Software and AI applications play a crucial role in the retail industry, optimizing core retail processes and eliminating typical struggles our clients face. Data plays an essential role in figuring out the right solution. As a product company, we have an enormous amount of data at our disposal.
At RELEX, we use advanced technologies such as machine learning, mathematical optimization, and creative combinations of AI and advanced analytics to automate and optimize retail operations, core processes, and the supply chain.
The mission for us is clear: Help the retail industry to thrive in the age of AI.
We don’t fall in love with technology, we fall in love with our client’s problem
Everything in our software development begins with identifying the customer’s problem. Understanding the pain our solutions need to take away is central in developing technology that does just that.
There are multiple core processes that can make or break the success of the retail business – from forecasting product demand to optimizing workforce planning, floor plans, shelf spaces, product assortments, promotions, and even markdowns of seasonal products.
“It is essential and highly inspiring to understand how these core processes work and what type of business problems our retail customers face”, says RELEX Labs Director Tommi Vilkamo.
RELEX Labs is the centralized R&D team at RELEX, focused on data science and AI.
“We conduct the research and development of the underlying AI capabilities used on our Living Retail Platform”, Tommi explains.
Tommi pinpoints our position as a customer-first company. “Even though RELEX is a winning retail technology company, our first priority is helping customers”, he says.
We need to see our customer as a friend who needs our help
Everyone working with our platform strives to understand the daily business struggles our retail customer companies face because only then can we know how to use our technical expertise to deal with those struggles.
At RELEX, we call this our “customer is a friend” attitude, and it is so essential to our business success we have made it one of our core values.
“When we see our customers as our friends, we have a genuine interest in collaborating, guiding, and helping them thrive”, Tommi says.
“This value reflects in all our team decision making. We never choose technology first. We always make sure we understand the customer’s problem first before making our technology choices”, says Silja Polvi-Huttunen, a forecasting Lead Software Developer.
How RELEX uses data and AI to eliminate retail customer’s problems
Our product development focuses on using data and AI to create solutions, doing everything in their power to help the retail industry to thrive in the age of AI.
But what exactly does that mean?
“Every product part in our solution is intelligent, using either machine learning, mathematical optimization or creative combinations of AI and advanced analytics to do the job”, Tommi describes.
RELEX Labs starts with research and continues developing early versions of the new functionalities. Once those functionalities are ready to integrate into the core product, the software development team takes over.
Machine learning-based forecasting forms the basis of the process
“Machine learning-based forecasting is usually at the basis of the process, and then we start optimizing everything else on top of it”, Tommi explains.
Silja’s team works with demand forecasting.
“Our job is at the heart of the RELEX Living Retail Platform. Recently we developed a new forecasting model. I would say it was kind of like performing delicate heart surgery for our software”, Silja describes with pride.
The people in Silja’s team come from various backgrounds. Developers in her team benefit from learning about the statistics and the machine learning mechanisms behind our model.
“I am a mathematician myself, and it surprised me that there is so much math involved in solving problems within the retail industry”, Silja says.
Platform developments to supercharge our data scientists
In addition to what Silja’s team is doing, we are also modernizing our cloud-based Data Platform and AI Platform & MLOps systems to a bleeding-edge level.
“This development helps us supercharge the data scientists to deliver new and improved AI capabilities to our clients at an unprecedented speed and in a trustworthy manner”, Tommi says.
Both Tommi and Silja love to work in a product company with an enormous amount of data at their disposal that they can use to improve customers’ lives.
“We have a view over the whole process line. Because RELEX owns the entire product and the process, everything is unified. There are many different components in the software, yet they all play together smoothly”, Silja says.
The importance of the human touch
Not all customer problems are pure optimization problems. “There are many other types of problems and business decisions that the software helps our customers with”, Silja explains.
“It is a combination of people and AI working together and creating intelligent solutions”, Tommi continues.
“People at RELEX are real experts in their field but also curious about what everyone else is doing and eager to learn more. That is the beauty of it, and I believe this makes our co-operation at RELEX so unique”, Tommi explains.
Silja says the smooth, high-quality collaboration of the whole team working towards a common goal is one of the main reasons she thrives at RELEX.
“Everyone works towards the same meaningful goal, which is reducing the spoilage in the world, and this feels special to me”, she says.
Silja doesn’t have to think twice about the purpose of her job. She knows it and sees it every day.
“We have so many things to optimize in the retail industry. Our platform is the leading technology in the world of retail. When I type the code into our software, it will soon be running at the world’s biggest retailers. It is one of the coolest things about my job!” Silja concludes.
Would you like to work with leading retail technology in the world? Check our open positions here.