Finland’s leading chain of department stores, Stockmann, consists of seven major stores, all of which include a grocery department and carry the branding Stockmann Herkku (Delicatessen). Catering to a demanding clientele, the company provides an extremely wide selection of foodstuffs and beverages (up to 16,000 items) and many speciality food items.
Stockmann wanted to build further on its established reputation for customer service and improve the availability of items at the grocery stores. So a project was started to develop store ordering.
The demand for high-quality service, outstanding freshness and the tight scheduling of deliveries needed to achieve this, presented the chain with a major challenge and required that demanding criteria be set for replenishment management.
Before the project began Stockmann’s stores relied on manual re-ordering. This process needed updating. Having identified the changes needed, Stockmann entrusted Tuko Logistics, with help from RELEX, with providing a 21st Century replenishment service for the chain.
The aim was to increase dramatically the proportion of orders generated automatically, thus reducing staff time consumed by manual ordering both at the stores and at Tuko, Stockmann’s wholesale supplier. This would allow staff to shift their focus towards managing exceptional situations and customer service.
Other objectives included improving the reliability of supply, guaranteeing the freshness of items offered to customers, and reducing stock levels.
An ordering development project was started in the spring of 2011, and Stockmann unveiled the positive results of the RELEX systems implementation in late spring 2012. All objectives set for the project were achieved, even exceeded, despite the tight schedule.
“The investment paid itself back in just a few months, thanks to reduced waste and better availability,” says Development Manager Kimmo Jokilahti from Stockmann.
Now customers are able to buy fresher products at the stores and forecasts for seasonal, campaign and holiday sales have significantly improved. Thanks to RELEX, delivery vehicle journeys to the stores have undergone optimisation and the trucks now routinely carry fuller loads.
“The skilled, professional service teams of RELEX and Tuko played an essential part in the success of the implementation,” continues Jokilahti. “Especially since we renewed our ERP system at the same time as the implementation, which proved challenging with regard to resources.”