o9 Solutions, a company software platform provider for integrated planning and decision-making, has announced that it will support M&S’ Clothing & Home business in the digital transformation of its end-to-end planning systems as the retailer reshapes for sustainable growth and value creation.
o9’s AI-powered platform – Digital Brain – will replace and modernize M&S’ existing systems across merchandise planning, sales stock & intake, and range planning – bringing them together into a singular integrated platform. Phase two of the program will see M&S’ current forecasting and replenishment systems replaced and integrated into the platform.
The roll-out of the platform over the next three years will enable M&S’s Clothing & Home business to become more agile, joined up, and better able to respond to customer needs and emerging trends.
o9’s Digital Brain platform was selected due to its ability to integrate all key retail planning capabilities across departments onto a single, flexible, and extensible data model powered by o9’s proprietary technology, the Enterprise Knowledge Graph.
From Merchandise Financial Planning and Assortment Planning down to downstream planning processes like Forecasting, Allocation, Replenishment, Promotion, and Markdown Optimization, including Supplier Collaboration (capacity and material planning and purchase orders), will all be managed through the platform.
Richard Price, Managing Director of Clothing & Home at M&S, said, “As we reshape for growth, we are investing to modernise and upgrade our systems so we can create greater visibility and collaboration between teams and suppliers, improve planning & availability and enable us to be more tailored and localized with our ranging. By having an end-to-end planning platform, we will be able to better use data and AI to inform decision-making and future planning so we can continue to be more relevant, more often to our customers.”
Chakri Gottemukkala, Co-Founder and CEO of o9 Solutions, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with M&S on such a transformational project for the company. We have a unique opportunity to help an iconic brand jump into the future with our next-generation platform as it reshapes for growth.”
M&S serves 30 million customers each year and has a heritage of quality, style, innovation, and value for money. It was recently voted the UK’s most trusted brand. In FY 2022/23, its Clothing & Home division grew sales by 11.5%, with like-for-like sales up 11.2%. Last week, the retailer updated the market on its Christmas trading, with Clothing & Home sales increasing by 4.8%.