Can Something Called MEIO Save Thanksgiving In The Future?
*** Editor’s Note: This will be my last blog post before Thanksgiving, so of course I feel the need to nerd out on turkey. ***
Brace yourselves . . . future Thanksgivings may be in trouble because of cheap turkey. For some background, 90% of the turkeys sold in the US for Thanksgiving are frozen. Now consider the fact that frozen turkey actually costs more to produce/store/ship than it sells for in a grocery store. Yes, that 99 cent/lbs turkey special is a loss leader for your supermarket – they’re getting you in the door with a low bird price on the hopes you’ll gobble up (sorry!) all those other items to serve with dinner, which is how they’ll make some money. But what if we could use digital supply chain management to lower the cost of bringing turkey to market and “save” Thanksgiving?
That’s the concept behind MEIO, which stand for multi-echelon inventory optimization. In its simplest form MEIO’s AI could predict how much turkey the distribution system needs in each store on specific dates, and then use a series of smaller warehouses to keep the product closer to the point of sale. In theory this will reduce transportation costs and also eliminates over-supply in larger centralized warehouses.
Bottom line . . . maybe someday MEIO will help retailers turn a profit on turkey sales and rescue Thanksgiving for generations to come. I guess that would be one more thing to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!