JOHANNESBURG – Google Cloud announced today a collaboration with Pepkor Group, one of the largest retailers in Southern Africa. The new collaboration involves Pepkor IT, a division of the Pepkor Group leveraging Google Cloud’s data analytics solutions to transform its in-house logistical processes, enabling the company to help more households across Africa access value-for-money products.
With a consumer base of more than 28 million in-store customers and a footprint of 5,400 retail stores, Pepkor IT’s processes generate massive volumes of data every day. For a retailer that operates at such a scale, a deep understanding of the data Pepkor IT generates is critical for it to deliver great experiences for shoppers.
Pepkor IT turned to Google Cloud to leverage data analytics solutions that will help the retailer transform its logistical processes, placing the right product in front of the right customer at the right time. Working with solutions such as BigQuery, Cloud Dataflow, and Data Studio, Pepkor IT is now empowered with the innovative tools it needs to make smart, transformative business decisions every day.
Pepkor IT has also been able to address stock replenishment at stores more effectively. Demand planning reports that once required 20 hours to be created weekly are now created instantly with BigQuery and Cloud Data Flow, saving up to 80 hours of work per month and increasing staff productivity by 50 percent. Additionally, reports used for route planning and strategic decision-making that used to take up to three hours per report, are now generated in two minutes with Data Studio and Google Maps.
Additionally, the introduction of BigQuery has significantly improved stock replenishment calculation at warehouses by automating the process that generates replenishment reports. Previously, the stock calculation process was done manually, and would take up to 300 hours to produce one report. Now, Pepkor IT produces the report in five minutes.
Niral Patel, Director of Google Cloud Africa said: “Pepkor has a deep-rooted legacy in Southern Africa, which has made it a household name. It is therefore not surprising that Pepkor is striving to take its shopper’s experiences to the next level. With Pepkor running its data workloads on Google Cloud’s innovative data analytics solutions, stores are being stocked quicker, deliveries are going out on time, and shoppers are buying a product at a much more affordable price. Our collaboration with Pepkor is a great example of the power of data to make businesses more efficient, ultimately improving the customer experience.”
Gabrie Gouws, Chief Information Officer, of Pepkor IT said: “Pepkor IT is using Google Cloud to enrich lives through innovation. Our Big Data landscape consists of a much broader and deeper set of data than ever before. We process huge volumes of data at the speed of light. The environment enables our business partners to do any type of analytics so that they can make better and faster decisions.”
Pepkor IT also deployed Google Workspace to digitize its manual processes related to work requests coming in from the stores, which used to take up to 15 days. Pepkor implemented a digital system that uses Google Forms, Sheets, Gmail, and Google App Script, and was able to provide real-time visibility on the approval status for these requests. The new system has reduced the process flow from 15 days to 3 days and has also generated quicker application responses, enabling the stores to operate faster and more efficiently. To date, a total of 10,682 requests have been logged using the new process, and the process flow is 50% to 70% faster, depending on the labor request type.