On 17 March 2020, a large fashion retailer was forced to shutter more than 1,000 retail stores after COVID-19 hit the US.
With the company’s fulfillment centers (FCs) already stocked with store inventory which could no longer be distributed, new seasonal lines still arriving from overseas and facilities needing to be closed for deep cleaning due to cases of coronavirus amongst its workforce, the retailer urgently needed a strategy for how best to store, sell or otherwise disposition inventory, to drive the highest online sales and ensure consistent fulfillment.
LLamasoft rapidly developed and deployed an application solution, codifying 15-20 rules to determine which inventory was non-productive across 100,000 SKUs and using advanced AI algorithms to provide recommendations to business users on how best to move this inventory – whether that be running promotions to drive online demand, using offsite storage or selling the stock to third-party liquidators.
In addition, LLamasoft worked with the company to help them create a more agile capacity planning process in the face of dynamic fulfillment center closures due to COVID 19 employee cases, for example, to determine which back-up facilities to use, where to re-route returns, etc.
In under four weeks, using the suite of solutions provided by LLamasoft, the retailer was able to test different ideas and make smarter decisions about how best to move inventory out of the FCs. They use these insights to inform the marketing team on promotional decisions – effectively determining which products to put on clearance, which products to discount, and which products to sell at full price.
With many other retailers shutting down operations altogether as a result of COVID-19, the company is able to continue trading online and, while the situation continues to evolve daily, is currently navigating successfully through continued disruptions, outmaneuvering other competitors with their ability to rapidly sense and respond to a new operational baseline.
To connect with us about any of LLamasoft’s COVID-19 Response Center Solutions, click here.