AF Blakemore — the UK retailer, wholesaler and distributor behind Spar convenience stores — has contracted Relex Solutions to help optimise their replenishment procedures.
By forecasting when stock will run out, Relex’s technology can aid increased availability for customers and also cut down on waste by honing in on the optimum point of replenishment - ensuring that stock neither runs out nor is over-ordered.
"With our new Relex-powered automated planning system, we aim to improve availability of in-store stock for customers, while also reducing waste and freeing up staff to focus on other core tasks," said AF Blakemore supply chain director Marc Deakin.
"Relex has a well-earned reputation on its in-depth understanding of the convenience and grocery sector, including long-term relationships working with other Spar franchise operators in both the UK and mainland Europe, and also the performance of their technology solutions in streamlining and improving multiple supply chain processes through automation. Relex was the natural choice to meet AF Blakemore’s operational needs."
Relex Solutions sales for EMEA VP Jason Berry said: "Wholesalers and retailers alike today face a range of competing and interconnected business challenges, including managing costs, reducing waste, and handling disruptions to supply chains so that customers can continue to buy the products they want.
AI and machine learning have a significant role to play in addressing these challenges by processing all relevant data at scale for far greater accuracy in forecasting and replenishment. We’re very pleased to work with AF Blakemore to automate this critical part of its operations."
AF Blakemore’s step towards automation is part of a wider trend in the food and beverage industry — optimising supply chains and stock to cut down on waste and strive for a better allocation of resources.