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Real-time inventory and Real-time replenishment use-cases at Walmart, from a practitioner's perspective

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Meet Bill. Bill is a suburban dad who needs to prepare the family dinner ahead of his upcoming business trip. Oh, and he also needs a pair of chinos for said trip. And no, he doesn’t have time to run to the store.

Sound familiar?

Retailers have quickly come to realize that customer expectations have fundamentally changed. They expect their orders to be fulfilled in real-time, whether through an e-commerce app, a website, or in-store, and regardless of their fulfillment preference.

In order to deliver that seamless experience, retailers require real-time data streaming deployed across their organization. That’s where Apache Kafka® comes in.

During his tenure at Walmart, Suman Pattnaik, Director of Engineering at Walmart has built 2 of the applications that continue to play a critical role in customer satisfaction, using Kafka: real-time inventory and real-time replenishment systems:

  • The real-time inventory system is at the heart of Walmart’s backend architecture ensuring stores never run out of items for which customers like Bill are looking. This happens through the ingestion of roughly 500 million events per day, and the processing of 1 million online transactions.
  • The real-time replenishment system processes more than tens of billions of messages from close to 100 million SKUs in less than 3 hours per day. The system does so by leveraging an array of processors at high throughputs of more than 85GB messages/min to generate an order plan for the entire network of Walmart stores with pinpoint accuracy.

Join us on July 28th, to talk through what “a day in the life” of Suman looks like and best practices for building real-time use cases in retail.

Resources -

  1. Optimize omni-channel inventory
  2. Track Order Shipments in Real-Time
  3. Build Customer Loyalty Schemes

Suman Pattnaik leads the Merchandising and Supply chain Technology at Dollar General. He is a Big data and streaming Technology evangelist and Innovator. In his previous roles at Walmart, Suman architected as well as led teams that built the Walmart’s modern, real-time inventory, forecasting and real-time replenishment platforms. Specializing in stream processing, big data architectures, and cloud computing at scale, Suman also has extensive experience designing various distributed platform. He holds nine patents, with several more filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Suman has been a regular speaker at a variety of technology conferences and seminars and is the founder of the Bentonville Java and Cassandra Users Group. In 2022, Suman was honored as one of the five recipients of the "Leader in Data Streaming" award at Connect. He holds a BTech from Biju Patnaik University of Technology, India, and an MBA from Sam M. Walton Business College.

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