Since 2020, US-based online grocer Thrive Market has partnered with RELEX Solutions to improve their demand forecasting and automated replenishment. For more insights from Nicolas Yepez, Senior Director of Supply Chain & Integrated Planning at Thrive Market, about the company’s journey with RELEX, watch the full presentation: Thrive Market’s Supply Chain Transformation in a Time of Rapid Change and Growth.
Thrive Market was founded in 2014 with a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. When I first joined Thrive Market, they were pretty much not relying on a forecast—they were buying against the history over the past 30-60-90 days. So, one of the first things that we did was just come in and implement the demand planning function.
When you’re looking at 6,000 SKUs, all that variability in demand and volatility—it becomes pretty difficult to predict as you look into the future. Over time, just managing everything in Excel was quite challenging. We went through an extensive review of about 16 different tools, and that’s when RELEX came along. It essentially had some of the good features that we were interested in, and especially looking into the future, we needed a solution that was going to be scalable.
For us—and for me personally—one of the things that I really thought was going to be different from the others was going to be the way that RELEX is structured. In other words, the business rules. If we need to learn something or we want to know how something is calculated behind the scenes, then we can go to the business rules. Many of the other tools will tell you that you can have access, but you wouldn’t be able to see it yourselves.
And the other big one was the adaptability for daily forecasting. When you’re looking into a solution that’s going to help you identify things on the fly, having a daily forecast is going to be quite impactful. In terms of accuracy, no doubt that has probably improved significantly versus what we were using almost a year ago.
I would say for the supply planning team, it used to take them probably the entire day to go through our 400+ vendors. Now, you transition into RELEX, and that has significantly decreased.
You guys had a good understanding of what needed to be happening, and we could just move quickly.