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Case Study: Casino centralises supply chain management

Tuesday June 15th 2004

French retailer deploys company-wide solution Casino has deployed a single software solution in all its operations for central purchasing, store back-office management and warehousing in 16 countries worldwide, working with Aldata Solution.

French convenience and hypermarket retailer Casino's most pressing challenge was to improve data quality and accessibility across the entire supply chain.

Its inventory management procedures were based on multiple, decentralised databases, including four warehouse management systems, four store-level product management systems, and a separate product database for each warehouse in operation. As a result, due to differing item level information such as quantity, quality, availability and location, there were significant exceptions in product lines.

Casino needed improv

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ed and easier access to the latest product information; and the ability to quickly and effectively analyse this data. The retailer decided to bring all its data together into one centralised source such as an item master, and provide a common interface and reporting for all users as well as trading partners. It also wanted to persuade users to leave the comfort of departmental databases and spreadsheets with highly customised interfaces and reporting facilities.

Based on its positive experience of addressing inventory management discrepancies in other business units, Casino chose the Aldata Gold solution to address its supply chain management needs and as the best route to using IT to support further expansion globally.

Implementation

Aldata recommended a phased, rather than an all-at-once approach to implementing a new system across the supply chain.

In order to align IT initiatives with established and new internal business processes, Casino established a series of steering committees to oversee different aspects of the implementation, including warehouse operations, merchandise floor, and supermarket operations. Each steering committee comprised a project leader, software users, and executives representing different departments.

The retailer established an overriding principle during the implementation that 'there can be no change in software if there is no change in process'. It dedicated one day per week during the implementation to the review its project management practices.

As well as change management, there were other obstacles that needed to be addressed. The new software solutions had not only to support improved processes, but it had to be backwards-compatible as well.

Aldata Solution applied its established Gold methodology, which states that, 'during the installation of an IT solution, Gold experts team up with the customer personnel to enable the establishment of a focused and dedicated team to successfully execute the project'.

Aldata and Casino first established a list of necessary IT requirements, such as the ability of new technology to interface with older systems, while the transition was made. After a close review of existing processes, Aldata and Casino decided to begin the product management project with supermarket locations, which accounted for 80 percent of overall hypermarket activity.

Aldata and Casino began implementation of Gold WMS in warehouse operations, starting with frozen foods and other product lines with small, limited SKU requirements. The retailer then implemented general merchandise locations into the Gold centralised database solution.

Casino and Aldata made several adjustments to the customised solution, based on feedback of steering teams and representatives from supermarket, warehouse, and merchandise locations.

Benefits

By implementing and integrating supply chain management solutions from enterprise systems vendor Aldata, Casino has been able to improve its inventory management and fulfilment practices by establishing a single, centralised, Web-based product management solution.

By the end of 2003, Casino had established and implemented streamlined product management processes and the Gold supply chain solution in 26 out of 30 warehouses, 10 out of 260 supermarkets, and one out of 4,250 convenience stores. At these locations, the retailer has decreased product exceptions and errors, enhanced product information accessibility, and increased overall revenue. The solution has been implemented stores in Europe, USA, Asia and Latin America.

The Future

During 2004, Casino plans to modernise product management processes and implement the Aldata Gold solution to all 260 supermarkets, 20 to 30 convenience stores, all hypermarkets, and its remaining warehouse locations.

In addition, the company plans to further upgrade the GoldD software suite and related hardware. In 2005, the remainder of the convenience stores will be completed.