OrangeScape has this new initiative called CTO Talks. I think it is a brilliant idea. “While there are a lot of conversations taking place at the software development level, there are none at the CTO level”, says Suresh. I agree. We need different levels of conversations on technology.
I enjoyed The talk on Technology at Walmart – a few Glimpses. I hope to see other more comprehensive blog posts. I was looking for the use of Machine Learning at Walmart, and I was not disappointed.
Here is a list of uses of Machine Learning (ML) at Walmart.
- Competitive Intelligence and Analytics
- Crawl frequency prediction (how frequently you can crawl certain sites for price information – too many crawls, and you will be blocked. Too few and you an miss useful information. Different sites update information at different intervals)
- Natural Language Processing (NLP) of product catalogs
- Bossa Nova robots roaming the aisles at Walmart locations checking out of stock items mislabeled shelf tags, and incorrect prices.
- IOT at Walmart – Monitoring temperatures of Refrigerators in real time
- Visual inspection and Spoilage predictions
- Predictive analytics of future failure of equipment
- Predicting attrition (they have 2.3 million associates in over 11,000 locations)
- Predicting absenteeism based on weather patterns an HR application (and an important contributor to maintaining service levels in their stores)
- Hari briefly touched upon blockchain. They are looking at using it for tracing grocery items from source to customer.
Walmart is one of the leading indicators of technology adoption in retail. Hari mentioned that they were the first to introduce Satellites dishes in their store locations, barcode scanning, use of RFID and providing a direct view of store items to their suppliers.
It was a great talk. It was no wonder that we had an amazing turnout (more than 250 registrations). Hari answered all the questions patiently and in depth.