The Co-operative Food has completed a “major transformation” of its store replenishment system to improve customer service through increased stock availability.
The new SMART (Store Merchandising and Replenishment Transformation) software has radically increased product availability in store to more than 97.5% – meaning consumers can find the products they want on the shelves, when they want them.
As a result, SMART is also helping to drive sales and reduce stock holding and waste following the £12.5m investment.
The pioneering programme will streamline the whole replenishment process with product ranges and orders for more than 2,800 stores nationwide now centrally controlled, for the first time, at its Manchester head office.
Seasonal variations, promotions, weather forecasts, local and national events, such as Euro 2012 and the Olympics, can now also be taken into account, with store staff working with head office to tailor parts of the product range to meet specific store requirements.
Sean Toal, chief operating officer and acting chief executive, The Co-operative Food, said: “Customer focus has been the driving force behind the SMART programme, and it will be our customers who will ultimately benefit the most, through better ranges and better product availability in our entire food store network.
“SMART is a world-class retail infrastructure, which could boost sales by more than £1m a month. It also enables food store teams to focus on their customers by vastly reducing the time they spend on stock management.”
Among the key benefits of SMART is it provides much greater consistency of product ranges across stores and allows greater certainty of the order quantities, ensuring that each store maintains the right balance of stock availability, and stockholding, thereby helping to reduce waste.
Source: The Co-operative Food