CONA optimizes SKU portfolios by equipping sellers with ML
CONA (Coke One North America) is a bottler that provides restaurants, movie theaters, convenience stores, grocery stores, and other customers with Coca-Cola products. The company was looking for a way to optimize its product assortment to drive value for their customers across markets and locations.
This proved to be tricky, as the company had infrequent SKU changes, so they could not take advantage of the opportunities or trends in demand as quickly as competitors. With a large market spanning across North America, CONA had often provided the same product assortments for their sellers per region. This process couldn’t account for the granular differences of consumer preference, market conditions, or identify factors behind sales performance.
CONA needed a solution that could empower field sellers on the ground and provide unique product assortments for each of their locations in a scalable way.
In order to get the most out of their data, CONA partnered with Neal Analytics to create:
- A cloud-based analytics platform
- AI-optimized product portfolios and recommendations
- BI dashboards, including on-the-go mobile reports for field sellers
Neal Analytics used SKU Assortment Optimization to segment and analyze CONA customers to identify the factors driving product performance, including local customer preferences. By comparing product assortments across locations, CONA could use their data to pinpoint top and bottom SKU performers, cannibal products, and undersold products that had the potential for high market penetration.
The solution leveraged machine learning to create and scale personalized product recommendations for each location based on SKU data, customer preferences, and external factors such as holidays or weather. Power BI dashboards visualized the data for analysts and managers, enabling them to gain actionable insights for inventory changes.
In addition to the desktop dashboards, Neal Analytics created mobile reports for field sellers. These Power BI dashboards were filtered for individual sellers, offering unique product recommendations and information based on their location and customers. With this information at hand, field sellers were able to make smarter and more dynamic decisions on inventory to seize the opportunity and drive value for customers.
CONA empowered field sellers with data insights by leveraging a cloud-based platform and user-friendly, mobile dashboards. With access to on-the-go analytics and personalized product recommendations, the sellers could make SKU decisions and receive unique product recommendations based on their location and customer preferences.
“Our SKU Optimization tool has given us better visibility into our market availability opportunities, but even more importantly, we have been able to present the information in easily accessible mobile applications that give our field sales representatives the information they need on why the products are important for our retailers. For us, enabling the dialog at the outlet level is business-critical.”
–Beeland Nielsen, Director of Commercial Leadership, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United