#RBTE2018: Wyevale Garden Centres benefiting from automating supply chain

Control over its inventory has been dramatically improved by the implementation of new supply chain software that includes automating various processes

With a large product range, strong seasonality and numerous lines with short survival periods Wyevale Garden Centres recognised it would benefit greatly from upgrading its stock management tools.

Kevin Wales, head of client partnership (UK) at RELEX, says the company was not using the best tools and wanted to improve visibility, reduce stock in its distribution centre as well as automating some aspects of its inventory management.

To address these issues it worked with Relex on a 12-month project that involved the implementation of four of the specialist’s cloud-based modules: demand forecasting, auto replenishment, product allocations and assortment management.

Among the many benefits Wyevale has been able to enjoy is the ability to optimise the introduction of new products. The Relex solution is able to highlight comparable products and use them as reference points from which is can forecast sales levels.

“Wyevale is now able to introduce new products knowing the forecasts will be reliable. Once they are in-store it can rely on actual sales figures. The big benefit is the saving of time. We can go through its whole range every night and find suitable reference points,” said Wales.

The replenishment of stock has also been sped up and the issue of out-of-stocks is being addressed through automated ordering. Although in theory the project has been around IT Wales says it is more about change management because the Relex solution involves “people having to let go of some control when automating”.

The results have been very impressive to date with overall availability improving 7.77%, key product availability up from 8.1% to 98.3% and write-offs reduced by 12.76%.