In 2007, the leading chain of bookstores in Finland, Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, decided to aim for a substantial rationalization of its store ordering in order to free up its store staff’s time and allow it to focus more on customer service and sales. To achieve this goal, the company needed a new store replenishment solution. After evaluating several alternatives, Suomalainen Kirjakauppa chose RELEX as its partner.

The first step towards the new replenishment process was an analysis project conducted by RELEX. In this phase, the current state of the replenishment process was analyzed, and opportunities for improvement were evaluated using a simulation model of the new replenishment process and data collected from the client’s IT systems.

The second step was a pilot implementation involving three stores, in which the replenishment models defined in the analysis project were implemented using the RELEX Processor replenishment solution. The results of the pilot were encouraging with regard to both key performance indicators and feedback received from the stores.

After the successful pilot, it was easy for Suomalainen Kirjakauppa to proceed to the more comprehensive implementation project with RELEX. The roll-out was divided into two waves including roughly 30 stores each. The first wave went so well that it encouraged Suomalainen Kirjakauppa to advance the schedule of the second implementation wave by more than four months. Thus the planned implementation period was almost halved.

According to the Logistics Manager of Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, Mr. Pekka Kuurne, RELEX’s replenishment solution has produced concrete and measurable results right from the beginning. The shelf availability of office supplies and other materials increased as much as 7 % while inventory turnover saw an improvement of 16 %. The ordering of all of the 600 000 SKU’s (combinations of products and outlets) is highly automated and currently carried out by one Logistics Coordinator, who monitors the order proposals generated by the replenishment system. Thus, the ultimate goal of freeing up the store personnel’s time and focusing it on sales and customer service has been reached. In addition, replenishment ordering during the most important sales season in the bookstore business, Christmas, has been succesfully automated.

Read more about Suomalainen Kirjakauppa’s project and results: Case Suomalainen Kirjakauppa.