ToolsGroup and Evo: Bringing Prescriptive Analytics and Quantum Learning to Industry-Leading Retail Planning
Now that Evo is a ToolsGroup company, the big question is: “What innovation will Evo bring to the ToolsGroup offering?”
While the real answer is “Plenty!”, the immediate transformation will come from the EvoAI engine, which will soon be integrated across the entire JustEnough and SO99+ product suites.
What is EvoAI?
EvoAI is the dynamic demand discovery technology that powers all Evo products. It can ingest massive amounts of internal and external data and process it within the unique algorithmic engine to deliver easy-to-apply recommendations on how to optimize inventory levels, streamline supply chains, and maximize revenues.
How Does EvoAI work?
EvoAI is a flexible algorithmic engine that can be used to recommend the best course of action towards a particular business goal. The tools then adjust the output it provides to context. In other words, PriceAI and InventoryAI provide totally different recommendations for businesses, but the technological backbone is the same.
EvoAI was built on two guiding principles that distinguish it from other retail planning tools:
- Prescriptive analytics
- Quantum learning
Innovation Through Analytics
EvoAI is a prescriptive, not predictive tool. Retailers have long used business analytics to inform decision-making.
Until very recently, descriptive analytics, which is more commonly known as business intelligence, was all that managers had to improve performance. While these data insights are helpful, they are quite limited. Descriptive analytics can only leverage so much data and tell you so much.
Over the past decade, predictive analytics, which can provide a forecast of the impact of specific retail choices, have become much more widely used. (ToolsGroup was one of the first providers to integrate predictive analytics through machine learning into retail planning, innovating the retail market.)
Prescriptive analytics have now become possible using AI. Rather than trying to predict the future, they provide a responsive map to the most effective way to meet your business goals. Essentially, the machine tells you what to do, while you define where you want to go and the rules along the way. EvoAI has a fully prescriptive approach.
Why Is the Prescriptive Approach So Effective in Managing Today’s Supply Chain Complexity?
Supply chains have become more unpredictable than ever.
Margins are being squeezed on every side. Retailers that can’t quickly adjust to the unexpected don’t survive.
So how is that end-to-end responsiveness possible?
Only through a prescriptive approach. Managers drive strategy and autonomous prescriptive analytics can tell you in real time which inventory and pricing decisions will get you there.
Evo has successfully completed its growth journey within the I3P, the Innovative Business Incubator of the Politecnico di Torino, with such distinction that in 2021 they earned our Startup of the Year award.”
– Giuseppe Scellato, President of the I3P at the Politecnico di Torino
What Is Quantum Learning and What Makes It “Quantum?”
The other critical element of EvoAi is quantum learning.
The term “quantum learning” doesn’t necessarily require quantum computing (although future developments here will certainly accelerate learning even further!).
Instead, quantum learning refers to a quantum-level approach to developing artificial intelligence that can deliver incredible speed without sacrificing complexity.
The quantum approach allows companies to address multiple factors for keener insights during their planning and execution processes.
Quantum learning is defined by two primary characteristics:
- Infinite granularity: Quantum learning can drill down to a practically infinite level of detail. You can differentiate based on limitless combinations of product, price point, time, salesperson, channel, and just about any other attribute for fully customer-centric management.
- Universal application: Quantum learning allows you to flexibly integrate discoveries across traditional barriers in siloed models. This means you can deliver actionable insights from a single model to an infinite number of use cases and business contexts. No matter your customer, industry, or product, quantum learning empowers you to quickly achieve results.
Technologies that Complement Each Other
Evo and ToolsGroup share a common mission centered on providing AI-powered planning and execution solutions that leverage end-to-end supply chain data in real time for faster, more intelligent decisions.
Using cutting-edge AI to create supply chains that can sense, learn, and respond to changes within and beyond the four walls of an enterprise will automate the decision-making process and provide navigational guidance when operational performance deviates from plan.
EvoAI pricing optimization provided sustainable innovation, supporting our delivery of the outstanding guest experiences we aim for. Every retail manager would benefit from the next level of pricing insights only available from AI.”
– Larry Gilbert, CEO of Event Network
So what are the implications of combining these groundbreaking AI capabilities with ToolsGroup’s industry-leading solutions?
Well, it’s exciting news for customers!
ToolsGroup was a pioneer in machine learning and among the first to apply artificial intelligence to supply chain planning. Because of this extensive background, the company has mature AI models, extensively trained for supply chain use cases.
By bringing Evo into the ToolsGroup family, the company will immediately be able to provide machine learning-powered solutions for pricing and markdown optimization, enhancing its existing inventory optimization capabilities.
Plus, Evo will increase ToolsGroup’s capacity to build solutions that learn and respond to changes inside and outside the four walls of the enterprise and automate decision-making to optimize business outcomes.
Want to see Evo's real-world impact?
Discover how footwear retailer PittaRosso increased sell-through by 14.3% while achieving +€4.2 million margin growth.
The Autonomous Supply Chain: Making a Vision a Reality
This is a huge step towards decision-centric planning, a strategy in which companies navigate uncertainty, using real-time events to sense supply chain-wide changes and enhancing probabilistic “what if” scenarios with advanced learning capabilities.
With the advent and application of prescriptive analytics and an expanded data platform, ToolsGroup and Evo will be able to offer companies the future of supply chain management – the self-driving supply chain.
How Does Quantum Learning Integration Benefit Retail Planning?
Quantum learning is the key to autonomous decision-making in complex supply chain environments. And because its universality doesn’t require massive data ingestion or long integration, it can deliver a tremendous impact in a matter of hours, not months.
By integrating this AI technology with retail and supply chain planning solutions, ToolsGroup and Evo will further develop and deliver the technology that enables companies to:
- Improve profit margins
- Minimize lost sales
- Support sustainability through reduced waste
- Earn customer trust and loyalty
- Streamline operations and increase efficiency
ToolsGroup is excited to be at the vanguard of innovative supply chain and retail planning and execution. Stay tuned for even more exciting updates!
At ToolsGroup, we’ve been leaders in supply chain technology from Day One.
First in supply chain-focused machine learning.
First in probabilistic forecasting.
First in always-on inventory analytics.