Retail Supply Chain Control Tower - a case study with a major retailer

How a Leading Retailer is Using a Control Tower to Manage their Supply Chain

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How one of the largest retailers in Africa is using innovative technology to improve customer service while lowering supply chain costs

Who is Pick n Pay? It’s the $6 billion multi-channel retailer you probably haven’t heard of. That’s because Pick n Pay is based in South Africa. It has an annual turnover of $6 billion, is the largest online grocery business in Africa, operates 1,685 physical stores, and sells products in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.

Pick n Pay has experienced 20 percent compound annual growth in earnings over the past five years (Pick n Pay FY18 Analyst Report). A major reason for that success is that it is customer-focused. Pick n Pay is dedicated to providing consumers with the maximum value for their money, and thus looks at ways of moving product through the supply chain in the most cost-effective manner possible. Pick n Pay is continuously on the look out for innovative solutions, new processes, new technologies, and skilled talent, to help deliver the highest service to customers at the lowest cost. And judging by their growth last year, they are succeeding.

Related: Conquering Retail Challenges with a Network Control Tower

The Pick n Pay Supply Chain

Pick n Pay uses a centralized supply chain model. Suppliers deliver goods to distribution centers around the country, then Pick n Pay delivers those goods to the stores. Pick n Pay has Distribution centers across South Africa that deliver within South Africa, and to other countries in Africa. Pick n Pay also has an online channel for distribution which offers home delivery and “Click and Collect” from selected stores.

Pick n Pay’s centralized distribution of food in South Africa looks like this:

  • 7 foods distribution centers (DCs) in 4 provinces
  • 3,500 inbound deliveries (into DC) per week
  • 8,500 deliveries to 720 stores per week

Naturally this entails a complex supply chain and involves effectively managing and coordinating suppliers, warehouses, transportation and deliveries, in order to ensure ongoing customer satisfaction, loyalty and growth.

How Africa's largest retailer uses digital business network and supply chain control tower technology for end-to-end visibility across the supply chain and trading partners. -Johann van der Westhuizen Click To Tweet

How Do They Do It?

In order to effectively manage their end-to-end supply chain, Pick n Pay uses some of the most innovative technology available, including a multiparty, digital business network and supply chain control tower technology. This technology provides real-time, end-to-end visibility across the supply chain and across trading partners, including 3PLs.

Live dashboards give real-time status of key metrics that help managers understand issues and address them early, with tools to execute decisions and to collaborate with trading partners where necessary.

With Pick n Pay has been able to use this technology to:

  • Improve decision-making and outcomes
  • Improve customer service
  • Integrate supply chain planning with execution
  • Improve alignment between DC and store operations

I will be doing a deep dive into exactly what Pick n Pay is doing and how they are transforming their supply chain to accelerate growth and drive down costs. I invite you to join me for this free event and find out more about this retail strategy, what we learned during the process, and how it can deliver similar results for you.

Conquering Retail Challenges with a Network Control Tower

Johann van der Westhuizen