The Agile Supply Chain

El Palacio de Hierro, an upscale chain of department stores in Mexico City, has been a mainstay of style to millions of shoppers for more than 100 years. In order to support expansion, the retailer required a new logistics model, including a new distribution facility that would help El Palacio de Hierro to streamline its operations and better manage inventory.

The new model is executed through RedPrairie supply chain solutions, including warehouse management, report writing, web-based supplier management and scorecarding.

"The suite offers functionally rich software and a strong local partnership, helping ensure the success of our project," says Carlos Mendez, subdirector de logistica at El Palacio de Hierro.

The solutions will help the retailer to better manage inventory by processing orders from one location. Appropriate levels of inventory will be shipped to stores based on consumer demand rather than supplier schedules, which will optimize store level inventory. El Palacio de Hierro's retail stores also will gain visibility to shipment status for improved planning and control.

The warehouse management solution provides critical automation and visibility to pending inbound and outbound orders, enabling El Palacio de Hierro to share inbound shipment data and collaborate with its suppliers through the Internet. Scorecarding will provide performance metrics to track productivity and results in the warehouse. These metrics can be turned into personalized reports through a report writing tool to help managers determine opportunities for improvement.

Preparing for Growth
Another growing retailer, Arnotts, Ireland's largest and oldest department store, now stands in excess of 320,000 square feet and offers shopping destinations for furniture, fashion, housewares and services including hairdressing and restaurants.

To accommodate future growth and plans for additional stores, the retailer required a more scalable platform that would quickly and easily integrate with existing systems and future implementations. Arnotts selected Retek merchandising, supply chain management and planning solutions to support its expansion plans.
"We needed a system that would facilitate the implementation of best-practice retail processes across our entire business," says Paul Dickson, director of information systems at Arnotts. "In particular, we were impressed with the fully integrated merchandising and supply chain solutions."

The solution will support the retailer's agile supply chain network, which will extend from the customer to the supplier. This will allow Arnotts to meet expectations and increase satisfaction by providing customers with the items they want, when they want them.

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