Press release

MDI, an Alex Lee Company, deploys AI technologies to support distribution business


DALLAS – Nov. 5, 2019 – SymphonyAI, the leading global provider of AI-enabled revenue growth management solutions and customer-centric insights for retailers and CPG manufacturers across the entire value chain, today announced that Alex Lee is implementing SymphonyAI Demand ForecastingAI and Warehouse Replenishment to support its wholesale distribution business, Merchants Distributors (MDI).

Headquartered in Hickory, North Carolina, MDI supplies more than 600 retail food stores with food and non-food items in 12 eastern states. Until now, MDI’s supply chain processes were conducted manually based on buyers’ historical knowledge, leading to inefficient assortment forecasting. In order to improve the profitability of its supply chain through faster and more accurate merchandising decisions, MDI committed to leverage new solutions that automated its forecasting process.

“Our primary goal is to ensure that MDI customers continue to grow profitably and create loyalty with their customers – so we needed technology that helps us more quickly understand market trends, react faster and invest in the right products,” said Anita Harris, CIO, Alex Lee. “With accurate demand forecasting and streamlined inventory management, our supply chain aligns more closely with our wholesale customers’ needs. This ensures we consistently serve them the right products at the right time.”

With the warehouse replenishment solution from SymphonyAI, MDI is able to identify demand signals that can be shared between the store and warehouse for increased inventory visibility and insights. The demand forecasting solution leverages machine learning and contextual data to improve forecast accuracy and remove manual guesswork, while simultaneously reducing out of stocks, excess inventory and spoiled foods. It also accommodates grocery-style functionality for buying, enabling replenishment of all categories including commodities, specialty and hyper-fresh items.

“In order to support the success of its customers and suppliers, distributors like MDI must ensure their own business practices are modernized and streamlined,” said Graeme Cooksley, President and COO, SymphonyAI. “We’re excited to help Alex Lee and MDI improve supply chain efficiency and ensure MDI remains an established industry leader.”

Alex Lee is currently implementing SymphonyAI’s solutions at MDI and plans to go live at the end of 2019. Learn more about SymphonyAI Demand ForecastingAI and Warehouse Replenishment.

About Merchants Distributors, LLC

Founded in 1931, Merchants Distributors (MDI) is a privately-owned wholesale grocery store distributor headquartered in Hickory, NC. MDI supplies over 600 retail food stores with food and non-food items in twelve eastern states.  MDI also exports to over 20 countries.  Merchants Distributors, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alex Lee, Inc.

The company has a strong customer focus and offers a variety of services to help their customers succeed. To learn more, please visit

About Alex Lee, Inc.

Founded in 1931, Alex Lee is a family-owned and operated company that employs approximately 10,000 people. It serves as the parent company of Merchants Distributors, LLC, which provides full-service, wholesale distribution to supermarkets. Alex Lee is also the parent company of Lowes Foods, which includes 85 full-service grocery stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as Just Save food stores in North Carolina. In addition, Alex Lee, Inc. is the parent company of Souto Foods, LLC, a distributor of authentic Hispanic foods.  Alex Lee, Inc. is based in Hickory, NC.

About SymphonyAI

SymphonyAI is the leading global provider of role-specific, AI-enabled revenue growth management solutions and customer-centric insights for retailers and CPG manufacturers across the entire value chain. Our proven, industry-leading, AI-enabled software, coupled with the industry’s only conversational natural-language AI interface, CINDE, provides key users with proven prescriptive and preemptive recommendations that make it easy to identify end-to-end growth opportunities, activate plans, and realize measurable profit and revenue growth. Our solutions are specific to key decision-maker roles focused on profitable growth across the retail value chain from source to consumer. With our strong global partner ecosystem, we serve more than 1,200 organizations worldwide – including 15 of the top 25 global grocery retailers, 25 of the top 25 global CPG manufacturers, thousands of retail brands, and hundreds of national and regional chains – all through the Microsoft Azure Cloud. SymphonyAI is a SymphonyAI company. More at

About SymphonyAI

SymphonyAI Group is the fastest-growing private group of B2B AI companies, backed by a $1 billion commitment to deliver next-generation AI solutions for transforming the enterprise. Since its founding in 2017, SymphonyAI Group has grown rapidly to a group of six companies with a combined revenue run rate approaching $300 million. Over 1,600 talented leaders, data scientists, and other professionals operate the group under the leadership of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful serial entrepreneurs, Dr. Romesh Wadhwani. Website:

Media Contact

Adrienne Newcomb
Ketner Group Communications (for SymphonyAI)