Sonepar

Sonepar is an independent family business of 145 operating companies in 48 countries with worldwide market leadership in B2B distribution of electrical products, solutions and related services. Worldwide, Sonepar has one million customers, 48,000 employees and 3,000 branches.

Sonepar’s business involves seeking out manufacturers and identifying and selecting the electrical equipment and technical solutions best suited to market requirements and then making them available to its own customers – generally electricity professionals – in the right place, at the right time and at the right price.

Challenge

The process of classifying and enrichment of data is quite labor intensive for Sonepar. However, new artificial intelligence techniques like Machine Learning can help reducing the required amount of labor and offer new possibilities. Therefore, a collaboration between Machine Learning Company and Sonepar in the area of Machine Learning was set up.

Machine Learning is computer science that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Instead of writing lines of code with a lot of rules like “if something then do this”, Machine Learning software identifies patterns and creates algorithms based on large sets of data. It is an extremely powerful technique which is able to perform intelligent tasks which were up to now usually done by humans. It can recognize, predict, advice, optimize and classify, and therefore it can support the automation of various business and industrial processes, customer facing services and other data driven functions.

Sonepar considered the development of a Machine Learning service layer to improve the functionality of the PIM system and reducing operational costs. Machine Learning Company executed a Proof Of Concept (POC) project for Sonepar in which it has shown the possibilities and the power of intelligent software.

Solution

Artificial Intelligence is a relatively new area of techniques where innovations evolve rapidly, and its appliances are broadly extended. Machine Learning Company can assist Sonepar with multiple services, one of which is data classification. As part of the POC, Machine Learning Company performed the implementation of Powerclass.ai. Powerclass.ai is an algorithm that is able to classify products to a proposed product class, group, brick, or family based on product descriptions and keywords provided by manufacturers. The software includes a risk level indication to display how certain the algorithm is about each classified product.

Based on additional classified product information of Sonepar, Machine Learning Company further improved and enhanced the POC data classification model and transformed it into a service that could be offered to the Sonepar PIM community.

Result

Based on previously classified product information, it is possible to train an algorithm. The further improved and enhanced classification model resulted in automatic classification for about 95% of new products based on supplier data like product descriptions and/or images.

Powerclass.ai is part of the PowerSuite, a group of Software as a Service (SaaS) products by Squadra Machine Learning Company. For more information or a demo, please contact us at info@powertext.ai or +31 (0) 85 065 3780.

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