RedPrairie , a consumer driven optimisation company, has announced that John Lewis has bucked the trend in tough trading conditions by becoming one of the retailers to enjoy growing sales.
Sales for the first five weeks of 2008 increased by 2.1%, with Easter trading exceeding 2007 figures by 1.1%. “In a challenging retail environment we had a successful 12 months, during which our share of the market store sector increased by 0.4% to 19.1%,” said Dino Rocos, Managing Director, Distribution, at John Lewis.
“We are confident that RedPrairie will support our future growth as we continue to out-perform the market.” John Lewis’s department stores division saw increased December sales by 6.4% over 2006 figures.
Real-time operations visibility and updated processes enabled system output to reach high at John Lewis’s Northampton distribution centre in the 11 days prior to Christmas 2007, the period when the retailer earns 40% of its income.
Consignment verification and put-away time dropped from 28 hours to three and a half while the voice-directed capabilities of Warehouse Management improved picking by 40%. In addition, average ship lead times were cut from 51 hours to 38, a reduction of 25%, which has helped increase sales by maximising stock availability at stores.
Workforce Management's holistic workforce optimisation capabilities have enabled John Lewis to automate time and attendance management, analyse workforce metrics and improve the efficiency of key processes. As a result, operator productivity at Northampton increased by 16% over the pre-Christmas period while labour costs shrank by 8%.
“Workforce Management provides accurate, real-time workforce intelligence that helps us measure productivity and transform performance through agile, accountable operating practices,” said Dino Rocos. “Productivity is up 33%. We plan to leverage Workforce Management to continuously improve process efficiencies and generate accurate forecasts for future manpower requirements.”
RedPrairie’s solution suite, first implemented in July 2006 in Northampton, will be live at all six John Lewis distribution centres by mid 2008. Following the initial implementation by RedPrairie’s consultants, knowledge transfer has enabled the retailer to manage subsequent implementations without external assistance.
The system’s ease of management has cut overheads while allowing the company’s IT experts to focus on strategic, value-added developments to support future growth. “We work closely with RedPrairie to incorporate our specific needs into their next-generation solutions as we continue to transform the efficiency of our warehouse operations,” said Simon Earle, supply chain operational systems manager at John Lewis.
“John Lewis’s success is proof that Warehouse Management (WMS), in conjunction with a Workforce Management programme, can achieve significant performance improvements and cost savings for the largest, most successful retailers,” said RedPrairie International Managing Director and President, Martin Hiscox.
“We are delighted that John Lewis has chosen RedPrairie as a strategic partner and are committed to helping them achieve rapid and sustainable efficiency savings as they extend their market leadership.” With 20 global service sites and standard service methods that have been validated over the last 30 years, RedPrairie provides good service and support.