Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Inventory management system could reduce food waste in stores

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Inventory management system could reduce food waste in stores
Software company trials new inventory management software which has the capability to improve store ordering processes to reduce perishable food wastage.
In Development – Currently being trialled

Product Waste Reduction

Product Categories
Drinks, Food

Relevant Materials
Not Applicable

Relevant Packaging Formats
Not Applicable

Supply Chain Phase
Retailing, Supply Chain handling systems and store replenishment


A well known software company is developing improved inventory management software to improve the stock ordering and in-store management of products to improve sales and to reduce product wastage of perishable products.
The system can for the first time gather data from a number of retail systems, such as real time sales data, to produce very accurate sales forecasts. This enable the store management to take action to either order more stock or to better manage existing stocks by initiating mark downs on products which are selling slower than expected.  This will enable perishable items to be discounted to improve their sell through rates in order to avoid stock going out of code date in store.  Additional work is ongoing to enable the information to be shared with consumers via electronic shelf displays or by sending the data to mobile phone apps to alert consumers to discounted products.
SAP is currently developing the new software which is being trialled at the Future Retail Centre. This is a specialist facility at Regensdorf near to Zurich which is used to test new technologies and ways of working aimed at optimising retail practises and the consumer shopping experience.

The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

The greatest potential benefit of the new software is in optimising the stock ordering processes and in-store management of stock, especially perishable stocks, to ensure that stock is discounted and sold before it reaches its shelf life date and becomes waste.

Intellectual Property

The new software is being developed and tested by SAP.

Consultant View

The new inventory management software has great potential to prevent over ordering in stores and to identify and alert management to shelf life issues on perishable products. This has not been possible previously but other technological advances in identifying individual perishable products have facilitated the development of this solution. This solution could be combined with other innovations, such as the new GS1 Databar which will enable individual items to be identified in-store, to provide the management information necessary to make appropriate decisions to reduce in-store spoilage of perishable goods.
It is likely that other similar innovations will come to market in the near future as the issue of product wastage in store is of great concern to both consumers and retailers. Researchers who are interested in this technology should explore the REID database to identify  other relevant technologies. In particular, try using the search term "Monitoring and data capture".

Contacts and Further Information

SAP (Schweiz) AG - Zürich
Althardstrasse 80
8105 Regensdorf
Phone: +41 58 871 61 11

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