Almost everyone enjoys a good glass of wine after a long day, but did you ever stop to wonder how the exact bottle you're looking for makes its way to the grocery store shelf?

Attendees at the “From Grape to Grocery” tour at NRF learned how analytics enabled precise demand forecasting and planning, and inventory optimization from the source to the grocery store.

Analytics has a lot to do with it, as SAS demonstrated to attendees at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show and Expo in New York a few weeks ago. Using a fictitious winery and vineyard to mask the real data, SAS demonstrated how advanced analytics, machine learning and visual analytics can be used to forecast demand for a winery, as well as for cold chain logistics optimization delivering wine from the winery direct to consumers.

The importance of data and analytics   

Using advanced analytics, AI and machine learning, the winery was able to focus less on transactions (or shipments), and more on the consumer, taking advantage of point-of-sale (POS) data from their retail customers, as well as direct-to-consumer orders. Their ability to accurately forecast demand and optimize supply from vineyard to the consumer was unrivaled. They were able to optimize the process and quantities in the winery by accurately forecasting demand and linking it directly to shipments using data and analytics.

Key differentiators:  

  • The ability to sense and shape demand using advanced analytics and machine learning.
  • Integration and visibility across all the planning functions.
  • Optimizing cold chain logistics and supply direct to consumer.

Cold chain logistics optimization  

The winery installed technology "powered by SAS" in their cold chain storage truck cabins to track and maintain the optimal temperature in the truck cargo, as well as tracking the truck’s speed and location. Using GPS, IoT, and SAS Visual Analytics, day and time of delivery to each consumer could be monitored to maintain high customer service levels.

The consumers, using their mobile phone, laptop, or other devices, were able to track their wine purchases all the way from the winery to their doorstep. The consumer is notified as to the exact day and time of their wine delivery, and someone over 21 years old must be present to sign for the delivery.

If no one is available to sign for the wine, it's put back on the truck. After three tries at delivery, the wine is sent back to the winery. But using cold chain logistics powered by SAS eliminates over 80% of the customer service challenges during delivery, reducing costs for the winery while ensuring the customer receives their wine purchase.

How did SAS help the winery?  

SAS delivers real-time analytics at the edge that the winery can use to improve customer service while maintaining high profit margins. SAS visual analytics, advanced analytics, and machine learning combined with GPS and IoT helps deliver wine to consumers across the US with 98-100% on time delivery.

SAS® Intelligent Planning suite helped the winery consistently deliver value, from accurately forecasting demand and balancing supply, helping consumers find the wines they're looking for when and where they want them, ensuring 100% order fulfillment, powering sales and marketing with real-time consumer insights, to improving product quality and helping launch new products effectively.

Recent enhancements to the SAS® Intelligent Planning Suite have added artificial intelligence and cloud agility to help companies localize assortments, optimize inventory, automate forecasting and maximize profits. Leading companies like Carrefour, Grupo Exito and Nestle rely on SAS to succeed.

If you want to learn more about what SAS could do for you, explore SAS® Intelligent Planning.


About Author

Charlie Chase

Executive Industry Consultant/Trusted Advisor, SAS Retail/CPG Global Practice

Charles Chase is the executive industry consultant and trusted advisor for the SAS Retail/CPG global practice. He is the author of Next Generation Demand Management: People, Process, Analytics and Technology, author of Demand-Driven Forecasting: A Structured Approach to Forecasting, and co-author of Bricks Matter: The Role of Supply Chains in Building Market-Driven Differentiation, as well as over 50 articles in several business journals on demand forecasting and planning, supply chain management, and market response modeling. His latest book is Consumption-Based Forecasting and Planning: Predicting Changing Demand Patterns in the New Digital Economy. To learn more, please see his Author page.


  1. I must admit I do enjoy a good glass of wine! This is another great example of how analytics plays a big part in our everyday life. Thanks Charlie for the insight and congrats to the SAS NRF team for the creative way for visitors to experience the power of AI in retail.

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