P&G leverages data science to stay ahead of the curve, CIO News, ET CIO
As cliched as it may sound, change is the only constant in the dynamic times we live in. Agility and resilience are the two key factors that enable us to stay ahead, look around the corners, and drive transformation that serves the consumer while building business.
A transformation is not a 100-meter sprint; it is a marathon that thrives on the involvement of the larger community of stakeholders. A transformation cannot be carried out in silos, instead, it requires the entire strength of an organization to walk together at all stages.
P&G is on their journey of driving digital transformation across multiple touchpoints involving multiple organizational stakeholders. The company endeavours to serve their consumers with irresistibly superior products. In line with this, they are constantly innovating and leading digital transformation across all aspects of the business.
“We are leveraging technology and digitization to drive industry-first innovations to provide a superior experience to our consumers, and a better value proposition to our customers, thereby driving value for P&G. We are focusing on driving real-time awareness and transformation within the organization on digital trends and leveraging opportunities to upskill the organization through our flagship upskilling initiative – Ignite. We also concentrate our efforts in leveraging technology to assess and mitigate any potential risks, to ensure efficient and robust cyber security and business continuity,” Nikunj Jain, CIO & Digital Leader, P&G India Sub-Continent says.
At P&G, IT is accountable for designing, developing and implementing relevant and modern digital initiatives that deliver value. Jain believes in working hand in hand with multi-functional business teams to drive change and create sustainable growth for the company, thereby developing the capability of their people as overall leaders which is not restricted to just the function. The role of an IT leader today has evolved into a more holistic responsibility, truly integrated into the every day working at P&G.
Leveraging digital to drive superior customer engagement
At P&G, digital is at the core of our business strategy. Jain is amalgamating modern technology like augmented reality, cloud, advanced AI/ML algorithms with traditional tried-and-tested methods to drive superior engagement with customers and consumers. “For instance, this is enabling us in offering our consumers a customized and personalized basket of their favourite P&G products to them at their nearest stores. Digital has also emerged as the common language within our ecosystem, be it for enhancing collaboration among employees, market research, supply chain, distribution network or customer relationship management, we are consistently leveraging technology at all touchpoints,” he adds.
Jain goes on to share a few examples to explain what digital means to P&G
Driving Superior Consumer Engagement: They are levering advanced technology to provide a superior experience to our consumers by being present where they are and engaging with them at their preferred channels using AI and ML algorithms, which also optimizes the cost.
Superior Supply Chain: Technology is also helping them in making their manufacturing smarter through scalable predictive models that enable touchless operations. They company is also driving manufacturing sustainability optimization with the help of tracking dashboards. This is helping them stay digitally connected to thier suppliers and customers. Moverover they are leveraging advanced AI/ML algorithms to ensure that they are always available when consumers needs them and where they need them.
Superior Go-To-Market Execution: At P&G, their model has evolved to treat every single store and consumer touchpoint as special, unique, and different. The go-to-market strategy is uniquely designed for every single store. The distributor partner sales team have access to real-time unique propositions based on consumer need and store preference in each neighbourhood, at their fingertips. This helps them provide a personalized experience to customers to drive their profitability, and consumers to deliver a superior experience.
Digitization impacting supply chainFurthermore, P&G is leveraging data to drive innovation that delivers better value via stronger profitability prospects to customers, thereby driving value creation for organization.
He highlights, “For instance, we are leveraging geo-spatial analytics to drive growth and efficiency for our distributor partners by helping them achieve higher distribution with optimized cost. We are also using the power of advanced data science and analytics to deliver products as per the needs of the consumers in a particular area. Called the ‘Smart Basket’ initiative, it focuses on serving consumers with the most relevant propositions based on their real-time needs.”
As part of this, they are also personalizing their engagement with the stores to help them grow their business, profitability, and ensure that they are always available in the store for consumers. This is made possible by advance AI/ML algorithms, which help them forecast highly accurate consumer demand and optimize inventory.
Leveraging AL & ML powered with data analytics
An integral aspect of Nikunj Jain’s endeavor is to serve consumers with the most relevant propositions based on their real-time needs, is to ensure availability of the right product at the right time at the right kirana store. “We are leveraging advanced data science algorithms and partnering with our distributor network, to help over 20 lakh kirana stores in the country to serve consumers in their vicinity, based on their specific consumption pattern and preferences through our special initiative called ‘Smart Basket’,” he adds.
P&G is among the first few companies in the country to implement the modern solution at this scale, and in doing so is serving a two-pronged purpose – helping customers to serve consumers better, and helping consumers to access superior P&G products as and when they need.
For this, they have developed an in-house data science engine powered with artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine-learning models (ML), which enables us to equip our diverse store network with a customized range of P&G product offerings, based on the demonstrated preferences and needs of the consumers in the vicinity of these stores. The innovation aims to help kirana store owners in efficiently optimizing their stock inventory, significantly reducing non-moving stock, and enhancing business operations by serving consumers better.
Furthermore Jain goes on to highlight the business objective and outcomes expected from these digital initiative.
We aim to deliver a meaningful impact across our consumer ecosystem, as they enjoy seamless availability of relevant products on the shelves of their next-door outlets. And help stores in optimizing their stock inventory, significantly reducing non-moving stock, and enhancing business operations by serving consumers better. Drive higher and relevant business for stores and in turn for our distributor partners and P&G,Nikunj Jain, CIO & Digital Leader, P&G India Sub-Continent
Future of digital at P&G
Indian consumers have leapfrogged in their media consumption habits with the rapid increase in penetration of digital penetration. This evolution is also paving the way for shifting consumer habits and preferences, and disruptions in the economic landscape.
P&G is striving to stay ahead of the curve by leveraging modern technology to drive effectiveness and efficiency across every aspect of business.
Jain concludes, “We are doing this by driving automation at scale, investing consistently in innovations, bringing the outside in by partnering with startups, and equipping the overall organization with automated and digital tools to drive simplification. The winning approach will continue to be a holistic, integrated, and all-encompassing one.”