13.06.2016  |  Branchenyt

Store Friendly Sequencing for high street performance

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“Retailers are facing a tidal wave of costs associated with running high street stores. However, the challenge is, bricks & mortar are a vital part of the Omni-channel mix. Could the distribution centre become the engine of productivity for retailers

Store Friendly Sequencing for high street performance

“Retailers are facing a tidal wave of costs associated with running high street stores. However, the challenge is, bricks & mortar are a vital part of the Omni-channel mix. Could the distribution centre become the engine of productivity for retailers looking for high street performance?” says Matt Hatson, Business Solutions Sales Director at Dematic.

Cost pressures for retailers operating on the high street have ratcheted-up significantly following the online revolution and are expected to increase still further, raising the stakes on maximising shelf space, availability and staff efficiency at retail outlets.

According to Retail Economics’ Outlook for retail 2016 report, “employment, business rates and other property costs account for over 50% of retailers’ operational costs – all are expected to rise in 2016.” The report also points out that the “National Living Wage, the Apprenticeship Levy and business rates will all increase the cost burden for retailers,” adding, “some retailers will be required to increase shop floor wages by 7.5% in April 2016”.

Although retail stores are widely recognised as a critical part of the Omni-channel mix, Retail Economics’ report highlights that “stores are not deemed to be as productive and profitable as they once were by conventional measures such as like-for-like sales growth, sales densities or sales per employee per hour.”

Clearly, productivity within the retail environment needs to be improved. So how can retailers raise operational efficiency within stores, increase on-shelf availability and simultaneously boost sales performance?

Some leading retailers are using sophisticated sequencing techniques at the distribution centre to streamline shelf replenishment at stores, making it far simpler and faster for store staff to restock shelves and racks. By placing items into totes at the DC in the correct sequence for individual store layouts product can quickly be moved from receiving bay at the back of store, through a logical replenishment process, enabling staff to confidently place items in the correct positions, with fewer delays due to removing outer cartons, disposing of waste packaging and searching for the right product.

Further value-adding tasks, such as ticketing, re-labelling and the attachment of security tags can also be undertaken at the DC to reduce the burden on shop staff, freeing them to focus on interaction with customers and generating sales.

In many instances Store Friendly Sequencing has resulted in greater product velocity and a far smoother flow of goods from DC to shelf edge, giving rise to the remodelling of stores to reduce the size of on-site stock rooms in favour of increased sales space. In addition, by making the replenishment process faster and less intrusive, the customer experience is enhanced and product availability is improved.

Where the significant advantages of Store Friendly Sequencing are being used to great effect is within department stores, where brand concessions are using the operational efficiencies achieved through sequencing to help differentiate themselves from competitive brands - making replenishment easy helps increase shop-floor performance. In the convenience store market too, less than caseload requirements, limited space and high demands on staff make sequencing a necessity.

However, there are many retailers who have yet to leverage competitive advantage from Store Friendly Sequencing. At Dematic we have developed a sophisticated set of scalable solutions within the DC for building store replenishment cycles from the category level, right down to the individual item level.

Innovative new sorter technology in the form of Dematic’s overhead pouch sortation system offers a super-flexible and highly scalable, dynamic buffering solution based on a hanging pouch design. Developed for the fashion retail sector, but with significant operational benefits for a much wider range of applications, the pouch sorter is perfect for creating store friendly sequenced deliveries for retailers.

The pouch sorter allows you to pick a batch in advance, buffer it and then bring items down to individual packing stations in strict order sequence, which facilitates the fast and efficient despatch of goods for store sequenced deliveries.

Another technology that lends itself to Store Friendly Sequencing is Dematic’s RapidPut. Offering a scalable solution for businesses as they grow, RapidPut brings together ‘Put Walls’, conveyors and light or voice technology in an integrated solution capable of meeting the heavy demands of store sequencing - even at seasonal peaks.

The intelligent Dematic iQ software behind RapidPut considers picking and putting as part of a continuous integrated process, creating a dynamic batching solution without the need for a picking buffer.


RapidPut uses ground-breaking software to remove the need for the high levels of automation normally demanded by DC operations. In effect, the sophisticated software at the heart of RapidPut creates a dynamic ‘pick and put’ process – a wave-less or endless batching system that removes the requirement for sortation equipment.

Dematic’s Multi-Shuttle systems too, are often used to buffer totes and release them to despatch lanes in store specific sequences.

There are a number of highly scalable technologies that can be used to create store friendly sequenced deliveries for retailers.

With premium rents and retail staff labour costs on the rise, every square foot of sales space must perform to the utmost. Sequencing goods at the DC offers retailers the opportunity to boost performance on the high street and keep costs at bay.




About Dematic Group

Dematic Group, is a leading supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services to optimise the supply chain. Dematic employs over 4,000 skilled logistics professionals  to serve its customers globally, with engineering centres and manufacturing facilities in North America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia Pacific. Dematic has implemented more than 4,000 integrated systems for a customer base that includes small, medium and large companies doing business in a variety of market sectors.

For more information please visit www.dematic.com



Tags: Dematic

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