PIC2POG and Blue Yonder
Interview with Jason DeRienzo, Chief Executive Officer, Maxerience
MIke heads our marketing and content development as CMO. CPG industry veteran holding Executive Roles across functions with firms such as P&G, Red Bull, Mars Wrigley and Pfizer Healthcare.
The retail landscape is experiencing “compounded complexity” or complexity layered on top of complexity. Nothing demonstrates where a brand stands with a Retailer than how it’s represented on the store level Planogram, POG or schematic. This is “map” that shows how a store should organize items at retail. It maps out every items location, number of facings and often suggested pricing.
Brands and Retailers invest multi-millions of dollars trying to build planograms and conduct analysis on how a planogram and the brands represented perform. The number of planograms or POG that are being created by retailers is multiplying largely driven by the need to be more local. “Most common POG” representing over 50% of the stores are being replaced with “Store of the Community” POG where each store has its own POG.
I sat down with Jason DeRienzo, Chief Executive Officer, Maxerience ahead of his breakout session at Blue Yonder’s Icon 2022 Conference in Orlando to discuss a new product from Maxerience, a Vision Group Company, called PIC2POG. PIC2POG combines AI-Image Recognition technology with state-of-the-art image catalog to build an editable POG that integrates with Blue Yonder JDA software from a picture taken at store level. The same technology can be used for PDF POG distributed by a retailer.
Mr. DeRienzo, presented with leaders from KDP as they have scaled PIC2POG across their business.
Thank you, Jason for taking time today. Tell readers a little about your background in the CPG Tech Industry?
I’ve been in the CPG Tech Industry since time began. Looking at me today, I’ve lived 12 lifetimes in this industry.
On a serious note, I’ve been in CPG Technology for over 25 years with key companies such as Nielsen, Interactive Edge, SMSB and now the Vision Group. I was a part of the early space management movement with Nielsen’s SpaceMan tool and now integrating AI- Image Recognition into PIC2POG. The evolution of Space Management and POG analysis has been incredible to see over the past 25 years.
I’m reminded of a Bill Gates quote “Vision without execution is daydreaming”. One consistent thread throughout my time in the industry is execution and those companies that follow through and execute usually win.
You came to Maxerience via SMSB acquisition, what makes these two brands work together?
Companies offering some version of AI-Image Recognition have multiplied over the past several years as more Brands, Distributors and Retailers begin to adopt and scale this technology across their business. SMSB held state-of-the-art product image catalog that can be used to support retailer and brand omnichannel image needs. This asset sets Maxerience apart from others in the space as we “learn up” products before they hit the market. AI-IR is only as effective as the images they can recognize. By joining forces with SMSB, Maxerience can fully integrate the millions of 3D images needed to drive accurate Image Recognition, often over 95% accuracy at launch. No one else as these capabilities.
Blue Yonder, specifically their JDA products, is a critical for today’s Category Management Teams. Why so important?
JDA is a leading software solution and been the gold standard for many years. The POG is the most important reflection of where a brand stands within a retailer. An items’ position and presence at the shelf is the most important precursor to its success. For new items, if you are not on the POG, you will likely fail. Category Teams rely on POG software like JDA to help them manage existing items and new items in this important location.
One of the most frequent questions I field when working with customers in the AI-Image Recognition space is, “Can you create an editable POG from a picture?” Our PIC2POG and PDF2POG products really helped bring more applications to AI-Image Recognition.
AI- Image Recognition continues to increase adoption, if adoption was a baseball game, what inning do you think are in with this technology?
Second inning. We are just getting started. In the early years of this technology, companies like Trax or Planorama had to rely on manual intervention to validate products. This reduced accuracy and delayed results. This slowed the industry a bit as CPG’s became skeptical of the technology.
This, however, provided opportunity for others to improve the technology and focus on different parts of the CPG landscape. We are seeing the brands that were early adopters begin to scale and more brands demonstrating their interest by increasing paid pilots. Additionally, products like PIC2POG , “Go Spot Check” (field based task management), and improved camera technology on phones will help with technology adoption.
In the end, Brands are having a harder time seeing how their brands are being executed and understanding the key drivers for growth. The harder the environment, the faster brands will adopt this technology.
You are speaking with KDP today, what are you sharing with the conference?
KDP is a great partner of ours. Another massive beverage company that is moving from pilot to scale with a ton of runway to expand AI-Image Recognition across new markets, brands and route to market partners.
Today we are talking about the Hot Coffee Category- K-Cups. As massive a business K-Cups is across any given grocery store, they are not often awarded Category Advisership. Rather, they take a backseat to Starbucks or JM Smuckers who have massive presence in the category. This leaves their Category Teams blind to the store level POG results which hurts their ability to defend their overall space and maximize their assortment.
KDP has implement PIC2POG for this category. In one retailer, where they were only provided PDF POG images of each store, we were able to build over 6,000 POG using our technology. Normally, this would take a team of Category Managers weeks to build. We help build within a few days.
Tell me more about PIC2POG and PDF2POG? When should a company subscribe to these services?
PIC2POG and PDF2POG is another application for AI-Image Recognition that help CPG companies gather store level POG data into an editable format. This format allows for strategic planning, ROI analysis and assortment evaluation. Maxerience is uniquely positioned to own this type of application as we hold the latest AI-IR algorithms AND state-of-the-art 3d image catalog.
Any Brand or Distributor that has full chain authorization and meets with a retailer regularly. PIC2POG is used for both Category Management | Space Management teams and field execute teams who are looking to execute the POG. If you are in the POG you need PIC2POG.
Any final thoughts on PIC2POG or PDF2POG?
We really believe that PIC2POG | PDF2POG is a revolutionary product that helps Brands, Distributors and Retailers “SEE” the shelf with great detail without bias, “COMPARE” what is seen with what’s expected to generate “REPORTS” that outline the gaps in execution, assortment, and availability needed to maximize performance and generate an ROI on the merchandising investments.
Learn more about Vision Group at visiongroupretail.com
Maxerience, a Vision Group Company, focuses on providing store level visibility with incredible detail, without inherent bias from manual audits in real-time by deploying AI-Image Recognition technology. Recent acquisition of SMSB state-of-the-art 3D image content category, Maxerience can offer unique services other can’t offer in the space. Core technology enables brands, distributors and retailers to “SEE, COMPARE, REPORT and EXECUTE” against store level data capture more effectively and with greater speed.
The Vision Group is the umbrella bringing together three distinct businesses linked together by leveraging AI and IoT technologies to improve visibility of bricks and mortar retail. These businesses include; Maxerience.com, focusing on store level execution and insights; InstaGNG, executing frictionless retail with smart cooler and smart vending capabilities; VisionIoT, connecting assets deployed across retail stores generating insights that range from asset tracking to replenishment.
Contact Jderienzo@maxerience.com or visit maxerience.com | visiongroupretail.com for more information