Characteristics and particularities
Industry insight

Profound change in the retail sector – virtually no other industry is facing such fundamental transformation due to changes in consumer behaviour and new models as the retail sector. The growth in online business is placing classic brick and mortar retail outlets under increasing pressure due to the continuously expanding range of products and new amenities for consumers. This is having immense repercussions on the supply chain that extend from the manufacturers of consumer goods through to the consumers themselves. Distribution structures, transport concepts, logistics centres, merchandise presentation and in-shop services – to name just a few – must be harmonised with the new circumstances as a matter of urgency. Future alignments within retail supply chains will focus in particular on their efficiency and the proportion of logistics costs for these new services, as consumers are effectively unwilling to accept these additional costs.

Challenges to
ensure competitiveness

Specific framework conditions and special challenges that are characteristic of the retail sector:

  • New markets and distribution channels, cross-channel, multi-channel and omni-channel distribution strategies are now established alongside brick-and-mortar retail outlets
  • The online services and purchasing behaviour among consumers are changing dramatically due to the varied opportunities that e-commerce provides. Next-day delivery, same-day delivery and just-in-time delivery at agreed times stand merely as examples for delivery services offered by online mail order companies.
  • Driven by major international players, the growth in online trade is heightening the competitive pressure on brick-and-mortar retail outlets
  • The areas of logistics must implement new, versatile distribution strategies and improved delivery services and need to do so within a cost-efficient framework
  • Distribution warehouse networks and transport concepts must be adapted and expanded
  • The logistics interface to the consumer is becoming increasingly multifaceted due to concepts like click-and-collect, parcel shops and food delivery services
  • Implementation of lean logistics within distribution is necessary and will include an increase in productivity for warehouse and shipping fulfilment, a reduction in transport costs and the avoidance of handling steps within the supply chain
  • So-called last mile logistics is becoming increasingly important, so punctual and volume-optimised deliveries to markets and shops must be implemented efficiently
  • Demand and capacity planning is important not only for suppliers, but increasingly for the retail sector as well in its attempt to adapt to the greater complexity of supply chain processes and structures; for instance, capacities in a dispatch warehouse need to be adapted in good time to cope with Black Friday volumes
  • To an ever greater extent, replenishment control for the provision of products to retail outlets and markets will be based on actual consumption, i.e. demand, for instance by using point-of-sales data.

Selected consulting focuses

  • Optimisation and design of distribution networks
  • Lean supply chain management
  • Warehouse and logistics optimisation
  • Warehouse planning for all levels of automation
  • Transport and freight cost optimisation
  • Tactical route planning
  • Outsourcing of logistics, service provider concepts
  • Tool-based inventory optimisation via the supply chain
  • Logistical benchmarking and logistical checks
  • Forecasting and demand planning
  • Sales & operations planning (S&OP), integrated planning and control
  • Intelligent scheduling procedures
  • Line-side presentation and replenishment strategies, e.g. vendor managed inventory (VMI)
  • Alignment and optimisation of range strategies
  • SCM IT applications for forecasting, planning and control
  • Indicator systems (KPI) in the supply chain

Project examples
Customer benefits through industry expertise

A selection from our extensive range of products.

Development of an SEM strategy and realisation of selected concepts for a leading wholesaler of fastening Technology:

  • Development of ideal scenarios for the future distribution structure in Europe in regard to the number and location of warehouse levels. Consideration of inventory- and service-optimised product/range distribution to the individual locations, depending on ABC/XYZ/UVW article classifications.
  • Design of a warehouse and replenishment strategy for different article categories. Preparation of policies for scheduling and inventory planning through the use of a proprietary ebp tool solution. Reduction of inventory in selected distribution regions within the framework of pilot implementation.
  • Preparation of potential scenarios for the consolidation of transports in Europe (from suppliers to the distribution warehouses), for instance using a central cross-dock.

Optimisation and expansion of a distribution warehouse for a large electronics retailer:

  • Re-planning of the entire warehouse to integrate a variety of brands and market volumes in the area of consumer electronics.
  • Analysis and re-planning of the handling, warehouse and order picking technology to identify potential for improved performance. Re-planning in the areas of picking, packaging and shipping.
  • Implementation of tender procedures for technical trades. Support in the implementation of new technology and the optimised processes. Support for line and range relocation during ongoing operations.

Implementation of a study for the optimisation of last-mile logistics on behalf of a leading DIY chain:

  • Supply chain analysis with focus on the last stages of the supply chain, using several branches as an example. Potential for lean processes were identified and suitable optimisation concepts developed for dispatching (branch), in the delivery concept, in goods transport, logging and inventory control.
  • Identification of the requirements and circumstances on the part of the branches in regard to the shelf-back principle, as well as inbound material flow via a variety of warehouse/hub and transport concepts.
  • Analysis of the efficiency and feasibility of new processes and technical equipment for last-mile logistics and for the supply chain between warehouses and hubs and the branches.