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Super Retail Group fishes for value in the cloud

Super Retail Group fishes for value in the cloud

Company has seen a 20 per cent reduction in stock holdings within Boating, Camping and Fishing brand

Super Retail Group has seen a 20 per cent reduction in inventory and safety stock within its Boating, Camping and Fishing (BCF) brand from a cloud software pilot it did in 2012.

The company decided to pilot the JDA Demand and Fulfilment supply chain software to integrate product demand planning and increase customer focus across its seven retail brands.

Super Retail Group's brands include BCF, Amart Sports, Fishing Camping Outdoors (FCO), Ray's Outdoors, Rebel and Supercheap Auto.

The BCF pilot included 1.4 million stock keeping units (SKUs). Because there are huge amounts of fishing products, it proved to be a good test case, said Super Retail Group's supply chain and inventory management program manager, Nat Cooper.

“With 68 different possible targeted fishing species in Australia – more than anywhere in the world – the BCF business sells a lot of different lures,” he said.

After six months of implementation, there was a 20 per cent reduction in inventory holdings and safety stock within BCF.

“We’ve made a significant shift in our organisational thinking and culture to become more customer-centric,” said Cooper. “JDA enables us to have that capability and, in time, we’ll be getting the right feeds and visibility from the loyalty programs. That data will feed into our demand planning capability.”

Two years on, Super Retail Group has rolled out the JDA Demand and Fulfilment software across its Leisure division and is piloting the solution in a number of its Auto business units such as Supercheap Auto.

“We are now mid-way through the [Auto business] pilot. We had a full scale rollout planned on the basis of the successes from the pilot groups. That [rollout] is being executed in two iterations so we will be finalising full rollout of the Demand and Fulfilment tool in the Auto business by October 31, 2014,” he said.

In addition, the retailer has begun a pilot of JDA’s Enterprise Planning software tool within the Leisure division. The software allows users to optimise product inventories and balance sales goals.

“It’s a small implementation and we are not going too far away from the merchandise planning processes that we had within the business. It’s now more systemic and capable of delivering real time outputs to those [business] plans,” said Cooper.

The retailer elected to launch the software in a cloud environment back in 2012 to minimise the company’s risk exposure and financial investments.

According to Super Retail Group's supply chain solutions manager, Keith Harrison, it had been talking about the need to move onto a single demand-and-fulfilment platform for a long period of time.

“It’s a significant investment for a retail organisation, and it demands a high return,” said Harrison. “With JDA cloud services, we knew exactly what we were buying. There was a fixed price and it was very easy to do.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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