Customer Experience

What if you could keep track of customer preferences at the city and neighborhood level or better yet predict them?

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When the Brewers are playing in Milwaukee, beer starts flying off the shelves. When the Doo-Dah parade marches in Columbus, Ohio, water pistols suddenly surge. And when the Blue Angels fly over Seattle, sales of sunglasses soar.

Each of these local events has a profound impact on the behaviors of the people who live there. And those behaviors can mean the difference between profit and loss for the retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers who serve them. Having the right product available at the right time is always the primary goal, as meeting demand in key markets is imperative to the success of both suppliers and sellers. But how does any organization keep track of city and neighborhood level data, and ensure that local stores are appropriately stocked to meet that local demand?

While every manufacturer and retailer understands the tremendous importance of local phenomenons such as local events, demographics and weather, they haven’t had the tools to respond quickly and easily to specific situations. All too often, inventory levels couldn’t be adjusted and sales opportunities were lost. Now there’s a way to stay abreast of hyper-local insights and then respond with immediacy and confidence — by integrating insight into action.

Working closely with the SAP Industry Business unit, we have combined our collective strengths to develop the solution. IBM Metro Pulse, a revolutionary application that harnesses the cognitive strength of Watson™, has been combined with the power of SAP S/4HANA. The result provides time-sensitive, hyper-local insight that not only presents information, but also suggests the most effective business response. At the touch of a button, inventories may be shifted, prices reduced, or successful sales experiences duplicated … reliably calculated using sophisticated algorithms, yet simply presented for timely action.

The good news is this solution is not just for retailers and CPG companies. As industries converge and business models shift, I see other companies, such as oil and gas, become more focused on moving into retail operations. This solution will be a perfect fit for them.

I’m excited about this joint solution to help our clients move the needle on their biggest challenges around on-shelf availability and forecast accuracy. This is one of many solutions created by our SAP and IBM Digital Transformation Partnership, and I look forward to telling you about the other exciting ones we’re working on to help drive our clients’ digital transformation journeys.

Let us show you how the IBM and SAP Metro Pulse solution can be integrated into your SAP S/4HANA installation, and help you transform intelligent insights into profitable actions. Please visit, our joint web site, or contact an IBM expert to learn more.

Managing Partner, Next Gen Enterprise Cloud Applications, IBM Global Business Services

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