Carhartt has been making rugged, durable work and weekend wear for more than 130 years. Its traditional model of selling through wholesalers has always been inherently challenging. A kind of turning point came a few years ago, when growth was ahead of Carhartt's expectations and it took them too long to serve their wholesale customers and that, of course, trickled down to their end customers. The experience exposed a replenishment problem and Carhartt was determined to solve it.
To respond to rapid sales growth, Carhartt is using IBM Watson AI technology to build algorithms that take into account a huge range of factors—from economic indicators to weather, even down to micro factors like changing retail store footprints—and automatically generate demand forecasts at the SKU level. The IBM Planning Analytics solution help them intelligently predict demand and automate replenishment, so that it can deliver the highest possible service level to its wholesale customers.