Better inventory management leads to across-the-board benefits
“With better stock on hand levels, our stores are freeing up cash that would be otherwise tied up in overstocks. This has achieved cost savings of a whopping $25,000 a year per store.”
Karina Hellyer, National Operations Manager
Convenience grocery retailer Night ‘n Day is a diverse business with 57 stores throughout New Zealand spanning franchises, Gull fuel stations and company-owned stores. Twice a finalist in the Deloitte Fast 50 rankings of fastest growing companies in the country, Night ‘n Day is proud of its history of innovation and growth.
To help its people work more efficiently, Night ‘n Day has introduced Infinity’s inventory management software. With unified inventory now in place, the company has cut costs, increased margins and freed up time to provide great customer experiences and new growth opportunities.
Night ‘n Day’s requirements
Night ‘n Day’s National Operations Manager, Karina Hellyer, says the business is always looking at new ideas to meet consumer demand for greater convenience. “We’re investing in technology to streamline our operations and improve customer experience, and we decided that inventory management was the obvious place to start.”
“We thought we were managing our stock pretty well,” she explains. “But we wanted to reduce the time our people spent on labour-intensive tasks and free them up to focus on other activities, like serving customers.”
The Infinity solution
The business decided to start using more of the functionality within its existing Infinity retail management system.
“We were an existing customer of Triquestra and Infinity,” explains Karina. “We were very confident they could provide all the direction and support we needed.”
Following consultation to decide how to revamp Night ‘n Day’s business processes, then the configuration of Infinity, training for support centre staff and an ongoing communications programme, the roll-out started with a pilot amongst three stores.
“It takes time and effort for people to move from their familiar, paper-based processes to a fully automated inventory system,” says Karina. “So it was important that everyone understood the end game and what they were going to get out of it.”
Improved stock on hand
One of the biggest benefits for the stores that have made the move is the improved visibility and management of stock within each store.
“Infinity has taken away the hard work of calculating stock on hand,” she says. “Now our stores just use a mobile device to barcode scan their shelves and Infinity calculates exactly how much of each item is in stock.”
Accurate forecasting, ordering and receipting
Karina says that Night ‘n Day has a large and complex product range and it can be difficult for staff or store owners to predict sales and know how much new stock to order.
“Using Infinity, we can now set minimum values for each product - individualised for each store - based on historical sales and estimates of future sales using forecasts, trends and seasonal variations.”
Now when stores want to place an order, the system automatically assesses the quantities, which staff can easily adjust if required.
“Then when their order is delivered, all they have to do is confirm that the order’s all ok and Infinity will update their stock on hand levels. In the past, staff would have to manually enter this information,” says Karina.
“That means our core product range is consistent across all our stores, no matter the size or location, and we have fewer overstocks or understocks. With better stock on hand levels, the stores are freeing up cash that would be otherwise tied up in overstocks. This has achieved cost savings of a whopping $25,000 a year per store.”
The single view of inventory has also transformed Night ‘n Day’s stocktaking process.
Karina explains, “We hold stocktakes three times a year, and this year one fell on Easter, one of our busiest trading periods. Here in Dunedin, the pressure was also on to deliver great experiences for the 70,000 visitors hitting town for Ed Sheeran’s three concerts,” she adds. “It was a huge opportunity, and the last thing we wanted was to divert staff from serving customers to counting stock.”
“Our stores doing it the old way typically take around 20 hours to manually count and record all stock in the store, with 5 people each working a 4 hour period. However, this year a Dunedin store took just 6 hours to complete their stocktake using Infinity, with 3 people each only working a couple of hours. That’s a massive saving of time and a smart reduction in wage costs.”
Stocktakes are not only faster with Infinity, but also more accurate.
“There’s no re-keying of data from paper forms so it only takes our support team half an hour at most to export the files into our financial system, report on count results and identify any discrepancies.”
Reaping the benefits
Night ‘n Day stores are each seeing an average of $8,000 in savings a year because of increased stock accuracy and the time saved on stocktakes, cash balancing, receipting and reordering.
And by enabling stores to use a single mobile device for a wide range of inventory activities, mobile hardware and data costs are going down.
By tracking inventory in near real time and updating the system as items are sold or moved to other locations, shrinkage is naturally diminishing, with stores saving an average of $4,000 each year.
It’s all added up to an increased net profit of around $12,000 a year for each store, and that’s just the start.
“We’re only at the beginning of our journey,” explains Karina, “but are already experiencing substantial organisational and financial benefits. With less admin, more efficiencies and better inventory visibility, we can focus on serving our customers and growing the business.”
Contact us to find out more about how Infinity can give your business an accurate and single view of inventory.
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