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Omni-channel bulk food retailer JJ Food Service has rolled out RELEX’s supply chain planning and optimisation systems in record time and has seen strong results even within the pilot period.

The Enfield-based company took just four and a half months to go from the drawing board to being fully operational with its entire supply chain operation running on the system.

Assessing the situation at the end of its 3 month pilot the company says it’s already seen sharp cuts in inventory levels and steep rises in availability. Its buying team’s workload has dropped 25% in a matter of weeks and even greater gains are anticipated in coming months.

“We were planning to do a three month pilot with just three of our buyers, but well before the end of those three months we’ve had all of our buyers, all of our locations, all of our producers and all of our products running on RELEX,” says JJ Food Service’s COO Mushtaque Ahmed.

Speaking at the end of the pilot Mr Ahmed says the results are already impressive, all the more so because many lines are still to go through a full replenishment cycle with the new system.

“We had a particular issue with slow moving lines falling off our buyers’ radar,” he says. “Thanks to the new system we’ve cleaned out a lot of non performing lines. Before the pilot was complete we’d already cut our inventory by around 15% across the board and we’re seeing impressive improvements in availability, in some cases rising by more than 10% and we expect further improvements.”

Mr Ahmed says JJ Food Service is already running the system independently of RELEX and describes both its power and ease of use as ‘superb’. He says it’s changed the way he views SaaS solutions and the company’s wider IT strategy is likely to change to reflect this.

RELEX’s Head of UK Operations, Tommi Ylinen, says JJ Food Service’s approach was a major factor in the speed of the roll out.

“They knew what they wanted to do, they made decisions quickly, they were very focused and they’re not afraid to try something new,” says Ylinen. “We generally reckon that a company will be ready to go to full roll out by the end of a two to three month pilot, but JJ Food Service broke new ground by pulling their entire operations into our systems before the end of the pilot phase. It went incredibly smoothly.”

JJ Food Service has now signed an ongoing user agreement with RELEX.

“All RELEX clients are free to decide not to go ahead with its systems after the pilot phase however in eight years only one client has chosen not to, and that was because the company was acquired during the pilot,” says Mr Ylinen.

*NOTES TO EDITORS. RELEX and JJ Food Service started the specification phase for the project in mid-May before starting a three month pilot at the beginning of July.

Mushtaque Ahmed will be speaking at a RELEX reception at the Finnish Ambassador’s residence in Kensington Palace Gardens, London, on Thursday October 10th. Anyone wishing to attend should contact jonathan@blackcoffeepr.co.uk.