Benson Hill Biosystems partners with AB InBev to implement CropOS data analytics platform
A global crop improvement company that implements innovative and revolutionary crop design platforms to “empower innovators” has entered into a key strategic partnership with the world’s largest brewing company.
Benson Hill Biosystems announced in a statement this week that it has entered into a partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) to leverage a computational platform that harnesses data and analytics to improve the sustainability of the barley supply chain.
AB InBev will leverage Benson Hill’s CropOS platform, which connects the entire barley value chain through the power pf cloud computing, machine learning and big data analytics to predict and control outcomes.
The partnership is a further step in AB InBev’s 2025 Global Sustainability Goals and connects directly with he company’s innovative data and insight platform SmartBarley. This works with barley farmers in the AB InBev supply chain to improve productivity and performance of their farms. Benson Hill’s CropOS platform will help “accelerate the development of higher yielding barley varieties that use less water and other natural resources.”
“For AB InBev, brewing quality beer starts with the best ingredients. That requires a healthy environment and thriving communities,” said Gary Hanning, Global Director of Barley Research at AB InBev. “Benson Hill’s powerful Breed application positions us at the forefront of innovation to develop more resilient and sustainable varieties of barley for growers and the best quality malt for our brewers.”
“AB InBev recognizes the power of plants and innovation to benefit both farmers and consumers,” said Matt Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill. “The Benson Hill team is eager to apply the predictive power of CropOS to AB InBev’s SmartBarley program and rapidly advance its breeding efforts.”
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.