Data Value Hub Agrihealth

A growing Irish business – wanted to use AI to increase profit and decrease inventory waste.

Meet Agrihealth Group

Agrihealth Group supports the equestrian, agricultural and food production industries. They are currently one of the largest animal equipment wholesalers in the UK and Ireland.

The result? Streamlined systems, efficient sales teams and improved customer retention & loyalty.

Industry: Agri Supplier & Animal Health

Location: Co. Monaghan

Company Size: 60+

Key Project Deliverables:

  • Eliminating ‘out of stock’ items through predictive analysis.
  • Understanding where AI & ML can further reduce costs & wastage across sales and procurement processes.

“Participating in the Incubator really showed us where AI can be applied to the sales and procurement data we already have to avoid lost sales and release capital from inventory waste.”

Stephen Murphy, Marketing Manager

The Problem

Lost Sales, Inventory Shortages & Wastage:

  • A significant portion of sales are lost due to ‘out of stock’ statuses, as demand prediction is difficult across widely varied and low volume ranges.
  • There is a high number of product lines, some of which are specialist and low volume.
  • Many subsets of products have their own seasonal behaviours typical to that product group.
  • Some low volume products have long lead times, so over stocking is tying up capital.
  • Some specialist products – especially animal medicines – have short shelf life – so overstock can result in wastage.

Operational Efficiency:

  • Sales and Procurement are manually intensive complex processes.

The Challenge

  • Utilise predictive analytics to optimise ordering by considering demand variance, seasonality and cross-product demand correlations.
  • Increase efficiency of sales and procurement processes.

And that’s where we came in.

“The programme gave me a great 360 degree view as to what was now possible in a business like ours with AI and ML, and we got to quickly assess the data we had to see what was realistic to progress further. ”

– Anthony Doherty, Information Services Manager, Agrihealth

The Solution

During the AI Incubator, Agrihealth and DVH explored a set of AI methods which were applicable to their inventory challenges.  The teams also conducted a full examination of the quality of all relevant historical data (which spanned several generations of ERP and included the time periods of Brexit & COVID). 

The teams build Proof of Concept predictive models to test the capacity of the supporting data.

ML powered OCR was also explored for sales order and procurement processes as there was a high amount of manual admin time involved in running complex processes.


Supply Chain Optimisation:

  • A Stock Level Optimiser proof of concept model was developed to measure predictive accuracy by reduction in lost sales and over-stock levels.

Efficiency, Revenue, and Cost Improvements:

  • An Optical Character Recognition (OCR) solution was identified which would eliminate most manual processing of sales orders. Investigations identified savings in sales admin staff time and reduced order errors.

Follow On Projects

Agrihealth is currently evaluating a follow-on project for rollout of the OCR digitisation and automation solution to the full sales order process.

The Benefits – ROI/Impact

Participation in the Incubator has delivered benefits in upskilling while signposting further work packages with their own ROI’s:

Participation in the programme has upskilled Agrihealth’s key IT and Managerial Staff

ML Powered Digitisation can reduce admin staff time spent on order processing and other “paper”/email based processes, deploying staff time to higher value work and increasing customer service levels

ML powered predictive ordering could reduce lost sales by up to 50%, and avoid lost inventory via expiration (short shelf life products)

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