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Inventory Sustainability with Planning in a Box

September 6, 2023 | Manju Devadas

Blog / Inventory Sustainability with Planning in a Box

Key Takeaways:

  • Sustainability as a Priority: Modern businesses are prioritizing sustainability due to increasing global emphasis on environmental conservation, consumer expectations, and regulatory demands.
  • Inventory Sustainability: Beyond the common areas like energy efficiency and green products, efficient inventory management can greatly enhance a company’s sustainability.
  • Planning in a Box by Pluto7: This is a Generative AI-enabled data platform that assists in aligning production with demand, offering real-time analytics to manage sales, operations, and manufacturing, and aids in making location-specific production decisions.
  • Integration with Google Cloud: Planning in a Box utilizes Google Cloud’s tools like Environment APIs (Road API, Solar API, Pollen Level, and Air Quality metrics) on Google Maps, BigQuery and Google Earth Engine integration, and carbon footprint tools to provide deeper insights and a holistic perspective on sustainability.
  • Real-time Inventory Intelligence: The platform ensures unified data streams, immediate decision support with Generative AI, predictive scenario analysis, carbon footprint awareness, and hotspot identification.
  • Centralized Data System: Planning in a Box brings together scattered data sources, making it easier for businesses to understand and act upon their environmental impacts.
  • Rapid Implementation: Planning in a Box, with its vast data integration and partnership with Google Cloud, allows quick setups, with implementations feasible in under 4 weeks.

Sustainability has climbed to the top of corporate priorities, gaining momentum not just as a trend but as a necessity. With the global emphasis on environmental conservation and social responsibility, businesses are facing increasing pressure — from consumers, investors, and even regulatory bodies — to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices.

However, when most companies think of sustainability, they often visualize energy-efficient operations, green products, or corporate social responsibility programs. Yet, nestled within the complex machinery of business operations lies a golden opportunity to enhance sustainability: inventory management.

Understanding Inventory Sustainability

Efficient inventory management can significantly contribute to sustainability efforts:

Avoid Excess Production

Producing more than needed leads to waste and ramps up CO2 emissions. By aligning production with actual demand, we tackle this at the root. Pluto7’s data platform, Planning in a Box, can provide demand insights that guide production, ensuring resources—both material and energy—are only used for products that will be consumed.

Timely Production

Storing products for extended periods ties up capital and also expends energy, particularly for items requiring controlled environments. By leveraging Planning in a Box’s real-time analytics that connects sales, operations, and manufacturing, businesses gain a holistic control tower view of their supply chain.

This complete visibility ensures synchronization across all operations, driving decisions to produce only as much as necessary, thereby optimizing storage durations, and resulting in tangible reductions in energy expenses and associated emissions. 

Location-Specific Production

Transportation significantly contributes to CO2 emissions. Manufacturing closer to demand reduces these emissions. Pluto7’s data platform, Planning in a Box, utilizes real-time traffic, maps, and geospatial data for intelligent rerouting and location decisions, striking the right balance between cost and sustainability.

Integrating with Google Cloud for Enhanced Sustainability

Pluto7’s Planning in a Box leverages the robust capabilities of Google Cloud:

1.  Environment APIs on Google Maps:

Using Environment APIs such as Road API, Solar API, Pollen Level, and Air Quality metrics, businesses can access critical environmental data. Information on solar potential helps in energy-sourcing decisions. Air quality and pollen level insights assist in shaping operational strategies, ensuring businesses are responsive to changing environmental conditions.

2.  BigQuery and Google Earth Engine Integration:

Pairing BigQuery’s data processing strength with Google Earth Engine’s geospatial analytics allows Planning in a Box to offer deeper operational insights. This means businesses can track goods on a global scale, analyze supply chain routes, and make informed decisions based on environmental impact.

3.  Carbon Footprint Tools

Digital operations have a carbon footprint. Planning in a Box integrates tools that quantify the carbon emissions from Google Workspace product usage. This allows organizations to see and act on both physical and digital emissions.

By utilizing Google Cloud’s tools, Planning in a Box equips businesses with the data and insights necessary for both effective operation and sustainability goals.

