Australian AI startup HIVERY partners with JR East Water Business to optimize vending machines in Japan

Australian AI startup HIVERY partners with JR East Water Business to optimize vending machines in Japan

Published: 16-12-2020 15:52:24 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 5051 | Tags:

Retail AI pioneer, HIVERY  and JR East Water Business, a subsidiary of East Japan Railway Company, have agreed to rollout HIVERY Enhance, an AI-driven vending machine optimization solution, to 6,000 vending machines across East Japan Railway's train stations.

Validated results from numerous PoCs (proof of concepts) increased sales by 5.27% overall, up to a maximum of over 50%, as well as simultaneously reducing replenishment trips and improving operational productivity. 

HIVERY and JR East Water Business have been collaborating since 2017, leveraging HIVERY's latest AI technology to optimize product assortment and column space for individual vending machines in Japan. During the winter of 2019, the results of HIVERY Enhance showed an overall increase in sales volume by 5.27%, up to a maximum of over 50%. Furthermore, given labor storages due to a declining population, there has been growing pressure to improve operational productivity within the Japanese vending industry.

HIVERY Enhance enabled JR East Water Business to streamline operations and reduce replenishment trips by automatically recommending the optimal product assortment and quantity for their vending machines. Based on this success, JR East Water Business has agreed to rollout HIVERY Enhance across 6,000 vending machines on their train stations for East Japan Railway - a first in Japan.

Until now, product assortment selection had been decided by individual operators (drivers) who are responsible for replenishing the vending machines at their designated locations. Given those decisions have been based on the operator's accumulated experience and intuition over many years, it has been an ongoing challenge to transfer that knowledge to new operators and maintain a level of quality. HIVERY Enhance leverages the power of AI and JR East Water Business' point of sales (POS) data, to automatically determine which products need to be stocked in which vending machine, as well as the optimal timing to swap products for individual machines. This enables any operator to efficiently make the right product assortment choices that will lead to a profitable outcome.

By ingesting vast arrays of data and incorporating intricate operational rules as well as physical and business constraints into its algorithm, HIVERY Enhance can instantaneously provide executable recommendations for the optimal product assortment and column configurations for both an individual as well as a group of vending machines. Furthermore, by leveraging weather data, it can respond to changes in seasonal patterns and suggest the optimal time to insert hot and cold products, while taking into account the effects of cannibalization for the product mix at each location, thereby providing the optimal product assortment at any given time.