Consumer product wholesaler Anglo-Nordic implemented RELEX replenishment systems at the turn of the year 2010. Aim was to make supply-chain management and ordering work more efficient and this has been has been achieved in a rapid project carried out simultaneously with SAP R/3-version update.
Anglo-Nordic is a family-owned wholesaler operating in many product areas such as multimedia & telecommunication, tools and office supplies. Anglo-Nordics principals include global consumer goods companies like Nokia, Sony, TomTom or Pentel.
Achieving concrete financial benefits were in the heart of Anglo’s objectives for the project. “Reducing workload in replenishment ordering and lower inventory levels were among the main targets of the system deployment” describes Roger Sittnikow, Head of Strategy Management at Anglo-Nordic.
As a value-added service for its chain customers, Anglo-Nordic offers to manage replenishment of its own products with VMI-model. The goal is to increase mutual value by allowing customers to fully focus on sales. “On top of developing our own replenishment, our goal has been to improve customer service by helping our retail customers to secure item availability at shelf-level. One of the main objectives of the project was to decrease workload in managing replenishment order parameters and to increase the level of automation and system dependability”, comments Roger Sittnikow.
Main challenges in implementation were maneuvering technical and functional changes in the course of the project. An SAP-version update and RELEX and SAP integration were made simultaneously. Also concurrently, customers retail-level information systems were integrated into the new system and an old replenishment tool for purchasing was replaced with the new one.
RELEX and SAP integration went according to plans and the project was carried through on schedule and in budget. “The implementation project of the system was extremely smooth and fast. Budget and schedule were achieved, which at times feels extraordinary for an IT-project”, Roger summarizes the system implementation.
Gradually the replenishment system has been expanded inside Anglo-Nordic and some product groups are now fully ordered through RELEX system. For these items, stock turnover has increased multiple units and availability has remained good. Besides product-level replenishment management, benefits have strived from optimizing the entire purchasing from a specific principal. Roger explains: “For example, we have a principal which requires us to order full truckloads. Through RELEX co-ordinated replenishment we now get a perfect mix of products in a full truck. Before, a lot of time and effort was used to determine purchase quantities manually and the result was, in fact, more inaccurate.”
It is important to bear in mind that implementing a new system doesn’t automatically lead to a finished process. Developing, implementing and assimilating new and smarter action models aren’t a one-time endeavor, but continuous improvement. Roger from Anglo states, that “There is a constant drive to extend the use of RELEX to other areas, because the system is so fast and effortless to use. We have come a long way even before exploiting all the existing features of the system. General pace of development at RELEX has been excellent and few needed tailored functionalities have been provided rapidly.”
The flexibility and agility of the system and the partner are truly essential in continuous development. “Starting to use RELEX is simple and if you want to go further, solutions will not run out functionality. The diversity of the system has been visible even in the user feedback – the more a person uses it, the more pleased the comments are”, Roger concludes.