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Rema1000

“Our team can build more robust purchase forecasts and demand plans. This means we can not only optimise the capacity of our internal distribution network; we are in a much better position to satisfy trading peaks.”

Nick Norman Jensen

Flow of Goods Manager

Rema1000

Rema1000 optimises its end-to-end supply chain with Slimstock

As one of the best-known brands in Danish retail, REMA 1000 is recognised for their passion and focus on customer satisfaction.

However, to strengthen its competitive advantage, the discounter embarked upon a major end to end supply chain optimisation project.

Led by the retailer’s distribution company, Reitan Distribution, the initial focus of the project was on maximising product availability at the central distribution centre. However, through professionalising and automating inventory management processes across the entire supply chain, Reitan Distribution and REMA 1000 also wanted to set the foundation on which to establish a fully integrated operation.

Challenge

With a network of over 357 stores across Denmark, REMA 1000 provides local communities with a refined selection of top-quality products at a great price. Nick Norman Jensen, flow of goods manager explains: “To offer our store owners and end customers the best possible value, we must take every possible step to maximise the efficiency of our operation.”

In addition to REMA 1000, Reitan Distribution also supports the retail distribution operations for several major chains including 7-eleven, Circle K, OK Plus, BFI and Arctic Imports; distributing goods to over 950 stores every day.

Amidst intensifying competition and rapidly evolving customer behaviour, REMA 1000 has also faced significant challenges as a consequence of covid-19. “Our warehouse capacity was already stretched. However, as the pandemic caused extreme volatility in supply, we also experienced double-digit growth in demand. As a result, we have had to take decisive action to hit our service & shrinkage improvement goals,” adds Nick.

The flow of goods manager goes on to highlight how the decision to work with Slimstock supported REMA 1000’s long-term growth objectives: “We are constantly improving our business concept to establish more proactive ways of working. By taking steps to help our team make more intelligent replenishment decisions, we knew we could create a key competitive advantage; even in the middle of a global pandemic.”

Why Slimstock?

To help set a new standard in operational excellence, REMA 1000 decided to implement Slimstock’s inventory optimisation solution, Slim4: “Throughout the selection process, Slimstock demonstrated a deep understanding of both the food sector and the requirements of our business. This, combined with their proven technology and retail experience outlined Slimstock as the right partner to help us realise our goals,” adds Nick.

Highlighting the chemistry between Slimstock and REMA 1000, Nick states: “As a business that is similar to ours in terms of communication and approach to decision making, there is great synergy between Slimstock and our people.”

Solutions

Flexible and adaptive to implementation

During the implementation process, Slimstock worked closely with Nick and his team to understand the intricacies of REMA 1000’s operation. Nick explains: “Optimising inventory is about aligning people, processes and systems.  Thanks to Slimstock’s extensive experience in food retail environments, Slim4 has been fine-tuned to support our specific requirements. Throughout the implementation, Slimstock delivered as promised and were always on hand to offer helpful support.”

Explaining the importance of engaging the planning team throughout the project, Nick highlights: “Our team had an intimate understanding of how the business operates with many having worked at REMA 1000 for many years.”

To capture knowledge and best practices, the planning team used post-it notes and other creative means to communicate ideas and issues throughout the project. These where ideas were then actioned by the project team.

As the system went live, many of REMA 1000’s existing manual processes were improved or replaced. However, Nick highlights: “By rolling Slim4 out across a few suppliers at a time, our planning team were able to build complete confidence with new ways of working. Ultimately, all these steps have allowed our team to adopt Slim4 with vigour!”

Maintaining momentum amidst the global pandemic

Despite a successful start to the project, Nick and his team soon had to refocus their priorities to tackle the impact of Covid-19: “Just one week after completing the comprehensive user training, we started to see the impact of Covid-19 on our operation.”

Explaining how Slimstock’s consultants worked with REMA 1000 to keep the project on track, Nick highlights: “Fortunately, Slimstock were able to offer great flexibility. As a result, we were able to respond to the immediate disruption in the market without sacrificing the momentum of our optimisation project.”

Intelligent decision making

With the advanced functionality of Slim4, the team at REMA 1000 now have much greater visibility and control over the entire chain: “By offering the planning team a complete solution for forecasting, demand planning and inventory optimisation, our ambition was to make it as easy as possible for our people to become ‘good buyers’.”

Since implementing Slim4, the planning team have been able to adopt a more proactive approach to inventory management. “Slim4 is easy to use and you do not need to be a data scientist to extract valuable insights. We can take action to minimise the risk of supplier errors, missed deliveries and above all, instore availability issues,” highlights Nick.

The flow of goods manager goes on to highlight how the insights provided by Slim4 are used to bring greater harmony to the inbound logistics process: “Our team can build more robust purchase forecasts and demand plans. This means we can not only optimise the capacity of our internal distribution network; we are in a much better position to satisfy trading peaks. For example, the run-up to last Christmas is widely acknowledged as one of the best managed in recent times.”

Next steps

Now that that forecasting and replenishment into the DC network have been implemented, Nick and his team are working in collaboration with Slimstock to achieve their next inventory optimisation milestone: “With the foundation of a fully integrated supply chain now in place, we are now working hard to help our franchisee partners to attain a stronger stock position.”

Happy with the progress so far, Nick concludes: “In a more ‘normal’ climate, I am confident that we would have already improved service by at least a full percentage point. As we enter the next phase of our optimisation journey, I feel extremely optimistic about the future.”