Swedish garden centre group uses new supply chain management

Granngården has implemented RELEX supply chain management technology.

Granngården is a nationwide 182m euro retail chain in Sweden in the pets and gardening sector and asked Relex to improve its forecasting and order proposals, extend automated replenishment to seasons and campaigns, and later on also ensure stock was available both through its stores and its ecommerce channels.

Granngården planned to upgrade its existing ERP system to Dynamics AX and was simultaneously looking for a supply chain management system to integrate with it. Granngården’s previous inventory management system needed too much manual intervention and couldn’t help meet its development goals, the company said. Those required better forecasting and order proposals, time-saving optimized allocations, the ability to run simulations, and a higher level of automation especially for seasons and campaigns.

A system was needed that had a good visibility and an easier way of controlling the different channels and stock levels without contacting the supply chain vendor every time.

The project to implement both AX and RELEX started in February 2014. The AX project was however delayed for more than one year, but the RELEX project went so quickly that Granngården decided to integrate RELEX with its old ERP system immediately rather than waiting for the AX project to be completed. This allowed the configuration of the SCM system to proceed and deliver "significant" gains before AX was up and running. The additional effort of integrating RELEX a second time with the new system was minor and more than outweighed by the interim benefits, said RELEX. All 110 stores, and 250 distributors were brought onto the RELEX system within five onths.

Granngården logistics manager Jimmy Olsen said: "We were surprised by how straightforward the whole process was. It allowed us to get RELEX working successfully ahead of the AX project and reap the benefits of the new system sooner. And that meant we could devote more attention to the ERP implementation when that started.

"We´re glad that RELEX kept on telling us that the go-live will be too risky with a big bang of both AX and RELEX the same day. The extra effort of carrying out a second implementation was marginal but the gains were tangible and well worthwhile."

Specific benefits achieved included a seven per cent decrease in stock value in stores (10 per cent in the central warehouse), 17 per cent increase in sales, better data management enabling improved forecasting and control over campaigns and seasons, tighter control of seasonal introductions and ramp downs, more efficient and proactive inventory and handling management, and better use of freight-free limits, retail staff freed from replenishment duties, all work is now done by the central organisation, store and e-commerce stock ring-fenced within one pool for maximum efficiency and improved supply chain transparency throughout the whole organisation.

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