WHSmith Travel to Implement RELEX’s Supply Chain Optimisation Technology for its Fresh and Chilled Foods

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WHSmith Travel has selected RELEX Solutions, one of the fastest growing providers of integrated retail and supply chain planning solutions, to improve demand forecasting and replenishment in order to increase availability and reduce wastage of its fresh and chilled foods.

The travel business of the WHSmith Group comprises around 750 stores predominantly at UK airports and railway stations. The fastest growing part of the Group, WHSmith Travel sought a technology solution that would help it make intelligent and informed supply chain business decisions to optimize its operational efficiency, reduce costs and wastage, and improve customer satisfaction for its short shelf-life products, including sandwiches, prepared salads, chilled food-to-go, and convenience range.

WHSmith selected RELEX following a comprehensive evaluation of technology solutions available, during which the technology provider came out on top due to its proven capabilities in fresh food; rapid implementation timescales; and strong customer references.

In addition to improved decision-making around forecasting and automated replenishment, with RELEX WHSmith will also gain the ability to analyze historical passenger numbers and footfall, and use machine learning to conduct a regression analysis to predict future customer visits.

Ian Windsor, CIO at WHSmith comments: "Our travel arm is the most rapidly expanding part of our business. As such there is a great need for us to enhance our decision making around forecasting and replenishment, in order to make our supply chain operate as optimally as possible. Our main objectives are to reduce and better manage waste, and get the right products available at the right time, in the right quantity. We want our customers to be able to select the products they want and we need to make sure our food cabinets have optimized stock levels, so we do not lose out on sales.

"RELEX Solutions is at the forefront of fresh food supply chain technology and with its capabilities, system flexibility and speed of delivery, we are confident that we will start to see quick results."

Paul Cowley, Sales Director of RELEX Solutions adds: "We are looking forward to working in close collaboration with WHSmith and having the opportunity to help it meet its strategic objectives, gain valuable customer insight and support the continued growth of the business."

WHSmith is due to go live on the new system during Spring 2017.

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