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Circle Case study

Bunzl retail supplies

Maintaining an efficient supply chain

The Challenge

Bunzl Retail Supplies manages 16,000 product lines (SKU’s) across 70 categories and works with major retailers across the UK including Asda, Waitrose and Boots. Understanding the profitability of each product line, as well as purchasing patterns is critical to maintaining an efficient supply chain.

However, with no real-time data analysis available across the business, Bunzl Retail Supplies could not easily understand enough detail around customer buying habits and the affect this was having on stock levels and delivery costs.

This in turn could produce redundant stock that carried a financial liability. What reporting they did have in place only generated this required level of data every 3 months and as the data was held in three main source systems, integrated analysis was still difficult.

The Solution

Bunzl Retail Supplies decided to implement an analytics solution from CACI to provide a single view of a customer at the SKU level in respect of sales, stock and carriage data on a daily basis, helping them to analyse order volume, order value, carrier costs and gross margin, all against individual product lines and customers.

Managers from across all areas of the business are now able to access the highly intuitive dashboards on a daily basis.

  • The project was split into 3 key phases:
  • Sales order analysis by product line, category and customer
  • Inventory analysis and delivery point profitability
  • Workforce and operational management performance analysis

“Our business is often about understanding what customers are NOT doing, it’s about exceptions. We needed much more granularity of detail around sales, not just a headline figure. Finding out that we hadn’t sold what we expected to 3 months after the event was causing us some real problems in stock management and profitability.”
Jason Greenway, Managing Director

The Results

Phases 1 and 2 are complete and Bunzl Retail Supplies can now make evidence based decisions based on a complete picture of sales patterns, stock levels and product profitability, including for the first time, the costs of carriage. The intuitive design of the solution makes analysing data across the business far easier and with integrated near real-time data updates, changes to customer buying habits and trends can be responded to and actioned upon very quickly.

“We can now analyse sales, stock and delivery data all in one place whenever we need to. Without a shadow of a doubt, the new system has and will continue to save the business money”.
Jason Greenway, Managing Director

Phase 3 of the project is already scheduled. This will add in an additional workforce and operational management data source to enable performance analysis to be undertaken for each customer and individual stock picker. The solution will measure real time pick rates and visualise whether the picking is ahead or behind the set standard rate. Improving the actual pick rates will increase the margins within customer contracts.
By analysing data for each individual picker the solution will also offer very good performance measurement and benchmarking.

Commenting further, Lindsay Wilkie, Finance Director added

“Our approach in the past to business intelligence was very limited and not at the level of granularity required to truly help decision making. CACI has helped us to build a much stronger approach and their solution offers the business a powerful decision support system that is flexible enough to adapt as our needs change and develop. Other businesses will undoubtedly benefit from having a solution that offers this level of real time data analysis.”