The project is implemented in several stages. At the pilot stage, a basic level of accuracy is achieved for recognizing a new product base, in one or more categories. Field employees are trained how to work with the technology on the test site, they make visits according to the new rules and accumulate photo content. The neural network starts to better recognize products on shelves. The first results provide the customer with reliable information about the actual levels of implementation of the basic KPIs: OSA and OOS. It becomes possible to effectively manage the indicators in the pilot territory, and the confidence to the process is being formed.
In case of success, the project goes to the rollout stage: the number of the ecosystem participants increases to hundreds or thousands, and the photo database increases to hundreds of thousands, or millions of SKU images. Expanding the list of KPIs, customizing them, eliminating failures in the chains of personnel work, change management, technical support — all of this turns the product into a full-fledged SaaS service. Now services are provided by subscription, and the developer company receives recurring payments.
During this period, it is worth focusing on scaling, and not to go far beyond the basic metrics related to the distribution of product items, their availability on shelves, and share in category. Otherwise, the customer risks delaying the launch "in field", which could lead to unnecessary losses for the business.
After the recognition technology is implemented everywhere, and the sales service trusts and relies on the data obtained through the technology, the third stages — extracting additional benefits — begin.
Its main task is to automate the more complex metrics and processes as a priority for a particular FMCG manufacturer. More often, we are talking about measuring the level of compliance with planograms (product layout rules), price monitoring, and competitor analysis. But there are also unique requests. For example, reading the menu or digitizing product categories in a store.