Lifeway Christian Stores Selects RELEX Supply Chain Software for Forecasting, Replenishment & Allocation

Jul 26, 2016 3 min

RELEX Solutions, in collaboration with Columbus Consulting International, to support LifeWay Christian Stores with upgrading its supply chain management in order to reduce inventory and increase availability.

LifeWay, one of the world’s largest providers of Christian resources, is implementing RELEX Solutions’ supply chain software for its retail division to improve its inventory forecasting, replenishment and allocation processes. LifeWay Christian Stores currently operates approximately 170 stores across the US, an e-commerce platform and one Distribution Center (DC), in Nashville.

Lifeway Christian Stores has a wide variety of merchandise categories meeting church and individual needs — including short-life cycle media products, promotional, super-seasonal, year-round continuous replenishment and the need for efficient pre-season, in-season and end-of-season allocation processes across all of its distribution channels. RELEX is providing a seamless forecasting, replenishment and allocation solution all in one common system.

Bill Crayton, VP Merchandising, LifeWay Christian Stores comments: “The new allocation process will improve operational efficiencies. But the bigger return for LifeWay’s retail division will be in managing the inventory more effectively based on more localized assortments and dynamic SKU/store forecasts. In addition, a unique and unexpected benefit we found was RELEX’s handheld capabilities, which will provide an efficient and valuable feedback loop from local stores, allowing local store input into centralized assortment, allocation, and replenishment strategies.”

Jon Beck, CEO, Columbus Consulting International says: “As the final step in the merchandising process, allocation is a critical business process that requires careful evaluation and balance.  It needs to be quick to keep merchandise moving, accurate to maximize margins and intuitive so that allocators and their leadership understand how merchandise is to be distributed.  RELEX, Columbus Consulting International and Lifeway are reinventing the approach to merchandise execution by generating accurate demand forecasts, planning localized assortments, and allocating / replenishing more precisely to optimize the inventory performance and deliver targeted assortments to consumers.”

Jay Wallis, Director of Merchandise Administration for LifeWay Christian Stores, adds: “What really set RELEX apart was their customer reference approach. Instead of proposing reference calls with a few hand-picked customers, they willingly allowed us to choose the customers we wanted to speak with from over 100 companies using their system. RELEX clearly has confidence in their customers’ satisfaction.”

Melissa Boone, Partner, Columbus Consulting International, expands: “Lifeway’s long term business strategy is to manage a single inventory across all departments. In collaboration with the RELEX team, we have developed flexible business processes supported by RELEX’s highly configurable platform, to enable LifeWay’s vision to become reality. In doing so, Lifeway will ultimately benefit from faster turns, higher sales, increased gross margin, visibility and reporting of supply chain exceptions and overall improved customer service.”

Michael Falck, President North America, RELEX Solutions adds: “We are delighted to welcome LifeWay as a RELEX customer. We are working closely with Columbus Consulting to deliver a functionally robust solution that fits Lifeway’s business requirements and gains 100% user adoption. Two months into the implementation, we are making great progress.“

The project implementation started in April 2016 and is expected to be completed by November 2016.

About LifeWay
LifeWay Christian Resources is one of the world’s largest providers of Christian resources, with 4,000 employees. Its resources minister in more than 120 countries around the world seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

The company owns and operates approximately 170 LifeWay Christian Stores across the US, as well as the Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. LifeWay also publishes books and the widely-respected HCSB® Bible translation under the B&H Publishing Group imprint.

LifeWay is a nonprofit organization that reinvests income above operating expenses in its mission and ministry work around the world.

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About Columbus Consulting International
Columbus Consulting is a unique organization in the world of retail systems and process.  Comprised of a team of highly experienced specialists across North America and Europe, the company engages in a very hands-on and detailed mode to ensure that the strategic vision retailers have for their brands across all channels is realized through a combination of business processes, organizational roles & responsibilities, corporate systems, end-user tools, and tactics.

The company has delivered solutions for many of the world’s largest and well-known retailers, including American Eagle, ANN, ASOS, At Home, Big Lots, DSW, J.Crew, Lucky Brand, Michael Kors, Mothercare, Mr. Price, Ross Stores, Target, Tory Burch, and Tuesday Morning.

The organization has a broad set of skills and resources, as well as specific industry-leading expertise in merchandising, planning & allocation, financial & operational planning, reporting & analysis, and IT strategy/leadership & system implementation.  Projects range from steering and delivering large, long-range, multi-disciplinary projects, to managing short-term, high-impact, executive-level interim and advisory services.

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