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Accelerating SAP CPG enterprises with Google Cloud Cortex Framework

In a rapidly changing Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry, business agility and digital innovation are essential to achieve business outcomes. Cost pressures, rising demand, and new consumer expectations have led to whiplash for CPG companies who need to accelerate digital transformation to remain competitive. Google Cloud has a tradition of delivering solutions specifically designed to help CPGs deliver on these imperatives. 

With all of these industry inflection points, CPG companies face an additional challenge:  making sense of huge volumes of data, typically siloed within multiple disparate sources inside and outside the organization. They need to tie this data together and enrich it with outside signals to improve insights and forecasts that help them meet market demands and disruptions more efficiently. 

To address these challenges and opportunities, CPG enterprises can leverage Google Cloud Cortex Framework which provides reference architectures, packaged solution content, and deployment accelerators to help organizations kickstart insights and reduce the time to value with Google’s Data Cloud. CPG solutions built on top of Cortex Data Foundation combine SAP data and other key data sets such as trends, weather, and more, to solve common challenges across the supply chain. Today, we are announcing new, predefined analytics content and extending our partner solution offerings for CPG organizations that build on our recent content releases

Demand Sensing – Gain a clearer picture of demand

CPG organizations rely on historical sales and other data to predict demand – weeks, months, and even years into the future. A key challenge, however, is detecting and responding quickly to unexpected changes and shifts in the market during production and delivery schedules. An accurate demand plan is essential for reducing business costs and maximizing profitability, but what happens if weather suddenly changes, consumer trends vary, or marketing efforts create demand spikes or dips? Current models do not reflect these new signals, even as they materially impact the demand plan. Identifying near term changes in demand is mission critical to better match demand with supply. Unlocking greater business opportunities starts by combining data and understanding diverse signals beyond historical sales.

Google Cloud Cortex Demand Sensing helps CPG companies better understand and shape demand by consolidating data from SAP ERP, Google, and third parties to enable demand planners to make proactive business decisions based on the latest market signals. With Cortex Demand Sensing, businesses can get started quickly with a modern cloud-based solution that includes the best of Google’s data cloud services like BigQuery, Vertex AI, and visualization capabilities with Looker. Our new solution accelerator content helps CPGs detect who the customer is, what product attributes are driving sales, and what factors may impact demand. The solution includes sample data, predefined analytics and machine learning models and Looker dashboarding templates to help deliver insights and highlight impact alerts to demand planners faster. By bringing together SAP and non SAP data sets, the solution helps organizations to be more nimble, through a more holistic view across demand drivers.

By augmenting demand planning with additional demand signals and contextual data like weather anomalies, search trends and more, CPG companies can improve visibility into factors that influence forecasting and lower inventory holding costs, or drive greater sales thanks to improved near term demand alignment and management.

At Google Cloud we understand the challenges of forecasting demand in today’s landscape and are developing products and solutions that empower CPG companies around the world to quickly gain insights and improve accuracy. We have options for companies of all sizes, whether you have in-house talent that can build upon our existing architectures and accelerators or are interested in leveraging something more “out of the box” from our partner ecosystem. 

A growing partner ecosystem of solution offerings

One of the most exciting aspects of Google Cloud Cortex Framework is that it can also accelerate the onramp of data to advanced analytics and AI solutions to further accelerate business outcomes that directly deliver Top-Line and Bottom-line financial impact for customers. We are delighted to recognize several leading partners in this space including: 

C3 AI: A comprehensive suite of enterprise AI applications that works with Google Cloud’s leading AI tools, frameworks, industry solutions, and services. Example use cases include:

Inventory Optimization: applies advanced AI, machine learning, and optimization techniques to enable companies to minimize inventory levels of parts, raw materials, and finished goods while maintaining confidence that they will have sufficient inventory available to meet customer service level agreements.​Supply Network Risk: Identify and mitigate current and future disruptions across the whole supply chain including inbound supplier delays, order delivery delays, and manufacturing bottlenecks.AI Demand Forecasting: leverage advanced AI techniques to help generate and maintain the most accurate forecasts and demand plans to maximize sales while minimizing costs.

Palantir Foundry is a leading platform for data-driven operations and decision making. Example use cases include:

Assortment Recommendation Engine: Optimize product assortment planning level via a recommendation engine. Incorporate planogram performance and sales metrics to specify product placementsProduct Fulfillment Optimization: Create a single source of truth for y demand forecasting and logistics teams to collaborate to ensure products are manufactured and delivered to the right locations at the right time.Inventory Management & Out-of-Stock Prevention: Predict out-of-stock events and resolve through dynamic recommendations. Simulate supply chain trade-off decisions, and proactively reroute based on dynamic demand.360 Visibility into Key Assets: Virtualize your entire value network with 360 visibility into the most valuable assets in your business, including Customers, Stores, Products, and more.

What customers are saying

Already, CPG companies around the world have taken advantage of Google Cloud Cortex Framework powered solutions to accelerate time to insight and time to value with less risk, complexity, and cost. Here’s what they have to say:  

“Operating from Chile with exports of fish and shellfish to more than 50 countries across 5 continents worldwide, makes supply chain and sustainability insights critical to our company. We chose to implement Cortex Data Foundation to leverage our SAP data with other data sources in BigQuery for deeper visibility into our business. We migrated and upgraded our SAP ERP system to S/4HANA on Google Cloud in just 3 months and completed Cortex solution content installation and integration in parallel in just 2 weeks! We have been truly amazed by both the innovation and simplicity of the solution and were able to get started quickly. With new insights across our business, we can forecast faster and more accurately, which has unlocked innovation and agility not possible before.” — Pedro Aguirre, CIO, Camanchaca SA

Google Cloud Cortex Framework continues to grow in exciting new ways, and we look forward to announcing more of them soon. Right now, CPG companies can leverage Cortex content provided and our Partner ecosystem to power next-level intelligent operations with the flexibility and scalability of the cloud. Cortex lets organizations ingest high-volume data from multiple sources securely, quickly, and cost-efficiently. Combine SAP and external data into a single unified system where it is easily accessed to fuel smarter business intelligence. 

To learn more about Google Cloud Cortex Framework, visit our solution site and tune in to our Google Cloud Next ’22 session. Get hands on with our Cortex Data Foundation and Cortex Demand Sensing solutions today.

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