Focal Systems snaps photos of store shelves hourly to calculate what’s out of stock, eliminating the need to manually scan for out-of-stock items.
Four Wakefern stores in Hoboken, Morristown, Cherry Hill and Cinnaminson launched a pilot program with Focal in late 2017, and the system has since enabled the retailer to automatically identify shelf gaps through computer vision and artificial intelligence, according to a statement by Wakefern Chief Information Officer Cheryl Williams.
“Each detection is sent directly to Wakefern’s proprietary mobile application, which prioritizes out-of-stocks by department, aisle, and in-stock availability,” Williams said. “Our stores have seen time savings and operational improvements by incorporating the new information into their daily tasks. This early success has encouraged our members to opt into a 50-store pilot expansion this autumn.”
Stores are being onboarded into the pilot all over the map, according to a Focal spokesperson, including stores in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. The expansion is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
“Customer expectations are high and retailers want to deliver on those expectations,” said Francois Chaubard, CEO of Focal Systems. “The system delivers insight into what’s happening throughout the store and allows for better decision making by delivering alerts on out-of-stocks to store associates, merchandising teams and supply chain systems.”