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Booths picks new supply chain system

By Retail Technology | Friday January 31 2014

Regional supermarket chain plans to boost fresh produce replenishment and promotions as the first UK retailer to take on supply chain development software

UK supermarket retailer, Booths, has become the first High Street retailer in the UK to pick supply chain development software provider Relex, to help improve its replenishment forecasting and management.

The regional chain was impressed by the results achieved by existing Relex clients, especially in getting the best results from promotions and improving the automated replenishment of fresh goods, where some have cut spoilage by as much as 40%. Booth's has always particularly prided itself on offering top quality produce.

Sophisticated forecasting capability

Although the company already had an integrated in-house supply chain system for promotions and replenishment, but saw the need for a better and more sophisticated approach to its forecasting.

The Relex demand forecasting and inventory management systems can analyse large volumes of historic data and identify demand patterns for individual products, stores and events, which can be used to help predict demand in comparable future situations. This reporting and forecasting capability is used to cut fresh produce spoilage, reduce stock levels, boost availability and manage events like seasonal campaigns and the impact of weather.

“Booth's is known for great service, for listening to its customers and for delivering the very best quality,” said Andrew Rafferty, Booths IT and supply chain director. “But our customers won’t make allowances if we don’t match or better the big supermarkets for freshness and availability.”

He added: “We need to meet the challenges of a modern, grocery environment in managing fresh, ambient, chilled and frozen produce lines across a variety of store sizes and product ranges. The bar is always getting higher and no one in the sector can afford to be complacent.”

Finding a good business fit

When looking for a solution Booths wanted one that would wrap around their operations rather than force them to work around the new system. Rafferty also said he was impressed by Relex’s technology and company attitude.

“Our initial impressions were that Relex offers flexibility both in terms of their solution’s adaptability and in their approach to working with partners” added Rafferty. “They offer a very sensibly priced pilot that minimises their clients’ risk. It’s just one of many signs they’re committed to a successful outcome and that in turn gives me confidence we can improve both our performance and our bottom line.”

Relex has already carried out a pre-study with Booths running its historic data through its systems to demonstrate the potential gains. The pilot is due to begin in January.

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