Sir: Availability became a problem again because the systems used by most retailers are rubbish at understanding individual customers (‘How did availability become a problem again?’, 16 June). Top that off with the fact there’s little, if any, linking of knowledge about customers into stock control and promotions decisions, and it’s a wonder there’s ever a broccoli head to be found.
While insights from clever people poring over spreadsheets can guide offers and promotions, the data is too basic and there’s too much of it to deal with everything by hand yet using traditional EPoS data and rudimentary replenishment algorithms across all stores is begging for empty shelves.
The technology needs to evolve or we should return to basic cash tills and let humans make the decisions.
Jason Finch, director, Port80 Retail Technology