RELEX and S Group Deepen Relationship with Major Retail Planning Project

Feb 1, 2017 3 min

Finland’s largest retailer using RELEX software across multiple chains and 1000+ stores.

With more than 1,000 stores across the grocery, consumer goods, DIY and department store sectors, S Group’s sheer size means it faces the biggest replenishment challenge in Finnish retail. The group, which in retail business operates a hypermarket chain, a supermarket chain, two convenience store chains and 80 department and specialty stores, turns over almost €11Bn p.a.

S Group, which has been using RELEX in parts of its operations since 2012, showed its confidence in the relationship by selecting the company to supply an integrated replenishment solution to its stores and DCs. S Group is embarking on a major overhaul of its retail information systems to be completed by 2020.

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RELEX’s proven ability to take granular-level data and use it to build long-term plans was a key factor in S Group’s decision to implement its solution. RELEX offered S Group the ability to run continuous forecasting and replenishment, including special event planning, within the bounds of one solution and a single supply chain plan that tied its operations together. At the same time, it provided the retailer with enormous flexibility to implement differentiated controls for different areas of its business within that integrated operation. Early results in a live run proof-of-concept for fresh products have been impressive. RELEX helped to cut wastage and date-driven markdowns by a quarter or more in best cases.

S Group has been using RELEX’s tools with its consumer goods replenishment for hypermarket and DIY chains since 2012 and at its department and specialty stores since 2014. In grocery business, RELEX has provided the group advanced tools for more accurate forecasting and planning, giving a clear picture of handling and shelving needs which makes managing staffing requirements easier both in store and at the DC. Thanks to RELEX’s scalable, In-Memory-Computing-based technology, S Group can now run 180-day-forward simulations using data from 1,000 stores and 12.4 million active product-locations in around 30 minutes.

“We’ve worked with RELEX for more than six years now,” says Sanna Timola – SVP, Supply Chain Management and Store Operations at S Group. “We know the team, their committed attitude and agile approach.”

“RELEX’s retail supply chain expertise and good results from a live run proof-of-concept for fresh products substantiated the business case. We’re confident with our choice and know that RELEX will continue to do for us what they do so well – use their experience and adapt their technology to the needs of their customers.”

S Group’s experience of RELEX led to its decision to use it as an integrated replenishment solution as part of a comprehensive systems overhaul that will see a SAP spine augmented with best-of-breed applications.

“When looking for extended capabilities, we often find generalist solution providers outclassed by best-of-breed solutions.” says Raimo Mäenpää, SVP and Corporate CIO at S Group. “After an in-depth assessment of the alternatives, we chose RELEX. We found it to be the most powerful retail planning solution available with the most comprehensive toolset. It also integrates nicely into our SAP backbone.”

“RELEX’s working relationship with S Group has been built over a number of years and we feel that the role we’ve been asked to play is a huge vote of confidence,” says RELEX’s COO Tuomo Pesonen. “It unquestionably cements our place as one of Europe’s leading retail planning solution providers and the fastest growing.”

About S Group
S Group is a renowned Finnish cooperative group of companies operating in the retail sector. Its key business areas are supermarket trade, department stores and specialty stores, hardware trade, service station store and fuel sales, as well as the travel industry and hospitality business. S Group consists of SOK Corporation, 20 independent regional cooperatives and eight local cooperatives.

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