What’s new for CINDE 2020?


CINDE has advanced considerably since its introduction. Stuart Sadler, Head of Product Insights, offers a glimpse of CINDE’s new capabilities due in 2020 in his conversation with Mike Troy, Editor of Retail Leader.

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    MT: Hello, Mike Troy, Editor of Retail Leader, here in Irving, Texas at the Symphony RetailAI Xcelerate Conference. Here with Stuart Sadler.

    SS: Hi.

    MT: You’re the man at this event. CINDE is what everybody is talking about.

    SS: Absolutely.

    MT: The Conversational Decision Engine you guys came out with a couple of years ago, which is like an eternity in technology.

    SS: Yes.

    MT: I suspect there have been a lot of advancements made with CINDE. Talk about what some of those are.

    SS: Sure, sure. I think when we first came out with CINDE, then it was all about the what’s been happening and now we’ve moved it on and it’s the what, the why and what are you going to do about it? So it gives you the action.

    MT: Okay.

    SS: It gives you the, you know…you know, it’s all about making a change, isn’t it, and then tracking that change. So…

    MT: So what people, when they refer to like prescriptive activities?

    SS: Yes, yeah. So it now, you know, it takes a cus…it takes an end user much further, so that they can actually stop selling something or delist something, or change a promotion, or sort out an out of stock issue.

    MT: Okay. And I believe originally, there were like four use cases, like in category managers, store managers, what are…?

    SS: Different roles, yes.

    MT: Yeah, what are the roles of CINDE, how you’ve segmented that out?

    SS: Sure. Well, still Category Manager is a key component. And one of the things we’ve done with Category Manager now, is we’ve spent a long time, a lot of time, spending time with category managers, both the retailers and CPGs, and looked at how they spend their week. And what we’ve done is, this is…we’ve created reports specifically for key moments in the week. So, and we’re calling that CINDE 3.0. So we’ve…CINDE is now aware not only of the data, but also of your structure of your week. So at the beginning of the week, you need to know, how was your sales last week, as the week comes in. Then you want to know…you’ve got a vendor meeting, so you’ve got Mars coming in, CINDE can prepare all the data for you.

    MT: Do I have to ask her to do it, or does she kind of?

    SS: No, it’s just there, it’s just there. It’s just there. So, and we’re even going to get it aligned with your calendar. So in your calendar, you’re just going to be able to say, you know, I’ve got a meeting with Mars and as an Outlook add-in, we’ll have CINDE being able to say, here’s the key facts of what’s happening with Mars at that retailer.

    MT: Like Google knew to remind me to set my alarm, because I had a flight coming up…

    SS: Yes, sure.

    MT: …tomorrow on the calendar?

    SS: Sure, yeah. The world’s our oyster in that way.

    MT: Wow, that’s pretty cool.

    SS: Yeah, that is cool. And so that’s in our CINDE 3.0 product.

    MT: Okay.

    SS: Which will be out the beginning of next year.

    MT: And that’s for category managers. What about some of the other roles?

    SS: Those other roles will come out after that.

    MT: Okay.

    SS: But we also…you know, we continue with our CINDE Explorer package, which we’re rolling out at retailers this year, towards Christmas and just slightly beyond.

    MT: And CINDE Explorer does what?

    SS: CINDE Explorer allows for questions of the what and the why.

    MT: Okay.

    SS: And allows you to be able to see things like, how are each of the departments doing and how are switching behaviours, so it’s bringing together all of the stuff that we’ve been doing in CMS for decades.

    MT: Okay.

    SS: And making it much more consumable and instantaneous.

    MT: So retail has its own language. Did you guys have to come up, you know, teach CINDE to understand certain like vocabulary in retail, that maybe is a little different than what the folks at Google had to come up with?

    SS: Sure, yeah. We trained it with certain ways of asking questions.

    MT: Okay.

    SS: So, you know, who’s buying this, what are they buying instead of this category, or, how are people…when are people buying beer, or…so there’s sets of different phrases and questions, but also whole things like each of the entities, like the names of the divisions, the names of the categories, synonyms for that as well. Because you know, the full name of a category could be Carbonated Soft Drinks. Nobody wants to say, Carbonated Soft Drinks, they just say Soda.

