Leading home appliance retailer, Expert ASA Oy, has implemented RELEX’s replenishment solution in order to manage the inventories at its 34 own stores. Expert ASA Oy is a part of Expert International, the largest home appliance buying syndicate in the world.Expert started its co-operation with RELEX with three goals in mind: to reduce the workload required by store replenishment, to attain better control of total inventories within its network, as well as to ensure product availability to its customers.

In home appliances, the short life cycles of the products, as well as the strong impact of seasonal demand variation and promotions, present important challenge. Different product group also have quite different replenishment control needs and goals, which means that the replenishment solution needs to be both flexible and easy to use.

RELEX’s replenishment solution is currently used for store replenishment of goods delivered from Expert’s central warehouse. Previously, it was down to the product managers and store personnel to ensure sufficient shelf availability. “As the RELEX tool automatically takes care of store replenishment, product managers now have more time to hunt down new products of interest to our customers and plan promotions”, explains Juha-Mikko Saviluoto, Purchasing Manager for home appliances.

In home appliances, promotional activity is an important sales driver. This means that it is of crucial importance that the promoted products are ready and available on the store shelves when the campaign ads appear in the morning paper. Expert needed better tools for handling the replenishment of its promotional items.  “Previously, we spent a lot of time preparing for each weekly campaign by manually transferring products between the stores. Going through all of our stores by hand took an incredible amount of time. Now, all we have to do is enter the target balances into the RELEX system and, a couple of clicks later, activity begins at the central warehouse,” says Lauri Räsänen, Product Manager for Sound & Vision.

The implementation of RELEX’s solutions was executed rapidly. “The implementation project went smoothly in close co-operation with RELEX. The system was set up and ready for use in just a couple of weeks and even the smallest hick-ups in the implementation phase were promptly addressed by RELEX’s team. All updates and changes have been taken care of, almost without exception, within the same day” says Jarkko Lehtismäki, IT Manager.

In the future, Expert plans to extend the use of RELEX’s solutions also to purchase planning and replenishment of its central warehouse.