Planning in a Box: A Data Platform for Sustainable Inventory Management

Planning in a Box is a comprehensive data platform designed for advanced inventory and supply chain management. Recognized by Gartner and endorsed by industry leaders like Google Cloud and SAP, it offers businesses a unified solution to address complex supply chain challenges.

Key features include:

Unified Data Perspective

Seamlessly integrates diverse data sources, ranging from ERP data (Oracle EBS, SAP, Netsuite, etc.) and CRM (Google Adtech, Salesforce, etc.) insights to external market trends and sensor-derived information, ensuring a comprehensive view of the entire supply chain.

Generative AI Capabilities

This feature allows businesses to simulate various scenarios with Generative AI. Questions like, “What’s the inventory impact of a three-week supplier delay?” can be addressed, offering actionable projections for informed decision-making.

Notable brands have experienced measurable results with Planning in a Box. 

  • Levi’sfor instance, achieved improved forecast accuracy, optimizing inventory levels.
  • ABInBev enhanced its manufacturing processes, leading to increased efficiency and waste reduction.

Achieving Sustainability Goals Faster With Data Integration  

Planning in a Box unifies vast datasets essential for inventory sustainability, including demand patterns, supplier lead times, and external market factors.  Through its integration with Google Cloud’s Cortex Framework, it establishes a strong data foundation, enabling quick setups. 

The platform taps into BigQuery for in-depth analytics across these datasets. Leveraging the power of Generative AI through Google Cloud’s Vertex AI, it translates data insights into actionable conversations, empowering businesses in their decision-making processes. All these capabilities come together rapidly, with implementations possible in under 4 weeks.

Pluto7 offers a holistic approach to solving sustainability challenges by offering strategic data-driven solutions for analysis, reporting, and consulting through its data platform, Planning in a Box. 

ANALYSIS: Real-time Inventory Decision Intelligence

  • Unified Data Stream: Integrate multiple data sources, from raw materials to final product logistics, ensuring a bird’s-eye view of the entire supply chain.
  • Real-time Decision Support: Generate immediate recommendations on inventory restocks, supplier selections, and warehouse optimization.
  • Predictive Scenario Analysis: Harness Generative AI to anticipate future supply chain scenarios, enabling data-backed sustainability decisions.
  • Carbon Footprint Analysis: Empower businesses to measure and continually track their carbon emissions, ensuring they’re aware of their current impact.
  • Hotspot Identification: Pinpoint sectors or steps in the supply chain with heightened environmental impact, guiding immediate attention and action.

REPORTING: Integrated View of Performance Metrics

  • Sustainability Reporting: Tools tailored to create clear, concise reports that chronicle the progress towards set sustainability targets.
  • Comprehensive ESG Dashboard: An integrated view of all key environmental, social, and governance metrics, giving businesses the data they need to showcase their green credentials.
  • Proven Impact Tracking: Real-time monitoring of tangible improvements such as reduced waste and carbon footprint reductions, ensuring businesses have a continual grasp on their sustainability achievements.

CONSULTING: Strategic Inventory Sustainability Roadmaps

  • Sustainability Consulting: Expert guidance to help businesses ideate, formulate, and implement impactful sustainability plans.
  • Customized Sustainability Goal-Setting: Collaborative tools to help businesses set realistic, impactful sustainability targets that dovetail with broader business objectives.

Clear, Direct, and Actionable Insights with Planning in a Box

Inventory sustainability is a pressing concern, especially with recent market shifts and unpredictable consumer demands. Many businesses grapple with scattered data and isolated systems, making it challenging to see their supply chain’s full environmental impact. 

Planning in a Box centralizes data from sourcing to sales, delivering reliable insights that guide sustainable supply chain choices. Leveraging the power of Generative AI and Google Cloud, our platform enables swift, informed decisions, embedding sustainability at the core of your strategy. Enhance inventory optimization, cut waste, and solidify your commitment to the environment.  Join us for a solution demonstration to delve into use cases, capabilities, and the future of sustainable inventory management.


Manju Devadas is the Founder and CEO of Pluto7, bringing 20+ years of experience in predictive analytics for Supply Chain, Retail and Manufacturing. With expertise in AI, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning, he has been instrumental in improving efficiency and strategic growth across industries.

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