Rafferty told delegates at a meeting at the residence of the ambassador of Finland in London that Booths had enjoyed considerable benefits from implementing Relex software. “We achieved approximately a 10% reduction in total shrinkage.”
As a result, Rafferty said the work had delivered six figure savings for the retail chain, which has 29 stores across the north of England.
“We moved unknown stock losses to known stock losses and improved availability across most stores to upwards of 95% across all categories,” he added.
He had initially invited Relex, which has offices in Finland and London, to work on managing fresh, short shelf life product orders. “Replenishment, more than forecasting, was what we thought our biggest problem was,” he said.
Relex’s software solutions had supported Booths’s ability to pick produce in the morning and deliver it into stores in the afternoon.
“After six to nine months we were really impressed with the cabinet levels, so we extended the work to ambient and frozen.” Here, Booths had previously struggled with managing last-minute changes to deliveries and suppliers letting it down, he said. “We could now come up with a seven-day forecast, which helped transportation and logistics plan their forecasts with much more accuracy.”
Booths current focus for development was ordering for its bakery category, said Rafferty. “The biggest problem we have had there is moving our large suppliers on to EDI [electronic data interchange]. Two out of seven of our main suppliers still can’t do it.”
‘Three main areas’
Booths had originally consulted Relex about 18 months ago for several reasons, said Rafferty. “There were three main areas we knew were giving us problems.
“First, because of our size, many of our fresh [food] suppliers weren’t delivering every day, so we had infrequent deliveries and the usual range issues. Then we had promotional complexity.
“Third, we have stores with different range sizes – some with three tills and some with 20.”
Relex said synchronising purchases with supplier orders was relatively easy for it, as its software and systems were compatible with more than 20 point of sale tools, including SAP and Oracle systems. Relex customers also claimed integration with existing internal systems had been relatively straightforward.