Crisp debuts AI-driven forecasting platform

Crisp debuts AI-driven forecasting platform

New York-based Crisp has introduced a food demand forecasting platform for suppliers, distributors and retailers.

More than 30 companies — including Rio Rico, Ariz.-based SunFed — engaged in beta testing of the platform, which uses artificial intelligence to forecast demand, according to a news release. The platform is designed to reduce food waste and increase profitability by giving companies a more accurate assessment of demand so they can adjust their supply accordingly.

“Everybody needs a better forecast,” co-founder and CEO Are Traasdahl said in October at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit. “I haven’t met anybody at this conference who doesn’t want a better forecast because it’s influencing everything in your business — it’s influencing how much you’re buying, influencing your labor, influencing your production, influencing your pricing, influencing your marketing, so the forecast is kind of the heart of driving profitability for companies.”

(Video: Traasdahl spoke with The Packer's retail editor Ashley Nickle at Fresh Summit.)

In addition to increasing the accuracy of demand projections, the Crisp platform automates a process that often requires a significant amount of time from company employees.

“With Crisp, 10% more orders are being filled completely that would have otherwise been shorted, and we have reduced scrapped inventory by 80%,” Ken Rotunno, senior financial officer for Nounós Creamery, said in the release. “We have also reduced the time spent on weekly forecasting from two hours to 10 minutes, changing the way we manage our business.”