How Quantiful’s AI transformed Farmers’ replenishment planning process

(Source: Farmers NZ)

Farmers is owned by the James Pascoe Group (JPL), a long-standing jewellery retailer across Australia and New Zealand. Successfully meeting New Zealand’s need for home and fashion merchandise since 1909, Farmers operates 60 brick-and-mortar locations across the country, as well as a busy online store. Loyal customers rely on Farmers’ one-stop shopping experiences for on-trend products. 

“Ultimately, serving our customers is our primary goal,” said David Lean, group head of IT for JPL. “We need to ensure we always have the right stock, the right sizes, and the right products for the customer to provide the best possible in-person shopping experience.”

Getting granular for increased insight

By partnering with Quantiful, Farmers supercharged its demand forecasting. “Because ERP systems use generic rules for every store, you don’t get a precise demand profile for any particular store and end up overstocking or understocking,” explained Jamie Cormack, CEO of Quantiful. “Our solution enables the highest possible percentage of SKUs to be systemically replenished based on actual SKU location demand.” 

Quantiful’s solution helps retailers reduce lost sales, increase stock turn, and eliminate human intervention. It is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

Every week: 30 million SKU locations and 102 million lines of data

Near-term forecasts are produced weekly for the replenishment planning and review cycle and, once validated, are transferred into Farmers’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The retailer now processes 1.4 million SKU requirements weekly with pinpoint accuracy for bespoke forecasting and replenishment at each location.

“Every night, Quantiful ingests more than 102 million lines of data from Farmers,” explained Cormack. “Data includes daily sales, stock on hand, and over 200 product attributes per line for use in our proprietary forecasting models.”

The highly accurate, AI-powered replenishment planning from Quantiful enables Farmers to run less than 5 per cent bias on forecasts and deliver stable demand profiles by SKU location.

Automated replenishment of 1.4 million SKU locations

Now that Farmers can accurately predict demand, the retailer can simply accept and replenish stock each week – automatically. “Quantiful AI further enhances the productivity of our demand planning team by automatically resetting products and forecasts for 1.4 million SKU locations – working towards 30 million SKU locations,” explains Lean.

AI reduces errors by 25 per cent and helps improve CX

Using Quantiful, Farmers was also able to reduce forecasting errors by more than 25 per cent. This allowed Farmers to lower inventory totals and save operational costs without compromising product availability.

“Data that comes from Farmers is very rich,” said Cormack. “One smaller, slow-moving store may require the full range of products to serve a wide demographic versus a large store that may just need a small number of products because it serves a narrower demographic. 

“We’re able to optimise our machine learning algorithms to treat stores with the precise degree of demand to determine the required portfolio.”

Beyond inventory availability, keeping store merchandise on-trend is a proven way for Farmers to enhance a customer’s shopping experience. AWS-powered AI also helps Farmers forecast emerging trends. Quantiful automatically selects predecessors that are most relevant to new products and provides an accurate future forecast. This takes out much of the time-consuming and often inaccurate guesswork associated with new product introductions.

Looking beyond replenishment planning

Quantiful’s AI goes beyond replenishment planning, playing a key role in helping retailers balance demand and supply in the market and assisting them with portfolio planning.

Unlike other AI-powered solutions in the market, Quantiful supports the ability to bring external data sets such as economic, market, social and search into its planning algorithms to improve the quality of forecasts at every stage in the horizon.

This capability is transformative in certain sectors where internal data sources don’t capture the complete picture of market demand, particularly those that change quickly and continuously, like fashion or electronics. Quantiful has access to a range of different data sources – for example, social and search platforms – that help bring the voice of the customer/market into its planning.

  • Visit to learn more about Quantful’s AI-powered demand planning solutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of Australasian retailers.