Company: HIVERY
Name: Dirk Herdes
Current Position: Vice President Retail
Tenure With Current Company: 1 ½ years
Years of Industry Experience: 16+

What would you like our conference attendees to know about your brand/company?

Incorporating advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning into local merchandising planning and execution is not a futuristic concept – it is available now. The art and science of merchandising can be greatly enhanced by empowering your teams with AI as a tool to analyze data and tailor strategies to meet the specific needs of your customers and stores, ultimately leading to increased revenue and operational efficiency. You don’t have to wait to start implementing and learning from these innovative technologies – you can begin testing and learning today on a smaller scale and gradually expand as your organization builds its skills for the future.

What does Activating Insights for a Dynamic Future mean to your company?

Activating Insights involves integrating data and insights into the decision-making processes of retailers or suppliers to make smarter, faster decisions. This is especially important as consumer behavior and market disruptions continue to change and become more frequent. By leveraging data in decision-making, businesses can respond more quickly to changing needs and have more time and energy to focus on future planning. The automotive industry, like many others, is facing similar challenges and is using data and analytics to gain a competitive edge. Companies such as Mercedes Benz, Ford, and BMW are using new technologies and methods, such as computational chemistry simulation software, to improve the efficiency of electric vehicle batteries. We wrote a blog post about it, What Can We Learn About the Automotive Industry That We Should Apply to Retail and CPG Industries? This can be found here. Activating Insights for a Dynamic Future therefore means becoming antifragile and acting with greater precision and speed than competitors by using granular data (such as store-level data) in decision-making and allowing new technologies to augment, rather than replace, processes and capabilities. Activating Insights means putting your data to work to improve execution and uncover new ideas to grow your business.

What is the most impactful retail insight you have observed over the past year, and how have you helped suppliers and retailers activate against it?

The biggest insight from the past 18-24 months is the significant and rapid changes that retailers and suppliers have experienced. Including new consumer demands and challenges such as supply chain disruptions, inflation, changing consumer behavior, and the reemergence of physical stores as a key piece to deliver seamless customer experiences. These changes have put a lot of pressure on businesses and their teams. HIVERY is helping clients adapt to these changes and meet customer needs by using data to identify opportunities for growth and enabling teams to make faster, local-level decisions in response to their changing customer needs. We also are helping execute on those decision, in simple terms, help run rapid merchandise simulations and automated planogram generation. Strategy and execution in one.

What current retail and consumer trends do you feel people should be paying particular attention to right now?

The trend of providing personalized, connected consumer experiences is becoming increasingly important in the retail and CPG industries. Simply having a digital presence and using personalized digital ads is no longer enough; the experience must extend to the point of purchase. There is an opportunity for physical stores to play a larger role in creating these connected experiences, which requires localized planning and execution. It is important to recognize that local factors matter and that there is value in going local. Here is why: stores are uniquely impacted by what’s around it. So. what if you could serve up a unique menu of assortments while considering each store’s own space constraints and surroundings? We can help retailers and suppliers alike rapidly unlock those insights and activate on that strategy in stores. Here is video I think captures this well.

The traditional approach of relying on averages to achieve efficiency is no longer effective. Industry leaders will use new technologies to augment their processes and teams, enabling them to execute at scale with the speed and precision needed to deliver local-level experiences. We can expect to see retailers and their supplier partners continue make significant changes in how they leverage technology to enhance the customer experience in-store.

What kind of solutions will you be showcasing at the 2023 CMA|SIMA Conference?

At the event, we will be presenting HIVERY Curate, the only store-level assortment and space strategy simulation optimization solution available. HIVERY Curate is revolutionizing the way that consumer product manufacturers and retailers collaborate on assortment and space decisions by providing transparent and quantified simulations, powered by their store-level data.