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Australian Supermarket Coles Partners with RELEX Solutions to Centralise Ordering Systems, Improve Food Freshness, and Reduce Food Waste

Apr 26, 2021 3 min

Coles Group, a leading Australian retailer with more than 850 supermarkets, has partnered with RELEX Solutions, provider of unified retail planning solutions, to optimise their end-to-end supply chain planning for fresh produce categories as well as their long-term inventory planning capabilities. The RELEX solution will service the retailer’s supermarkets nationally and their seven fresh produce distribution centres, driving better customer service, reduced food waste, and improved supplier collaboration.

The RELEX solution, part of the RELEX Living Retail Platform, will optimise Coles’ replenishment for fresh produce, utilising AI and high scale computation power. The solution also automates replenishment processes, giving planners time to focus on more critical and strategic tasks.

Coles Executive General Manager Central Operations and Transformation Kevin Gunn said Coles started the journey of centralising its replenishment model more than ten years ago.

“Fresh produce presents many unique challenges compared to other parts of the grocery business: shorter shelf life, seasonality, price elasticity, along with the diverse and complex growing seasons and regions we are challenged with in Australia,” he said.

“Using the RELEX solution to centralise the control of the replenishment model allows Coles to provide increased efficiency in one of our most complex supply chains and improve the customer experience through more targeted ranges, improved availability, fresher products, and simpler processes for our team members and our suppliers.

“The centralised ordering of fresh produce will also help to reduce waste on our existing range and minimise waste on new ranges, which is important to us as Coles aims to become Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.”

Coles CIO Roger Sniezek said that Coles had selected RELEX as its next-generation replenishment technology to deliver benefits across the Coles Group, including great value for customers, while reducing the amount of manual work undertaken by team members.

“RELEX is a modern, automated, cloud-based replenishment solution provider to a number of leading grocers across Europe and the U.S. It represents a best-in-class technology solution that will deliver another major component of our technology-led strategy,” he said. “The initiative forms part of Coles’ Easy Ordering program, which is a critical project in delivering on our Smarter Selling strategy.” 

“The new replenishment platform will integrate with Coles’ existing in-house advanced analytics smarter forecasting solution, which has already been rolled out to other non-fresh categories. This will enable an improved customer offer by not only taking into account past purchases, but   also factoring weather and local community events into the forecasting algorithms.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Coles, a clear market leader in Australia that represents an exciting step in RELEX’s expansion. With the project already underway, we’re eager to see the results,” says Kristie Davison, APAC Sales Director at RELEX Solutions. 

“Our companies share the same mindset and values, and it’s great to establish this partnership with a joint focus on solving the complexities that fresh product categories bring to retailers,” says Jukka Uskonen, Director of APAC Operations & Alliances for RELEX Solutions.