Hormel Foods Beefs Up Retail & Supply Chain Real-Time Data Sharing to Improve OSA

Lisa Johnston
Lisa Johnston profile picture
hormel foods on shelf availability
Hormel Foods includes such brands as Skippy, Planters, and Spam in its portfolio.

Hormel Foods is investing in real-time data sharing to improve on-shelf availability with its retail partners. 

The food company’s data analytics team has increasingly sought new ways to expand throughput for new high-priority consumer data sets into its Google Cloud Platform data lake, Mark Vaupel, VP IT services at Hormel Foods, tells CGT, given their critical role in providing analysis and insights to support strategic business requirements. 

“Our approach to leveraging analytics across the enterprise is centered around one source of the truth,” he says. “That means as we work with retail partners, anyone needing data can access the right data at the right time to answer questions and provide actionable insights.” 

This extends beyond retail to encompass all areas of business, including foodservice, international, and supply chain, and so Hormel partnered with retail analytics platform provider Crisp in March to more quickly obtain and analyze insights and simplify the data pipeline architecture. This simultaneously enabled them to build scalable solutions across the enterprise, Vaupel says.  

Mark Vaupel
Mark Vaupel

With the technology, Hormel Foods can both share and tap into historical and real-time data insights in Google Cloud from retailers, including delivery, retail, supply chain, manufacturing, and inventory data. As a result of the automation, the company has improved data accessibility, speed of delivery, quality, and breadth, according to the exec. 

“These technology improvements have increased trust in the data while expanding data visibility throughout the business with a single source of truth,” he notes. 

By integrating disparate data sources to receive full and real-time visibility into physical shelf performance, Hormel Foods can better inform its retail customers about potential out-of-stock issues and help reduce food waste. 

Looking Ahead

Hormel Foods restructured operations earlier this year and developed a new center of excellence known as Brand Fuel. Embedded within that team is the digital experience group (DEG), an enterprise resource alongside finance planning and analytics for data enablement across the enterprise, which Vaupel says has thus far been the primary beneficiary from this investment. 

The investment is reducing the amount of time teams must spend collecting and managing data, freeing them up to focus on strategic analytics. And while the company’s focus has initially centered on consumer goods retail data, additional opportunities are seen ahead. 

“Moving forward, we are exploring opportunities within paid search campaign data, retailer media spend effectiveness, and additional areas of the business such as foodservice, international, [and] supply chain,” he says. 

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