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Advanced Planning solution

This solution drives product profitability and inventory optimization while delivering state-of-the-art, near-real-time capabilities to your employees. Leverage an analytics and visualization platform that lets your buyers make optimal purchase decisions, and improve the accuracy of demand forecasting through more effective demand planning.

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Solution benefits for Advanced Planning

Improve profitability

Make timely decisions to optimize inventory and improve profitability through a combination of advanced analytics and data visualization.

Achieve near-real-time access

Get insights into digital business performance on par with digital purse plays enabled through analytics capabilities that allow retailers to access data from multiple sources.

Enrich operational processes 

Access information—such as weather, psychographics, social, and search data—in near-real time, getting insights from diverse data obtained from public and purchased sources.

"We are continually getting better at identifying what our customer wants, using Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and resulting data insights."

Sharon Leite

EVP Sales and Customer Experience, Pier 1 Imports

Pier 1 Imports

Retailer Pier 1 Imports wanted to better connect with its customers using insights and data. To do that, the company took to the cloud to pilot a predictive analytics solution based on Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Microsoft Power BI.

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“The analytics platform based on Azure helps us to deliver a better service to our customers. We achieve this by using the information the platform provides to identify the optimum time to stock and service MARS DRINKS machines."

Jamie Head

Chief Information Officer, MARS DRINKS


By using Azure, MARS DRINKS has gained a platform to improve operational efficiency, drive business insights, and support global expansion across all its markets.

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How it works

Advanced Planning Infographic

With the Advanced Planning solution, you can leverage advanced analytics to ingest, store, and manage insights from public and purchased sources.

Combining “born-in-the-cloud data” (such as weather, sociographic/demographic, search, and social) with operational data, you get a near-real-time feedback loop between legacy inventory control systems and the buyers who access Microsoft Power BI visualization tools.

Machine learning then allows you to find optimal correlations in the data, determining which drivers of demand have the most impact. Using visualizations tools, you can take actions toward inventory optimization.

Next steps

Try or buy apps, connect with Microsoft partners, and meet with Microsoft architects and technology strategists for customer workshops.

Contact a Microsoft Technology Center

At the Microsoft Technology Centers (MTC) we can help you find the right solutions to transform your enterprise business in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Contact your Microsoft Account Manager to learn more about the MTC near you or go to to learn more.

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