Conversations, explorations, private exchanges. 2019 -- Bring it on! | Is your data an enterprise asset? | Are You Ready for Showtime in the New Omnichannel World? How to Adopt an Integrated Forecasting Model
December 26, 2018
FMI Tech
Talking tech
Conversations, explorations, private exchanges.
2019 -- Bring it on!
Conversations, explorations, private exchanges. 2019 -- Bring it on!

We all know in the food retail business that heading into the new year means taking a breather from the food-centric holidays. We continue to see unprecedented change in the technology sector. New, disruptive competitors and increased expectations from consumers are challenging tried and true industry practices and our customary way of operating. But we have choices.

I am excited for 2019 as we have plans to help the retail community explore the implementation of technology in business operations. The possibilities that artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital, mobile and other technologies bring are tremendous.

We've launched FMItech, a new feature at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference that places the spotlight squarely on technology. We'll delve deep into proven and emerging trends and their applications for your businesses. Through FMItech, we've added Tech Talks, Tech Exchanges and tech-focused sessions to the Midwinter program to generate game-changing discussion and prepare you for what's next.

As part of the Tech Exchange, registered Midwinter attendees will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with new and current technology partners. These exchanges, held on Friday and Sunday, are designed to give personalized time to strategize among senior leadership. The one-on-one, 25-minute Tech Exchanges are complimentary for registered retailer and wholesaler attendees to schedule. Let us know if your company wants to join in. Tech Talks, on the other hand, are open-invitation, informal fireside chats. Technology suppliers will share non-commercial ideas in seven-minute intervals, focusing on highest priority areas.

Like it or not, automation will be the game changer that enables early adopters to gain competitive advantage through pricing and promotions. There are opportunities for retailers of all sizes to automate these elements, and the Tech Talks are a great opportunity for us to explore the ideas and possibilities.

Along with the rapid-fire Tech Talks, the tech-focused education sessions we have planned are: Mastering the Foundations of Digital Success: Digital Imperatives Part 1; Investing in Technology and Data Analytics that Make it Possible: Digital Imperatives Part 2; Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning in Grocery; The Future of Work and a session on the Skills Economy. See the full agenda.

2019 will be chock full of conversations, explorations and private exchanges. I hope you will join in.

Happy New Year!
Tech insights
Is your data an enterprise asset?
Is your data an enterprise asset?
Data has been at the center of many discussions and presentations for years. For many retailers and brands, data is not the strategy, but the intel that informs or supports a broader product or consumer engagement strategy. So, if asked, is your data strategy ready for 2025, when more than 70% of consumers will be shopping online? You very well will get answers from, "Of course," to "Why a data strategy?" During a session at the recent Groceryshop conference titled "How to Treat Your Data as an Enterprise Asset," Michael Bennett, director of product leadership at Nielsen, noted, "The industry as a whole said they're not digitally ready to connect with the consumer.'" Read more.
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Are You Ready for Showtime in the New Omnichannel World? How to Adopt an Integrated Forecasting Model
Delivering the right product to the right consumer at the right time and at the right price requires a balance between demand planning, response to both internal and external factors, and, ultimately, execution. Do your organization's forecasting capabilities enable you to collaboratively forecast demand and replenishment with your retailer/supplier partners? We will demonstrate how to enhance inventory management to increase sales and how to adopt a united in-store and online forecasting model. Content organized by RSi. Watch the session.
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The future of AI in food retail
The future of AI in food retail
A lot of futuristic movies and TV shows portray a society where robots or artificial intelligence take on a lot of the more mundane tasks in society. In "Star Trek" you can order a meal from a wall panel; in "The Jetsons" the dog, Astro, is walked by a treadmill; and in "Star Wars" those little toaster-oven-looking robots scurry around the hallways doing something -- maybe vacuuming? Yes, our futures will likely involve more AI, but what does that really look like and how will the food retail industry incorporate it? For answers, I spoke with David Moran, co-founder and chairman of Eversight, which focuses on AI and experimentation to power pricing and promotions for brands and retailers.

Moran will be speaking at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference in a session titled Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning in Grocery: Beginning the Journey to Digital Transformation, which is part of the new FMItech@Midwinter program.
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Reliable resources
Grocery store digital communications: The rise of email and the fall of Snapchat
Grocery store digital communications: The rise of email and the fall of Snapchat
According to the recent FMI Speaks survey, email is the wave of the future for grocery store customer outreach. Some 92% of respondents report using email to communicate with shoppers, and when they share their plans to invest more in the future, email ranks number one with 63% planning to allocate more resources in the next two years. For comparison, 96% of respondents are invested in Facebook currently, but only 60% plan to allocate additional resources to this communication vehicle in the next two years. Read more on these insights.
Digital shopper operational imperatives
Digital shopper operational imperatives
According to research by Nielsen and FMI, many food manufacturers and retailers are admittedly not prepared to meet the needs of digitally engaged food shoppers. We've found that the classic transformation categories -- people, process and technology -- provide a roadmap for successful digital transformation. Within these areas, there are six distinct imperatives that trade partners must overcome if they want to succeed in omnichannel. These educational sessions dive into the six digital shopper imperatives. Dive in.
Delving deeper
Get ready: Here comes digital transformation
Among the six digital imperatives for a successful omnichannel strategy established by FMI and Nielsen is one that involves completeness and consistency across in-store and digital shelves, cutting costs and creating a clear assortment inventory that keeps shoppers coming back. This is particularly relevant given that grocery retail spending on technology could vastly increase shoppers' online grocery habits. Read more.
Check it out: FMI 2018 year in review
There is industry consensus that the past decade has been fraught with the challenge of unparalleled change. The trials have come from the outside, the inside and the wayside, taking on the diverse forms of an ever-expanding field of competitors, the trials of consolidation, and the new tech-informed approaches to retail that challenge the way we've always done it. FMI's research points to the fact that food retail is relearning the offense-defense balance, recalibrating its strategy and successfully adjusting to the new normal of a faster pace, constant change and the need to try new things, fail fast and adapt. To recap the year, FMI is posting blogs offering learnings from 20 different operational perspectives. Think of them as 20 ways we've learned we must play creative offense and solid defense on your behalf. Take a look at the FMI 2018 Year in Review.
Emerge smarter: What are upcoming changes with selling on Amazon?
Join in on a call Jan. 8 as Betsy McGinn provides a 10-minute overview of recent and upcoming changes in e-commerce, and specifically at Amazon, in an open forum with Julie Pryor, director of FMI Emerge. E-commerce represents one of the best opportunities for emerging brands to forge their path to market. Ask questions and share your brand's e-commerce experiences. Participation in the call is free. Register now.
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Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry, which employs nearly 5 million workers and represents a combined annual sales volume of almost $800 billion. FMI has almost 1,000 food retail, wholesale member companies, 85 international member companies and almost 500 associate member companies. For more information, visit
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