Conforama Increases Market Share, Boosts Service Levels by 20 Per Cent and Improves Product Availability with JDA Portfolio Replenishment Solutions

Conforama is the world's number-two seller of home appliances and furnishings with 245 stores in Europe selling more than 20,000 products.

The retailer provides a one-stop discount-shopping venue for a full range of products for the home, including traditional and contemporary furniture, decorative items and consumer electronics and home appliances. In preparation for a significant European expansion after opening stores so far in 8 countries (France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Poland, Italy and Croatia), the 3.14 billion retailer said it needed to transform what was becoming a wider and more complex demand chain. This included addressing the challenges of managing international sourcing and logistics of its 3.5 million SKUs, outdated ordering systems and the increasing demands for product availability.

The company looked to JDA's Advanced Warehouse Replenishment by E3 (AWR) and Advanced Store Replenishment by E3 (ASR) solutions to develop a more centralised, global view of replenishment. Since implementing AWR and ASR, Conforama has seen increased market share, a 20-per cent boost in service levels with no stock increases, and improved in-store and promotional product availability - all leading to a positive impact on the company's revenue. In addition, Conforama can now offer product assortments that meet each store's local requirements.

"JDA is a major part of our global replenishment transformation," said Thierry Dujardin, Conforama's replenishment director. "AWR and ASR have enabled us to establish a centralised system that provides robust support to the regions and vastly improves customer service at our stores. With JDA, we've been able to meet our sales objectives by improving stock levels, localising our product assortment, and efficiently and economically replenishing our locations more frequently."

Step-by-Step Change Process Drives Successful Implementation

The task of bringing its replenishment practices into a unified corporate structure extended from Conforama's headquarters to its individual stores. The company assembled a team of end users from the corporate office, warehouses and stores, project managers and technical staff early on in the planning phase to drive successful rollouts.

Conforama then used a phased implementation of both JDA solutions, first deploying ASR as a pilot in Switzerland and subsequently implementing it across the company by class and supplier, then store by store. ASR is now used to support 178 locations in France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal.

In parallel, AWR was implemented in France to support growing international sourcing needs and increased frequency of regional store deliveries by streamlining replenishment practices across Conforama's five distribution centers.

ASR and AWR are installed on an IBM AS400 i-series platform at Conforama headquarters in Marne La Valle, Paris.

"The flexibility of the JDA solutions powered our step-by-step approach," Dujardin said. "As we gained buy-in from internal stakeholders we were able to ensure a smooth implementation in all of our store and warehouse locations."

Increases in Market Share and Store Managers' Productivity

Today AWR and ASR are combined with one of Conforama's third party data repositories, making it easier to share information between headquarters and the stores, Dujardin said. And, he added, the centralisation helps them to achieve their sales objectives by smoothing store receiving peaks due to its advertising campaigns that are responsible for 50 percent of sales.

What's more, Conforama can update its store forecasts in less than two hours - a process that previously took a week or more to complete. In fact, today Conforama store managers no longer spend time entering replenishment orders and can spend more time selecting assortments, managing by exception and reviewing sales forecasts. In addition, managers work more closely with corporate planners to make the right replenishment decisions for their specific location.

"JDA's best-of-breed solutions have delivered significant improvements across our demand chain," Dujardin said. "From headquarters to our warehouses and stores, everyone has embraced the solution. We are now focused on expanding our business and providing the right product assortments for our customers."

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