M&S Food

M&S Food has partnered with software specialist Relex Solutions to modernise its supply chain by using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The retailer began deploying the AI tools across its 1,050 M&S Food stores and 13 distribution centres in the UK and Ireland in March, with the aim of improving forecasting, optimising fresh availability, smoothing delivery flow and cutting waste, Relex said in a press release.

The technology can automatically account for shelf space, promotions and adjustments based on weather forecasting, according to Relex.

“Relex’s ability to quickly deliver insight and accuracy across forecasting, ordering, and allocation within a single platform will significantly increase the efficiency of our day-to-day business operation,” said George Wright, commercial director at M&S Food.

“Relex is an important part of our vision of modernising the end-to-end supply chain. We very much look forward to achieving exceptional results as a result of this project.”

Relex CEO & co-founder Mikko Kärkkäinen said: “We have a strong cultural fit with M&S, and our track record in grocery and fresh is very well matched to M&S Food’s strategic objectives.

“Relex will rapidly help to improve efficiency throughout the end-to-end supply chain, and the end result will be improved product availability and reduced waste. This is the start of an exciting partnership that will enable M&S Food to run the most advanced fresh supply chain within the UK grocery market.”

Relex said it has 'deep experience' in the fresh food supply chain, and its ability to leverage AI and machine learning to automate processes and make informed, highly accurate supply chain decisions will have been an important factor in M&S Food's decision to appoint its technology.