Paolo Schumaniak, Head of Demand & Supply Planning at Leroy Merlin Italy, took a few minutes to explain how a centralized planning approach using RELEX is helping his team improve forecasting in the short term and in the medium-long term. Leroy Merlin is a leading home improvement and gardening retailer headquartered in France, with more than 400 stores serving several countries in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa.
My name is Paolo Schumaniak. I’m an engineer, and I have been working at Leroy Merlin for 13 years now, with a lot of my background coming from the retail side of the business.
Today, I deal with forecasting and replenishment for the Leroy Merlin market in Italy and in some of their other business units, such as Romania, Greece, and Cyprus. We take care of both the B2B part, with the fulfilment of our stores, and the fulfillment of customer orders…the part we generally consider B2C.
The adoption and partnership with RELEX stem precisely from this need to be able to foresee these two sales channels in a centralized way. To have management that allows us to have the quantity desired by the customer without creating too much dead stock is essential.
On the other hand, we have 150,000 SKUs to manage, which are still subject to technological changes and possible changes caused by legislation. To be able to cope with this, we need to have tools that give us the ability to make predictions both in the short term and in the medium-long term. Being able to have forecasts that allow us to arrive on time with correct estimates for our production partners (is key). Therefore, having within the same integrated platform the possibility of making long-term forecasts and being able to compare these volumes with our own resource capacity, both in the warehouses and the stores, helps us to anticipate where there could be risks.
Today, the collaboration we have with RELEX is very solid. Considering that we came from peripheral management, the change to more centralized management could have brought a lot of organizational difficulties. In reality, though, the project was received extremely positively by the company. And even today, we are very appealing to the other departments, including the business, product and offering.