AI Summit: Improving sustainability and profitability in retail through AI

Doing well while doing good, with Dr Michael Feindt from Blue Yonder

23 october 2019

Artificial intelligence is one of those rare technologies that can help organizations boost their environmental credentials, while also improving the bottom line.

A good example of an industry where AI is creating positive change is retail.

“Food waste is a really big problem nowadays, and it is actually one of the sustainability goals of the United Nations, to halve food waste in the next five years,” Dr Michael Feindt, founder and chief scientific advisor at Blue Yonder, told AI Business.

Feindt gave a presentation on the topic at the AI Summit in San Francisco, in which he outlined how AI algorithms can be designed to help decrease food waste, helping improve both sustainability and profitability. Blue Yonder and its parent company JDA are working with 75 of the top 100 retailers, and all six of the largest grocery wholesalers.

“How can we design algorithms that are both profitable and sustainable? To really have functions that are optimized to minimize food waste, but at the same time, keep the eservice level not too low, so the customers are not dissatisfied by empty shelves all the time?” Feindt asked.

“For that, of course, it’s obvious that you need good predictions – as good as possible.”

“You can reach both goals simultaneously only if you optimize it for every single item, in every single store, every day,” he added. “That is what modern AI can do.”

JDA won the Best Application of AI in the Enterprise award at the AIconics San Francisco – the event celebrating the outstanding achievements of individuals, projects, teams and organizations that are responsible for harnessing breakthrough innovations in AI.