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JJ Foods Service Limited, the multi-channel catering supplies retailer, decided it needed to add forecasting and purchasing optimisation to its existing ERP systems to improve the efficiency of its supply chains.

JJ Food Service sources both locally and globally and offers institutions, restaurants and the public a wide range of food and catering products via several purchasing channels including online, phone and on-site ordering with both collection and delivery options. The firm prides itself on being an early adopter of the best new technology.

The company had set itself the goals of reducing waste, improving product shelf life, particularly with fresh and chilled goods, optimising stock levels and availability for hundreds of products with a lower turnover and managing promotions better.

“It’s not the high turnover, big volume items that let us down most of the time,” says JJ Food Service’s COO Mushtaque Ahmed. “It’s the more peripheral lines that we carry so we can offer a one-stop-shop service. That’s what drove the decision to bring in the forecasting and optimisation that our existing ERP didn’t include.”

Another key goal is to automate repetitive reordering tasks to free managers to use their skills and expertise to better effect.

“Every company finds it a challenge to recruit good managers. It’s far easier to free up our best people to deal with tasks where they can make a real difference than it is to recruit and train new members of the team.”

“We reckon there’s an 80/20 split between tasks we can automate and those that need direct oversight. Automation means we can deploy our best people where they’re most needed.”

Mr. Ahmed says that other factors that influenced the decision to become the first UK company to use RELEX systems included the strong work ethic that characterises both firms. “The combination of a pilot, rapid implementation and SaaS model makes for a fast, flexible and low risk choice. It was easy to say yes.”

“It was clear quite early on that JJ Food liked our attitude,” says RELEX’s head of UK operations Tommi Ylinen. “Both companies take what they do very seriously. We pride ourselves on working closely with clients to develop their processes and wrap our systems around them quickly and efficiently.”

“We also have a great track record with companies very similar to JJ Foods; cutting waste, increasing shelf life, improving shelf availability and cutting inventory all at the same time. We’re a good fit.”

JJ Food Service has offered to be a reference customer for RELEX in the UK and will share its experiences with companies looking to improve their retail planning and supply chain optimisation.

Watch the video

JJ Food Service CCO Ahmed Mushtaque speaks about RELEX implementation