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Inventory optimization: German DIY and Garden Center Chain HELLWEG Implements RELEX SCM-Software

May 20, 2016 3 min

With more than 150 DIY and garden centers the HELLWEG group chose RELEX Solutions’ supply chain management software to manage its inventory and master two-stage replenishment via its distribution center. With RELEX’s help, Hellweg also aims to optimize campaign management and identify demand changes early on.

Established in 1971, the family-owned group runs 96 HELLWEG Baumärkte (DIY) stores across Germany and Austria, 56 BayWA Bau und Gartenmärkte (DIY and gardening) outlets in southern Germany, and six Gartencenter Augsburg garden centers in North Rhine-Westphalia. With its focus on quality and service, the retailer offers a comprehensive assortment of around 60,000 items covering all aspects of building and gardening.

RELEX client Hellweg - DIY and garden center - copyright Hellweg

Until recently, the company used inventory management software that it had developed in-house. This legacy system is now being replaced by RELEX’s solution. Compared to other providers, HELLWEG found the accuracy of RELEX’s forecasts and its detailed data analytics capabilities especially attractive.

“We created a test data set to assess candidate solutions,” says Michael Heidloff, Head of Merchandise Management at HELLWEG. “RELEX provided us with much better information and results than other providers. What particularly convinced us to choose RELEX was the level of detail in its forecasts and analyses.”

To generate this level of detail, RELEX‘s solution makes use of any information it can gather from the retailer’s ERP system, for example store-specific sales patterns and more. Using over 3,000 combinations of different forecasting models and parameters including sales history, campaign and seasonal effects, the software automatically calculates day-level forecasts and order proposals with a very high degree of accuracy. As HELLWEG will now be able to constantly optimize stock levels and adjust them to meet actual demand, the company expects to increase availability while simultaneously minimizing capital tied up in inventory.

HELLWEG group is an owner-managed, mid-sized retail family business. With a successful DIY and gardening center store concept, the company is growing very fast. 96 HELLWEG markets in Germany and Austria and 65 BayWA DIY and garden centers in southern Germany are managed and supported from the company headquarters in Dortmund. Gartencenter Augsburg, a gardening retail chain with six outlets in North Rhine-Westphalia, is also part of the group. HELLWEG group employs around 6,000 people.

HELLWEG’s store network is characterized by high density and regional market leadership focused on the Rhine-Ruhr area and Berlin’s vicinity. With an average sales area of 8,000 square meters, HELLWEG has one of the most modern store portfolios in the industry. More than 90% of stores offer garden centers. The company pursues a company strategy based on quality and service. HELLWEG stores employ a staff of around 4,000, 10% of which are trainees.

BayWa Bau & Garten represents proximity and regionality. The quality and service-oriented specialty retailer offers a comprehensive assortment of around 60,000 items for building, interior renovation and design, house and garden as well as leisure and pets. Clearly structured product presentation, skilled consultation and comprehensive customer services are paramount to BayWa Bau & Garten. “Hier bin ich gern”, this is where I like to be: Around 2,000 employees are there for customers. The company trains more than 100 young professionals.