Powershelf® and Hitachi Consulting Introduce New IoT Smart Retail Shelves Powered by Microsoft Azure

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New Technology Will Increase On-Shelf Availability and Generate Shopper Insights

Powershelf smart IoT shelf developed with Hitachi Consulting and Microsoft for King's Hawaiian.

Powershelf smart shelf developed for King's Hawaiian.

By making more products available we are providing shoppers with a more positive shopping experience, while reducing the cost of restocking. This is a powerful first step into the future of retail.

Powershelf® and Hitachi Consulting are working with Microsoft to introduce smart shelves to US retail stores. The new Powershelf smart shelf units will be installed in 15 supermarkets of a leading Midwest supermarket chain. KING’S HAWAIIAN®, America’s leading provider of Hawaiian food, will be the first to use the new smart shelves to reduce out-of-stock incidents and ensure shoppers can find its products while shopping this holiday season. By dramatically reducing the amount of time KING’S HAWAIIAN shelves are empty, the company is making customers’ shopping experiences a little less frustrating and also limiting the revenue that can potentially be lost when shelves are empty.

The units consist of a series of shelves that hold and display products. Built-in Powershelf technology tracks product availability; when a shelf is empty, a restocking alert is automatically sent to store personnel. The solution utilizes Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Power BI to analyze when, where, and why products sell so fast, allowing retailers and consumer product companies to identify trends and avoid out of stocks before they ever happen.

John Linehan, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at KING’S HAWAIIAN, was impressed with early pilot results and believes the technology will lead to better customer satisfaction and improved sales performance. “Improving out of stocks is an important strategy for KING’S HAWAIIAN, and Powershelf will give us the data to manage this metric most effectively,” said Linehan. “We look forward to expanding this technology to as many of our retailers as soon as it is practical.”

KING’S HAWAIIAN and its respective retailers and distributors will be able to access data gathered by the units—including historical out-of-stock incidents and loss of potential sales—in real-time through the Internet of Things (IoT) with a customized digital dashboard co-developed by Microsoft and Hitachi Consulting.

“We have spent years working with our partners to develop this IoT solution that helps to solve out of stocks, and I am excited to see it introduced in time for this holiday shopping season,” said Larry McWilliams Co-CEO of Powershelf. “By making more products available we are providing shoppers with a more positive shopping experience, while reducing the cost of restocking. This is a powerful first step into the future of retail.”

Brendan O'Meara, Managing Director of Worldwide Retail at Microsoft, explained why the data gathered by these units is so valuable. “Our collaboration with Powershelf enables us to leverage the Microsoft Cloud to combine a retailer’s inventory data with the data Powershelf sensors gather from the store floor and visualize it using Power BI tools,” said O’Meara. “Decision makers can use their custom dashboard to see the state of their stores and supply chains in real-time and react much faster than in the past.”

About Powershelf
Powershelf is a leading provider of retail technology solutions. The patented technology—the Powershelf system—provides constant power and two-way communications to software-enabled applications and devices that deliver a variety of advertising, merchandising and pricing services to customers. Powershelf is designed to address the critical, ongoing challenges faced by retailers and CPG manufacturers around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.IOTsmartretail.com

About Hitachi Consulting Corporation
Hitachi Consulting is the global management consulting and IT services business of Hitachi Ltd., a global technology leader and a catalyst of sustainable societal change. In that same spirit – and building on its technology heritage – Hitachi Consulting is a catalyst for positive business change, propelling companies ahead by enabling superior operational performance. Working within their existing processes and focusing on targeted functional challenges, we help our clients respond to dynamic global change with insight and agility. Our unique approach delivers measurable, sustainable business results and a better consulting experience.

About KING'S HAWAIIAN
Founded more than 60 years ago in Hilo, Hawaii, by Robert R. Taira, KING'S HAWAIIAN is a family-owned business that for three generations has been dedicated to providing irresistible, original recipe Hawaiian foods made with Aloha Spirit. A priority for the company is sharing the Hawaiian Way – a uniquely Hawaiian approach to hospitality based on graciousness, generosity, and a commitment to making everyone feel a part of the KING'S HAWAIIAN 'ohana' (extended family). KING'S HAWAIIAN makes the #1 branded dinner roll in the United States, along with other great Hawaiian foods. The company operates baking facilities in Torrance, California and Oakwood, Georgia. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.KingsHawaiian.com, "Like" KING'S HAWAIIAN on Facebook and Follow KING'S HAWAIIAN on Twitter.

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Alisa Greenwood
Compass Marketing, Inc.
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