Using near real-time data from multiple sources, a new solution co-innovated by IBM and SAP is designed to help retailers address key challenges such as on-shelf product availability and demand forecasting accuracy.

The solution channels data sources such as IBM’s Metro Pulse through the SAP Cloud Platform to provide insights that retailers and CPG companies can act on almost immediately. IBM Metro Pulse provides hyperlocal data around weather, events, traffic and demographics. Trials of this cognitive technology across more than 100 stores in multiple U.S. markets improved forecasting accuracy of volatile, hard-to-forecast products by 75%.

“Through this exciting collaboration between SAP and IBM, retailers and consumer product companies today can respond with speed, precision and confidence to locally relevant events,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, Global General Manger, Consumer Industries at SAP in a statement.

This industry-focused solution is the first plan resulting from the two companies’ digital transformation partnership, which was announced in April 2016. It is one of several currently in development, expanding on the investment IBM has made in retail and CPG with SAP S/4HANA industry solutions.

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