Motoral, the vehicle spares wholesaler has picked RELEX as its new purchasing tool. RELEX implemented the system as part of Motoral’s restructuring of its purchasing operations.

Before the changeover 20 product managers had shared responsibility for Motoral’s buying. Its slimmed-down team consists of just three dedicated buyers.

Motoral’s product range is very wide with over 30,000 SKUs sourced from more than 350 manufacturers and distributed both to customers in its home market in Finland and internationally. Across the range there are big variations in product type, value and sales seasons.

A key goal of the restructuring was to free-up product managers’ time to concentrate on product-line development, marketing, and customer care, and to allow closer monitoring of product profitability. Meanwhile by cutting out repetitive and redundant tasks Motoral was able to create a small, specialist buying team and focus on developing its supply-chain management skills while giving staff a greater sense of job satisfaction.

The reorganisation, prompted by the move to the automated ordering system, has generated further benefits. The new, centralised system makes routine purchasing more efficient and that allows more of the team’s time to be focused on challenging situations. Moreover the system can be constantly refined as new situations and exceptions arise so accuracy and efficiency are constantly improving.

Motoral and RELEX started working together last August and September when RELEX proposed plans for a reorganisation and a new buying process and ran a pre-feasibility study. Motoral used this preliminary study to highlight its specific requirements while, at the same time, investigating solutions from a number of other suppliers.

“We settled on RELEX because its system was clearly more flexible than its competitors,” says Motoral’s Head of Logistics Roni Ström. “Our initial collaboration convinced us that RELEX’s expertise and the quality of the support it offers throughout implementation and the ongoing development of our supply chain was simply the best. Our decision to go with RELEX was made easier still because even at the pre-study phase we were able to see the extensive, measurable benefits RELEX’s system could deliver.”

“When we implement RELEX-systems for a client a key part of the challenge for them is to manage change for their staff because, when processes change and improve, people’s tasks and roles change too,” says RELEX CEO Mikko Kärkkäinen. “Motoral managed these changes very well and the care they took was a key factor in the project’s successful outcome.”

From the beginning Motoral’s employees were closely involved in the project. The objectives were clearly set out and communication was good. The result was very positive feedback from staff. The system’s flexibility, the reports it produces and its ease of use all won praise.

As the new system was rolled out across Motoral’s various product lines the availability of each new item added showed immediate improvement. One of Motoral’s major aims for the new system was to achieve 98% availability. That has been delivered. It’s very important for technical wholesalers to offer excellent stock availability to both large and small customers. By the end of this year Motoral expects to have the vast majority of its spares, tools, chemicals, supplies and other products managed by the system.