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Shelf space planning going offshore?

What goes where on the shelves at your supermarket could be figured out in India, says outsourcing company Symphony Services.

If outsourcing company Symphony Services has its way, what goes where on the shelves at your supermarket could be decided by analysts in India.

Symphony Services is going to announce on Monday a "space planning" service for retailers and manufacturers. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Symphony, which has facilities in India, Texas, Tennessee and Massachusetts, said the service includes "data access, cleansing and integration," analytics and the production of shelf space plans.

"The number of products in any given category on retail shelves can be overwhelming, and retailers must determine what products to carry, how much and at what price," said Mark Nelson, executive vice president at Symphony.

It's rather fascinating to think that the placement of Cheerios boxes at the local market could be determined by Indian analysts – who may never have set foot in a U.S. supermarket.

But chances are shoppers will never know if this spanning-the-globe calculation has taken place: companies are becoming ever-more tight-lipped about their offshore plans.