Plantasjen ASA has chosen RELEX’s replenishment solution to streamline the replenishment of its stores and distribution centres. Plantasjen is the leading Nordic gardening chain with over 100 stores in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Ireland.

Plantasjen’s business is very season-driven. Håkan Åkerström, Supply Chain Director at Plantasjen, describes the challenge: “We work with both seasonal products and a continuous product range, but as the changing seasons have a significant impact on the stores’ customer flows, seasonal variation is essentially present in all aspects of our business. This puts forth an important challenge to managing our material flows; on the one hand, we need to be well prepared in anticipation of the first seasonal demand peaks, on the other hand, during the high-season, we need to manage our goods flows very carefully to ensure excellent shelf availability in all of our stores while simultaneously avoiding the accumulation of end-of-season surplus stock. As the demand fluctuations are remarkable, our product range is extensive, and the number of stores very high, well-functioning IT support for product allocation and replenishment is a must for us to be able to achieve our goals.”

Plantasjen’s cooperation with RELEX began with a feasibility study that was conducted in the summer of 2010. Anna Jönsson, Business Developer and Project Manager at Plantasjen, summarizes the results of the study: “The feasibility study gave us a very concrete picture of what we can achieve by becoming better at allocating seasonal products to the stores and automating store replenishment of the continuous product range.”

The next step was a pilot implementation during which the new processes as well as RELEX’s solution were tested in practice within selected product areas and a selection of stores in Norway, Sweden and Finland in the winter of 2010/2011. Anna Jönsson emphasizes the advantages of starting off with a pilot: “The pilot phase was important and instructive. The test drive highlighted areas where we needed to further develop our processes, master data, and the use of RELEX’s system to be able to successfully roll out this new way of working. The pilot also instilled confidence in us that we were moving in the right direction.”

The roll-out of the new processes and RELEX’s solution in Norway, Sweden, and Finland started in the spring of 2011. Håkan Åkerström notes: “This is just the first leg of our journey, but we have high expectations of attaining measurable effects on service levels, sales, and inventory levels already during this season.” Håkan continues: “We constantly strive to improve our internal processes, such as assortment management, product master data management, and physical materials handling. The cooperation with RELEX goes hand in hand with these other developments; the use of the system changes as our processes evolve. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that our system vendor is flexible and can help us move forward in accordance with the development path and goals that we have set. RELEX has a genuine interest and understanding of our business and their ambition is to deliver not merely a system, but, more importantly, results.”