Case Study

Transforming distribution: Powering profits with analytics and AI 


Inspire11 partners with a top distributor to deploy an automated pricing system powered by analytics and AI, leading to millions in margin recovery and a strong foundation for future AI initiatives.


Business Optimization
Business Strategy
Cloud Strategy
Cloud Transformation
Data Governance
Data Visualization


Wholesale Food & Beverage

The Opportunity

In the complex arena of distribution, a prominent distributor found itself struggling to manage an overwhelming 750,000 different pricing variations. Their margins were consistently eroded by undetected manual errors in setting prices and the process to identify these errors was extremely laborious. 

The distributor had numerous complexities that needed to be addressed: the pricing rules and logic were not documented, and data pulled from disparate systems, was manually consolidated and analyzed in spreadsheets. Furthermore, there was little to no root cause analysis done to identify long-term solutions. 

Why they chose Inspire11

Their search for expertise led them to Inspire11, a renowned name with a proven track record in addressing similar challenges. The partnership was strategically formed to quickly identify and prioritize areas needing improvement. Inspire11’s promise was to deliver tangible value using AI, analytics, and automation. 

This included: 

  • 1 week compressed discovery across 8 business functions that led to identification and prioritization of 29 value creation opportunities. 
  • Rapid, iterative solution development over a 6-week time period. 
  • Creation of a broader digital and AI roadmap. 

The Approach

Action vs. Analysis – rapid identification, alignment, and action: Inspire11 adopted a dynamic approach that emphasized swift action to capitalize on the most critical opportunities. By prioritizing initiatives based on their value, complexity, and external dependencies, the team was able to quickly identify and focus on high-impact areas. This method aimed to reduce the time spent on extensive analysis, favoring a more agile, 80/20 approach to decision-making and execution. 

Create a self-funded roadmap by unlocking real value early: The heart of the project was to iteratively work through a solution that would deliver immediate, tangible value to the client – in this case, finding pricing errors through analytics. Inspire11 worked with the client side by side to validate and correct pricing errors in real-time, enabling the team to update and improve the models quickly. In an early validation session, the teams were able to find and fix a pricing error, which alone generated value surpassing the project’s costs. This early success not only funded the subsequent phases of the analytics and AI initiatives but also cultivated substantial goodwill and support within the client’s management team, setting a solid foundation for more ambitious projects. 

Build on the momentum with bigger AI bets: With the groundwork laid by our initial achievements, Inspire11 and the client collaboratively developed an expansive roadmap for AI and analytics. This roadmap envisioned more complex ventures, such as recommendation engines, promotion optimization, and automated order creation. To support these initiatives, Inspire11 established the necessary technical infrastructure and operational frameworks to ensure the client was not only prepared to implement sophisticated AI solutions but also positioned to realize the full potential of these technologies in driving business growth and innovation. 

Harnessing the power of analytics and AI to recover $3.4 million in margins and slash processing time from weeks to minutes. 

Impact & Outcomes

The partnership with Inspire11 helped the distributor kickstart its AI and analytics transformation. Inspire11’s sophisticated AI solution not only recovered lost margins but also reinvented the distributor’s broader analytics capabilities and operations.

Margin recovery

The solutions led to the recovery of multiple millions in margin, by automatically and precisely pinpointing instances of underpriced goods.

Efficiency enhancement

The time required for report development and analysis went from days and weeks to minutes, liberating analysts to focus their efforts on higher value-adding activities. 

Foundation for future AI initiatives

The value created helped fund bigger initiatives and the modernization of core foundational pieces, such as infrastructure and team, that were crucial to enable and achieve bigger goals. 

Knowing where to start your AI and digital journey might seem daunting, but the transformation is critical to maintain and grow your competitive position. At Inspire11, we know how to harness the power of practical AI solutions to create meaningful value across both revenue enhancement opportunities and operational efficiencies. We’re here to guide you every step of the way. Start your AI journey today!  

Ready to build your AI and analytics roadmap?

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