Every day, we talk with retail companies, franchise organizations, and other businesses that want to select sites that give them the best potential for profitability and success. Here’s the stark truth: most companies have room for improvement when it comes to site selection. And as we all know, hindsight is 20/20. It’s very easy to think back and wish that you knew certain things about a site when you chose it. While you should be wary of any company that promises a methodology or tool that sounds a lot like a crystal ball, there are certain things you can do to choose better sites in the future and minimize costly mistakes.
Maybe you’ve seen companies making bold claims about their site selection software lately. Thousands of sites accurately forecasted…in mere seconds! If you’re wondering whether technological advancements have replaced the analyst and single-site sales forecasting, allow us to put it simply: no.
For a long time, site selection has been a combination of art and science. Site selection data and science became commonplace in the 1990s, but until the last decade or so, judgment, experience, and gut feel drove many retailers’ decisions about where to locate (and the reasons to do so).
You’ve probably heard about it, but what exactly is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence or “AI” is the process by which machines simulate human intelligence to solve problems and make decisions. There are many different outlooks on AI, but whether you believe that AI will be a positive force for society or the downfall of humanity, it is impossible to ignore the ramifications of this technology.