Forrester recognizes Amazon Web Services Supply Chain for retail

by Diego Pantoja-Navajas | on

Amazon Web Services was recognized as a notable vendor among retail planning platforms that help improve customer service, increase inventory turnover, and safeguard margins in the recent Forrester report, The Retail Planning Platforms Landscape, Q3 2023. This report provides an overview of retail planning platform vendors that help retailers manage demand and inventory planning. Forrester defines retail planning platforms as applications and platforms that apply the best mix of data, analytics, machine learning, AI, and human intuition (e.g., a merchant’s read of the market) to anticipate customer demand and create compelling assortments and campaigns. They also connect to sourcing and logistics processes to continuously synchronize inventory availability by channel and location with demand. Retail platforms can enhance customer experience, optimize inventory stock levels, and improve profit margins. The report guides retail business leaders to understand the benefits of these platforms, identify vendor differences, and select platforms that align with their unique needs and market focus.

In this report, Forrester recognizes Amazon Web Services as one of six specialist vendors that generate domain-specific solutions/applications.

Amazon Web Services Supply Chain as a retail planning solution

I am excited about this acknowledgment as a solution for retail customers. Amazon Web Services Supply Chain was launched in April 2023 and addresses the requirements and objectives of modern retail planning platforms with the following features:

  • Data lake integration – Amazon Web Services Supply Chain uses a data lake to ingest data from multiple sources, providing a unified data model for better decision-making.
  • Real-Time visual map – This feature offers a real-time snapshot of inventory levels, potential risks, and overall health across all locations, enhancing situational awareness.
  • Actionable insights – ML-powered actionable insights for potential supply chain risks, such as overstock or stockouts, allow for proactive inventory management.
  • Rebalancing recommendations – The platform evaluates, ranks, and provides recommended actions for inventory rebalancing, factoring in elements like risk resolved, distance between facilities, and sustainability impact.
  • Demand planning automation – The platform employs ML to analyze historical and real-time data for creating accurate demand forecasts, enabling organizations to adjust their supply chain operations proactively.
  • Collaboration tools – Built-in contextual collaboration capabilities ensure smooth communication among teams, reducing errors and delays in decision-making.

These features collectively make Amazon Web Services Supply Chain a robust solution that aligns closely with the objectives and use cases of retail planning platforms, delivering both operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

A data-driven approach augmented with ML anticipates customer demand across various channels and synchronizes inventory availability efficiently. The real-time visual map and actionable insights make simultaneous planning of revenue, margin, and volume a more accurate and agile process. Finally, built-in collaboration tools and continual learning algorithms provide dynamic support for demand forecasting, inventory planning, and risk mitigation, which enhances customer experience. In an increasingly complex and competitive retail environment, the adoption of Amazon Web Services Supply Chain serves as a strategic decision for achieving long-term operational excellence and customer satisfaction.

The Forrester report offers insightful guidance on managing demand and inventory planning, taking advantage of analytics, and synchronizing demand and supply effectively. You can register to access the full Forrester report.

Visit Amazon Web Services Supply Chain to learn more and get started. You can also visit the Amazon Web Services Workshop Studio for a self-paced technical overview of creating an instance, ingesting data, navigating the user interface, creating insights, and generating demand plans.