The Co-operative has deployed the warehouse management component of Manhattan Associates’ supply chain platform in its new Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) at Thurrock, Essex as the first phase of a UK-wide implementation.
The Co-op’s South Eastern region, served by the Thurrock RDC, has reportedly already experienced a marked increase in on-shelf availability, greater delivery efficiencies and the benefits of a new distribution network capable of supporting future growth. The company anticipates that the system will have paid for itself through cost savings in less than three years.
The Co-op selected Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management solution for Open Systems to manage the distribution of products for its food retail business following a review of its supply chain infrastructure in 2003. As a result, the company is in the process of transforming its entire distribution network, with improvements that include a new national distribution centre in Coventry and a re-planning of the company’s delivery routes nationwide.
The South East is the first region to benefit from the full working model of the Co-op’s new vision. It will subsequently be taken to the organisation’s RDC in Nottingham, before being implemented at the national distribution centre in Coventry.
Trevor Ashworth, director of food retail logistics at the Co-op, explained, ‘We’re outperforming the market in terms of like for like sales growth and make more than 38,000 deliveries a week to our stores. We could never have maintained these levels with our old solution; we were suffering from too many orders, too many trucks, too much admin and too much hassle! On-shelf availability has increased significantly since we rolled out the new software and the entire region is running far more efficiently. The South East used to be our worst-performing region; now it is our best.’