Tractor Supply, Allbirds, and TUMI Upgrade Tech Capabilities: Forecasting and Replenishment, Demand Planning, and Clienteling

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

Retailers continue to invest in retail technology to modernize their enterprises as they look to gain real-time visibility, streamline operations, and enhance the consumer experience. 

The following are the latest examples from Tractor Supply, Allbirds, and TUMI.

Tractor Supply’s Supply Chain Growth Strategy

Tractor Supply Company has selected RELEX Solutions to implement a supply chain forecasting and replenishment solution for the rural lifestyle retailer.

Through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), the platform provides Tractor Supply with greater real-time visibility into its supply chain, enabling the company to better anticipate the needs of its 2,100-plus stores and nine distribution centers, and provide forecasts to vendor partners. 

The retail technology automates Tractor Supply’s forecasting, replenishment, and allocations, improving inventory productivity while increasing product availability to ensure customer needs are met. 

“RELEX allows us to scale our supply chain to support growth with same store sales, new stores and e-commerce,” said Clay Jackson, VP of Inventory and Planning at Tractor Supply Company in a statement. “By centralizing and automating our demand planning, RELEX has added a new level of optimization to our supply chain, allowing us to continue to deliver legendary service to our customers and provide all the products they need to live Life Out Here.” 

Allbirds to Transform Its Inventory and Demand Planning

Footwear startup Allbirds, launched in 2016 and an RIS  Hot Retail Startup in 2018, has led the path for approaching sustainability from all aspects of its business – from open-sourcing its footprint calculator to creating the world’s first carbon-zero shoes. To keep up with ever-evolving consumer behaviors and to scale effectively in today’s rapidly shifting market, Allbirds has selected Anaplan, with implementation services from Columbus Consulting, to streamline its supply chain operations – including demand planning and forecasting, inventory planning, and merchandise and materials management. 

Anaplan’s planning platform will arm Allbirds with real-time visibility and flexibility up and down its supply chain, ensuring the footwear brand can pivot quickly in response to unplanned changes – from consumer demand to inflation. Leveraging supply chain planning technology will also allow Allbirds to better optimize its inventory and spend management processes – such as managing allocations and replenishment across its distribution centers and stores – to save the business time in its planning cycles, reduce excess or unnecessary costs, and increase forecast accuracy.

Prior to the partnership, Allbirds managed its demand and inventory planning in static spreadsheets, which stifled quick collaboration and created more risk among the many moving pieces of the business. With a desire to react to consumer behavior at a faster pace across various global markets, the company identified clear priorities to drive more collaboration, reduce inventory carrying costs, and increase profitability – re-imagining operational processes was high on the list. Allbirds enlisted the help of Columbus Consulting for their functional and technical expertise in this space to spearhead the project and ensure a smooth transition.

“Like the entire retail industry, Allbirds has been impacted by recent economic changes that have challenged us to rethink how we can operate faster and with greater effectiveness,” said Joe Vernachio, COO at Allbirds. “When we learned how similar retailers have leveraged Anaplan successfully to transform financial planning and analysis, it not only gave us confidence in the team, it allowed us insight into the potential value Anaplan could have in our own business, from optimizing key processes to helping us unlock more market opportunity.”

The technology will help Allbirds have a single source of truth for all relevant supply chain data – from historical trends to real-time market signals. Instead of spending days parsing through multiple spreadsheets, supply chain planners will be able to act decisively to ensure the right products are in the right place, at the right time and price.

TUMI Ups Its Clienteling 

International travel and lifestyle brand TUMI, is tapping Tulip to assist in modernizing the retailer’s customer experience through Tulip's cloud-based Clienteling and Appointment solutions.

TUMI aims to enhance its customer experience by personalizing interactions, anticipating customer needs, and delivering first-class service. By harnessing Tulip's Clienteling capabilities, TUMI associates will be better equipped to build strong, lasting relationships with their customers through personalized recommendations, proactive follow ups after purchases, and omnichannel assistance for potential repairs or additions to their collections. 

The initial deployment of Tulip's solutions will kick off in 200 stores across North America.

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