estimates they are realizing six figures worth of time savings - allowing their teams to focus on more strategic tasks like managing partner relationships instead of wrangling data.
- Incremental sales: Ember drove incremental revenue using Alloy.ai by identifying additional sales opportunities where consumer demand was spiking.
'Our mindset shifted from ‘what are we delivering to Target?' to ‘what is Target selling, and what are consumers buying?'' said Horton. 'Now our sell-in is actually supporting that consumer demand, and we're much more confident in our forecast because of the data that's backing it up.'
Ember's sales team uses Alloy.ai to understand trends in point-of-sale data and to influence and interact with retail partners and internal stakeholders. By sharing data in Alloy.ai with retail buyers, Ember's sales team is able to ensure retailers replenish the correct amount of product. The single source of truth that Alloy.ai provides is also key in communicating across Ember's sales, finance, operations, and executive levels what is happening outside of its doors.
'There is nothing more important than understanding consumer spending habits. It's one of the fundamentals of planning - if you get that wrong, then all of the plans and activities you build on top of it will be wrong too,' Horton added. 'Alloy.ai is letting us tap into that view of consumer demand in a way that is automated and easy to understand. Now that we know what consumers are buying, we can see trends. And now we can be much more accurate in what we manufacture in order to meet that demand and drive the business forward.'
The Alloy.ai platform is also a huge efficiency driver for Ember. Employees used to spend a great deal of time translating reports from Ember's multiple retail partners into a singular format.
Ember's mission is to harness the power of temperature control to transform how the world eats, drinks and lives. Though known for their best-selling travel mug, Ember has expanded their product line in recent years to include a self-warming baby bottle, the Ember Tumbler, and recently the Ember Cube - the world's first self-refrigerated, cloud-based shipping box for medical and life-sciences companies.
Ember is analyzing data from approximately 20 retail partners in the Alloy.ai platform today, including Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Bloomingdale's, Costco, Target, Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma. But as Ember expands, it is working with Alloy.ai to scale its retail data feeds to include 30-40 retail partners.
'Brands and retailers today exist in a rapidly changing environment. They can no longer rely on what has happened in the last couple of years,' said Joel Beal, CEO and co-founder of Alloy.ai. 'Alloy.ai enables revolutionary brands such as Ember to use a modern, data-driven approach to get visibility into current inventory in their retail channels, create accurate demand plans, and understand what they should be selling in each retail channel and location at any time.'
Alloy.ai is purpose-built to help consumer goods brands sell more products, save time and solve complex supply chain challenges. With daily SKU store-level insights in Alloy.ai, brands can quickly sense problems, predict issues their competitors won't see coming and respond in seconds instead of days. Alloy.ai is built on a cloud data platform powered by 850+ pre-built connectors that integrate point-of-sale and inventory data with supply chain data - giving brands complete and instant visibility into demand and inventory across their network. Alloy.ai is trusted by companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to digital natives, including, Crayola, Bic, Valvoline, Bosch and Melissa & Doug. Customers routinely achieve a 35%+ reduction in out-of-stocks, a 5%+ bottom line impact and millions of dollars in incremental orders with their retail partners. To learn more, please visit www.alloy.ai.
Vice President of Marketing, Alloy.ai
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