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Interview: Being ready for festive online retail booms

T.C. Seow | June 5, 2015
In an email interview, William Chaylis, Regional Sales Manager of Southeast Asia, Manhattan Associates, shares his thoughts on what retailers in Asia should be doing to boost sales during festive periods, capture more markets, and improve on efficiencies in order to remain competitive.

Shoppers crave a personal service, and the digital world makes it much easier for retailers to track shoppers' buying patterns and preferences. Frequency of online visits, transactional spend amount, time period spent in store and preferred delivery method can all be tracked. Retailers need to use this information to their advantage to provide customers with a personalised service and to be able to reward them for their loyalty.

We noted that the online grocery shopping platform, RedMart, is currently using your warehouse management system. Can you tell me how does your solution help RedMart to improve performance and achieve its business targets?

Selling groceries via multiple online channels is arguably one of the most complex businesses from a fulfilment perspective given the large number of unique items associated with a typical order. That is why RedMart made the transition from a manual to an automated fulfilment approach and this has helped optimise its complex order fulfilment operation and to scale the business rapidly. This shift also halved the order cycle time, improved overall service levels and delivered close to 100 percent fulfilment accuracy.

RedMart is using Manhattan SCALE to support its high growth e-commerce operation:

  • SCALE is flexible and scalable; it handles RedMart's wide and growing product range, allows RedMart to maintain high in-stock rates and has enabled fast order-to-delivery cycle times.
  • SCALE provides users with the visibility of what products are available for sale in real-time, where the stock is located (thus ensuring efficient picking and packing) and it keeps track of overall inventory levels. The platform ensures that RedMart only sells what is 'in store', without disappointing customers by delivering incomplete orders.
  • The warehouse management solution has allowed RedMart to maximise operational efficiency by being able to track and monitor all physical tasks undertaken in the warehouse, which has in turn resulted in a perpetual cycle of process and productivity improvement.
  • It has also enabled Redmart to start to build an incentive system that is performance driven. Going beyond compensation benefits, the system empowers employees to develop their own goals that they can work towards. Employees feel accountable and engaged, thus contributing to overall organisational health.

Grocery retailing is very complicated but by operating the supply chain in-house, Redmart is able to create an advanced, technology-enabled fulfilment capability. This has resulted in the creation of a much more streamlined, scalable and customer-focused service operation – across the entire supply chain – than what it would have been able to achieve through any outsourced logistics services arrangement.

We noticed that you are the selected partner for many international retail chains like Mothercare, Paul Smith, E.Land, etc. Other than large operators, do you also work with small- and medium-sized enterprises, and do they have such need to adapt supply chain solutions?

 

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