Retail apparently has a problem, and a big one. According to research, manufacturers and merchants annually waste $500 billion either understocking or overstocking their supplies. A new startup hopes to change this, and has created a platform that combines the blockchain with artificial intelligence (AI). If the research is accurate and the platform produces even a fraction of improvement, it would be a huge boost for the retail industry. The Optimal Shelf Availability Decentralized (OSA DC) is touted as the ideal solution for major brands and even small chains to track their stocks, inventories and orders with what the company calls “pinpoint accuracy.” It is based on a platform that has already been deployed by over 20 manufacturers and corporations, including Mars, Danone, L’Oréal and Coca-Cola. OSA DC indicates that its initial platform has already helped companies increase sales by about 5.4%, and has earned over $1 million in revenue. The service will also be beneficial to consumers. OSA DC’s digital assistant provides accurate data on various details of products, such as ingredients, origin, traceability and price. The assistant is hosted on a tamperproof ledger, meaning the information is free from manipulation. OSA DC hopes to create a new retail market that allows consumers to make smart decisions and help influence the products at the same level as retailers and manufacturers. According to the white paper published by the company, research has shown that approximately 30% of all goods purchased each year around the globe are never used by consumers. The digital assistant will provide tools to help all consumers manage their purchases while reducing domestic waste. OSA DC has entered into a partnership with Neuromation, an AI company that trains neural networks and designs advanced computer vision technology. The partnership will allow OSA DC to enhance its image recognition software. The AI service will offer consumer response control in real time so that they can predict the availability of products at retail stores. OSA DC isn’t the only company to offer a blockchain-based solution for the retail industry. As reported on CoinGeek in April, Wal-Mart has initiated its own partnership with IBM to use the technology for all food supplies in their system. OSA DC recently held a token sale that began on March 20 and wrapped up on May 15. Six days later, it launched a public presale, which runs until June 21. Following the presale, the company hopes to hold its crowdfunding event that will continue until the end of July. OSA DC indicated that it would halt funding activities at any time, as soon as it raises the $40-million hard cap.