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05/11/2021

Marks & Spencer Re-Engineering Supply Chain To Meet Changing Shopper Patterns

Lisa Johnston
Senior Editor
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a store front at night

British food, apparel and home goods retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has teamed with Blue Yonder, which was recently acquired by Panasonic, to reduce costs and improve stock flow in its supply chain.

M&S, which operates over 1,500 stores and employs more than 78,000 associates, has implemented Blue Yonder’s demand and fulfillment capabilities through Luminate Planning, intended to help it better respond to changing consumer behavior patterns and meet online demand.

Luminate Planning, a cloud-based solutions portfolio built on Microsoft Azure, is designed to provide M&S with a more accurate view into demand by consolidating and synchronizing demand signals, as well as external variables across its stores. With the tech, M&S can evaluate demand scenarios and use prescriptive recommendations to make more accurate decisions, including staging the right inventory through its distribution network, minimizing stock-outs, and maximizing inventory turns.

“As part of our fast-moving Never the Same Again program, we’re re-engineering our clothing and home supply chain,” said Matt Horwood, chief technology officer, M&S, in a statement. “This means ensuring our market-leading demand platform remains up to date. We’ve worked collaboratively with Blue Yonder, our longtime supply chain provider, and other partners to digitally transform from on-premises to cloud-based architecture.”

“The ability to access new Luminate Planning capabilities will help us increase the speed of our supply chain to be more agile, with a strong, modern, supply chain platform foundation — ultimately better serving our customer online and in-store,” he added.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is a strategic partner to M&S, Blue Yonder and Microsoft, an played a role in executing the journey to the cloud by leading overall program delivery and implementing data and integration patterns. It also supported the enhancement of Power BI reports to M&S business KPIs.

This new deployment marks the next step in the companies’ relationship. Last year, M&S combined Blue Yonder’s workforce management solution and Microsoft Teams.