A New Tool Aims to Help Companies Reduce Product Shortages via AI — and it’s Free

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A New Tool Aims to Help Companies Reduce Product Shortages via AI — and it’s Free


A new, free tool for U.S. businesses is designed to help reduce critical product shortages during the coronavirus health crisis via artificial intelligence and big data.

The COVID Disruption Index from Shortest Track uses county and ZIP code-specific COVID-19 predictors to help companies understand and respond to challenges in store operations, inventory, demand forecasting, customer engagement and marketing related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Available for free on Shortest Track’s Cloud platform, the model forecasts the future impact of COVID-19 infection over future time frames on consumers, stores and product performance.

Updated daily, it uses known location-based factors, infection rates and human factors that accelerate local impact. Shortest Track leveraged its experience within the healthcare, consumer goods and retail industries to engineer an analytical framework for managing all aspects of business across the pandemic lifecycle.

“We expect to see recurrences and future COVID-19 breakouts over the next 18 months and this tool can help businesses plan for long-term interruptions, broader recovery efforts and communicating directly with customers and business partners their plan for recovery and continuity of operations,” said Eric Hillerbrand, Shortest Track CEO.

The tool employs Shortest Track’s exclusive ZIP code-based healthcare data from 220 million Americans combined with food purchase information and social determinants of health data. Additional factors include social density, closing of bars and restaurants, shelter in place orders, unemployment data and ICU bed capacity.

Shortest Track also offers business intelligence solutions that use retailer and manufacturer data to forecast stores, products, inventory, customers, revenue and demand at risk.

“In this time of COVID-19 disruption, the business community understands the need to share information to reduce critical outages of products and services,” said Hillerbrand. “Our approach provides a safe and secure platform to put intelligence solutions to work without the concerns of data integration or data sharing between individual companies, which will never happen. We’ve already been using this tool to support strategic planning and enhanced business operations on behalf of clients, and it’s ready to support COVID-19 response efforts right now.”

A free report is available.

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