    MT: I’m even thinking now, like certain retailers call things certain different things.

    SS: Yes.

    MT: You know, a good example is, you know, Walmart calls a planogram a mod.

    SS: Hmm, hmm.

    MT: Everybody else calls it something else and there’s other examples like that.

    SS: Sure, yeah, so there’s cultural differences with the actual data. So that may be different ways of shortening, names of categories, measure names, things like that. And then there’s cultural names of the terms used on the front end and we call those locales. So yeah, we will be able to translate it into different languages.

    MT: Wow!

    SS: So, we’ve been talking with a French retailer for example.

    MT: Yeah.

    SS: So, and you will have to say, you know…you know, qu’est ce que c’est le category pour le division sud, or whatever. Excuse my French.

    MT: Was the first generation of CINDE was English?

    SS: Yes.

    MT: Okay, so you’re now expanding into other languages?

    SS: Yes, yes.

    MT: Okay.

    SS: Just started.

    MT: What’s that roadmap look like? I mean, Chinese, Spanish, I mean, what’s…?

    SS: It’s really just on demand. So it’s wherever we’re going to go with it, in terms of country and progression, so…

    MT: Okay.

    SS: …France will probably be the first.

    MT: Hmm. How are you…what are you finding like the use cases most often, like how do you…like what’s the roadway in for a retailer?

    SS: Right.

    MT: You know, like what do they do first with CINDE?

    SS: Okay.

    MT: Because it’s cool, it sounds cool to be able to speak to something and have it give me answers, but what’s like the first thing people do when they turn it on?

    SS: Sure, sure. I think the traditional sort of first place we go in, is category management. So it’s, how does the category management team use CINDE to understand the category or the department? But I think what’s interesting is, we’ve also, when we show this to boards, or the executives, they want it for themselves as well. So even the screen we’re seeing behind you, this is showing you the whole retailer, the performance across all of the departments. And they go, I want that for myself, let alone the category manager.

    MT: Okay, okay.

    SS: And then in addition, we can also go right the way down to an individual store, so we can bring a customer centred view to a single store and democratise that.

    MT: I would like that if I was a board member of a retailer, to be able to say, why are meat sales down…

    SS: Yes, yeah.

    MT: …last quarter?

    SS: Yeah, exactly. And it will…it’ll enable the organisation to be more active together because if the exec are seeing this sort of view, or department view, then hand on questions to a category, and then hand on questions to a store manager…

    MT: How do I know it’s accurate if I’m a retailer, like you know, how does it look, I ask about the meat category, why is it down? How do I know the answer, I’m getting, is the real reason?

    SS: Right, well, we’ve worked for many years with the retailers on managing their data, so they deliver us their EPOS data. And there’s a…we get a new retailer up in about 90 days, from scratch. But a lot of that process is also working with the retailer to make sure they’re happy with the validation, that we have loaded the data correctly…

    MT: That’s the…validation was the word I was not coming up with there, I guess.

    SS: Okay, okay, yeah, so…

    MT: Okay.

    SS: So there’s reassurance there. We work with their IT departments, to make sure we receive data correctly, we process it correctly. But basically, you know, it’s as good as the retailer gives us, so we are replicating the same data the retailer gives us.

    MT: Hmm, a lot of interest in CINDE? I mean, among re…I mean, honestly, if I could just ask questions, it would seem like a lot simpler way than trying to run reports and key requests.

    SS: Yes, yeah, yeah, I think, you know, we’ve been very busy today. And you know, just that whole way of accelerating, if you’ll pardon the pun…

    MT: Okay.

    SS: …accelerating the point whereby, where should I focus today?

    MT: Okay.

    SS: And CINDE enables that. It enables the, you know…to focus enormously quickly. So we have a mobile app.

    MT: Okay.

    SS: So you can imagine coming in, in the train in the morning and already, by the time you get in, you know that you need to focus on a particular category and a particular issue…

    MT: Okay.

    SS: …before, you know, another retailer, you know, hasn’t even woken up to the fact. So they may be getting round to it late afternoon, but you’re getting round to it at eight o’clock.

    MT: And then we’ve got 3.0 coming 2020?

    SS: Yeah. So that should be a great advance.

    MT: Look forward to learning more about that.

    SS: Thank you very much.

    MT: Thanks.