Keeping it Fresh: How JDA is Driving Improved Grocery Planning

OK, you take the sticky rice, flatten it out over the makisu (mat constructed of thin bamboo strips woven together with string used for rolling sushi), add in some avocado, hot house cucumber, wasabi, sushi grade tuna and then roll the makisu tight. Wait, how fresh is this tuna?  Full display case, no waste, no lost sales?  How much do I need?  Is it really waste if I keep it for a week to give to my neighbor (the one who loves to cut his lawn at 6:00 am each Saturday)?  I could tell captain green thumb the extra green is just wasabi and is common with high end “vintage sushi.”  This problem is making my head hurt, that and getting up at 6:00 am every Saturday for the past three years. I’m so jealous of the paper products department right now. 

Not every product is as dangerous to your health as “vintage sushi,” but all perishable products share one trait. That trait is eroding your bottom line once the product becomes obsolete, expired, unusable, dated…whichever term you want to use.  Creating prepared foods at a single store in a single department is a very focused problem.  Multiplying this across many different products, many different locations, with all the complexities that come with the supply chain, is a reality that companies deal with every minute of every day.  How much do I need, how much can I sell, how much risk am I willing to take to balance sales with inventory for product that has a finite window of opportunity whether it is months, weeks, days or even hours?

JDA has been delivering planning solutions for perishable goods for decades.  We continue to refine our capabilities and add innovation based on our work with leading companies in multiple industries.  The latest release of JDA Fulfillment continues this approach. Just as we have added enhancements for planning durables and longer shelf life items such as cereal, soup and pharmaceuticals, we have now added capabilities to better plan items that may only have a single day of freshness, such as sandwiches, hot meals, doughnuts, prepared coffee, and of course, one of my favorites and the top of the list in terms of something I don’t want any other perishable planning system helping me manage – SUSHI! Sorry, FRESH SUSHI!!  If you want the vintage varieties, you can shop elsewhere.

It’s within this daily planning environment where JDA has placed special emphasis for enhancement, with the ability to plan and deploy product to cover discrete increments of demand in order to maximize product freshness.  We’ve improved how we handle date-sensitive products, not just at the store and shelf level, but also at the warehouse, with improved algorithms that handle multiple shelf-life dates to minimize waste.

Let’s face it, consumers are demanding more choices and that is especially true in the fresh and extremely short shelf-life sections of their local market.  This creates further complexity and highlights the need to be more efficient in managing these areas. We look forward to working with you to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations for freshness.

Hopefully my brief comments have helped you gain a perspective on how JDA can enable you to improve the management of perishables. If nothing else, you have a sushi recipe with which to impress your neighbors at the next dinner party. Except for my neighbor lawn boy, he is still recovering from Friday’s gift of last week’s sushi.  But, I slept like a baby until noon on Saturday.

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