Richard Potter delivering a keynote presentation

2024: the year of AI acceleration

By Richard Potter on July 4, 2024

Richard Potter, CEO and co-founder at Peak, shares his observations from the first half of 2024.

Earlier this year, I predicted that — following two years of ifs and whens — 2024 would be the year of actually doing AI. So, as we enter the second half of 2024, let’s take a look at how my prediction is faring, and what we at Peak have been up to in the year of AI acceleration.

Ease and efficiency aren’t the only reasons to integrate AI with your existing tech stack

The concept of integrating your business systems is nothing new; don’t use an AI platform that doesn’t talk to your existing tech stack — it’s difficult, costly and often ineffective. But now, we’re starting to see the value of connecting existing systems and software with a business’ chosen AI provider, and that’s pretty exciting.

SAP, for example, is a core part of tech stacks across industries, helping organizations to manage and automate their core business processes, from human resources to customer relationships. The SAP Integration Suite enables users to directly leverage AI outputs from partners (like Peak!) into their existing ecosystem, reducing manual touch points across their processes.

Another advancement is the combination of AI and automation, which has unlocked a whole new level of productivity. UiPath is a business automation platform that helps organizations to automate repetitive tasks and streamline end-to-end processes, such as procure–to–pay, using robotic process automation (RPA) and AI-driven automation capabilities including Comms Mining and Document Understanding.

Using AI to scour terabytes of enterprise data and make intelligent decisions, UiPath and its partners reveal additional value for its customers to further adapt and optimize their processes. For example, joint Peak and UiPath customer, Heidelberg Materials, has seen an increase in margin and conversion rate, as well as estimating thousands of hours saved annually.

Additionally, with Snowflake, a cloud data platform that allows businesses to store, process, and analyze data, businesses can rely on their data as a single source of truth. In turn, this accelerates subsequent implementation of AI solutions and decreases the time it takes for a business to see a return on investment. Peak’s Pricing AI, including our new markdown optimization software, is now available to all Snowflake customers as a Connected Snowflake application, facilitating a seamless interaction from data to AI to output.

Peak is proud to be partnered with SAP, UiPath, Snowflake and AWS, enabling our joint customers to maximize use of their existing systems whilst embarking on a new journey with AI.

Peak is proud to be partnered with SAP, UiPath, Snowflake and AWS, enabling our joint customers to maximize use of their existing systems whilst embarking on a new journey with AI.

Richard Potter

CEO and co-founder at Peak

Generative AI is still a focal requirement for businesses

I spend a lot of my time with business executives looking to adopt AI. There’s a lot of pressure to do so but that pressure intensifies when it comes to generative AI.

Generative AI is primarily used to create new data instances that resemble the input data. Its core strength is in creating novel, yet similar, pieces of data, and its use cases include customer service, meeting summaries, data and information searching and more.

If you’re looking to optimize your pricing, ads or stock allocation, however, generative AI probably isn’t the right approach. Instead, predictive AI, which uses historical data to forecast and categorize, could be for you. It doesn’t have to be a case of ‘either-or’ though, predictive and generative AI can be a powerful pair.

I’m eagerly anticipating the release of Co:Driver into general availability on 11 July 2024. Powered by generative AI, Co:Driver is Peak’s agentic AI assistant that enables users to interrogate, analyze and better understand the outputs from their predictive AI. It’s a key piece of the puzzle in connecting human and artificial intelligence.

Imagine you’re already using AI to get your stock in the right place at the right time. The AI is shooting out recommendations for how much of each product to reorder and when, helping you to tread the line between over and understocking. With Co:Driver, your team can ask questions about your business’ data, outputs and trends, without trawling through endless spreadsheets. Even more crucially, Co:Driver can provide them with the reasoning behind why the AI has made certain decisions.

Appetite for AI in retail extends beyond personalization

In our survey of 3,000 senior leaders, 80% of those in retail were already using or working towards using AI and a whopping 99% said their budget for AI had increased over the last five years. The appetite for AI in retail is undisputed.

To date, many of the AI use cases in the retail sector have been around personalizing shopping experiences and reaching the coveted ‘omnichannel’ nirvana but we’re starting to see retailers looking for other ways to leverage AI.

With potentially millions of dollars’ worth of stock to shift each week, supply chain is well and truly in the spotlight. Personalization is an important piece of this puzzle but AI for inventory and pricing are even bigger levers.

Gartner’s recent Market Guides for Retail Forecasting, Allocation and Replenishment Solutions and Retail Unified Price, Promotion and Markdown Optimization Applications – Short Life Cycle, which both recognize Peak, highlight this evolving landscape in the retail space.

The only thing guaranteed is uncertainty

Uncertainty continues to plague businesses with supply chains. Leaders are lacking confidence when it comes to technology investments that will ease the pain. The risk of stocking out, ending up with too much stock to shift or with their tech investments gathering ‘digital dust’ is too great for many.

Gartner’s 2023 supply chain technology wants and needs survey found that the top motivating factor for supply chain leaders to invest in supply chain technology is to make decision-making processes faster, more intelligent and of higher quality, which is only possible with AI.

In April, we launched our performance guarantee for Inventory AI, our product used by businesses to forecast, order and balance optimal stock levels across their supply chain network. With a decade delivering results for companies like Speedy Hire, Marshalls and Eurocell, we’re so sure AI is the answer, we’re willing to guarantee it.


Our theme of the year at Peak is acceleration. Delivering value faster, developing trailblazing products and continuing to expand across the globe. It’s been a strong start to the year for us, receiving external recognition in VivaTech Top 100 Next Unicorns, Sifted 100: UKI and featuring in Forrester’s AI/ML Platforms Landscape (Q1 2024) report.

And it certainly seems as if the outside world got the acceleration memo, too. It’s clear that there’s been a shift from a lot of talk, to a lot of action – and we’re here for it! 

With a growing customer base that includes B&M Retail, PepsiCo and Nike, we’re looking forward to the rest of 2024 and beyond, as we champion AI’s adoption into the mainstream and help our customers to drive value with AI that works for their business. 

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