JJ Food Service Ltd. is an omni-channel bulk food retailer based in Enfield on the North Eastern outskirts of London. Sometimes compared to the retailer Argos, JJ Food offers a choice of ways to buy and receive goods. JJ Food was actively searching for a supply chain solution to help tackle a number of issues that were a drain on staff time.
RELEX and JJ Food Service signed a deal in April 2013. There was good historic data and ‘with just a few weeks’ work during the analysis phase it was possible to both build an excellent picture of the company’s supply chain performance and identify the areas needing particular attention.
“The analysis phase highlighted the inefficiencies in our operations and showed us where the biggest gains could be made, such as in the area of promotions” says JJ Food Service COO Mushtaque Ahmed. “That made the business case and set out our priorities for the implementation”.
The RELEX and JJ Food teams moved swiftly into the three month pilot at the beginning of July. Issues raised during the analysis phase were quickly resolved.
The original plan was to work with a small selection of JJ Food’s buying team, suppliers and products. But by mid-September everything – all staff, suppliers, products – was on the new system. The two teams drove the implementation forward and effectively brought the roll-out phase into the three month pilot.
“The first, critical achievement was that the whole team was wholeheartedly using the system” says Mushtaque Ahmed. “They found the system very effective yet simple to use – basic training only took about 30 minutes.”
”Thanks to the new system we’ve cleaned out a lot of non performing lines that were falling off our buyers’ radar and improved the availability of the rest,” he says. JJ Food has always sought out the latest technology to help it improve its operations and knows from experience the importance of good leadership in IT projects. Mr. Ahmed took the project lead throughout, managing and motivating his team, and so everyone, both from JJ Food and from RELEX, went through the project wholly committed to its success.
The company wanted to:
- Manage fresh produce better
- Improve seasonal, promotion, school-menu item and supplier delivery constraint management
- Handle internal stock transfers between branches
- Reduce inventory levels and identify non performing areas
- Free its small buying team from repetitive replenishment tasks so buyers could focus on sourcing, negotiation and supplier and customer relationships
RELEX’s risk-reducing, confidence-building approach also played a key part in encouraging JJ Food to become RELEX’s first UK customer.
The analysis phase, pilot, the SaaS model (with no front-loaded fees), and no-penalty withdrawal options all put the onus on RELEX to see implementations through and deal with any challenges quickly and effectively. It also allows clients to proceed step by step so every decision to move forward is taken on the basis of the best possible information.
- Delivery constraints like numbers of full, broken or mixed pallets, minimum order values, etc. added hours to the order building process. Now rule combinations are factored in automatically and optimally.
- Promotion handling was carefully studied during the analysis phase and the teams configured the system to forecast the impact of different promotion profiles for the whole product range.
JJ Food can now assess the likely impact of a campaign before deciding whether or how best to run it.