Packworks, a Philippine startup that provides a business-to-business (B2B) open platform to sari-sari stores, is riding the wave of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help sari-sari stores across the Philippines make informed decisions in stocking their shelves.

Packworks said in a statement on Tuesday that the company is using time series forecasting to capitalize on Packworks’ large and robust data on sari-sari store transactions to analyze and predict future trends in grassroots sales volumes across different locations in the country.

Through the process, Packworks is capable of making predictions across all product categories sold in over 200,000 sari-sari stores nationwide and can run up to five years; worth of daily transaction data.

According to the statement, the model utilizes various machine learning algorithms to identify the most accurate and reliable predictions based on its ability to anticipate and align with real-time and current data trends.

Packworks tracks down information from its broad network of sari-sari stores that use the Sari.PH Pro application, which provides store owners access to pricing tools, inventory management, sales and revenue tracking, and working capital loans.

By leveraging AI and machine learning, Packworks said it aims to provide stores with additional information that can enhance their inventory planning processes.

It said retailers can gain a better understanding of consumer preferences and purchasing patterns through the model, leading to optimized product assortments, reduced stockouts, improved customer satisfaction, and increased profitability for the stores.

“With access to Packworks’ extensive and reliable dataset of sari-sari store transactions, we hope to equip our saripreneurs with the means to optimize their operations and drive growth in the highly competitive retail market,” Packworks Advanced Analytics and Insights Manager Arch Tesorero said.

Packworks emphasizes that while the model serves as a valuable tool for sari-sari store owners, it should be regarded as a supplementary resource rather than the sole determinant for inventory planning.

Last year, Packworks announced the launch of its business intelligence tool Sari IQ, which provides real-time and historic information on consumer expenditures and can be customized to generate evaluations for various product categories sold in compact retail setups.

It enables retailers and multinational brands complete visibility into sari-sari stores' operations, allowing them to extend their slow-moving products and services to a wider pool of customers.

Analysis through the platform also helps them come up with data-driven decisions to boost sales of sari-sari store owners by understanding and predicting consumer demand within their area.

Founded in 2018, Packworks is a startup company that provides a B2B platform that is easy to use, has low bandwidth, and has a light footprint that will allow sari-sari store owners to become more efficient in managing their business.

Started as a solution for multinational companies in the Philippines to connect with neighborhood stores, the platform is now bringing technology-based solutions to one million Filipino sari-sari stores.

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