In the next instalment of Retail Times’s definitive Guide to Profitable Fresh Foods Retailing, launched in collaboration with Applied Data Corporation (ADC), we learn how Dansk Supermarked Gruppen (DSG) has implemented ADC’s Fresh Item Management software to boost performance in its fresh foods departments at Føtex supermarkets and Bilka hypermarkets
Dansk Supermarked Gruppen turned to ADC in order to manage fresh items in tandem with an SAP roll out across its entire corporation.
The company, which is headquartered in Denmark, operates more than 1,200 stores under the Føtex, Bilka, Salling and Netto brands in four countries – Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Germany.
It has a clear strategic objective. “We aim to be number one in all the countries in which we operate,” says Dennis Jensen, process consultant in Dansk Supermarked’s IT department.
Presenting alongside ADC CEO, Steve Loveridge, at RBTE in 2014, Jensen shared the journey Dansk Supermarked has taken to introduce an In-Store Food Production (ISFP) system to help improve the gross margins in the fresh food departments at its Føtex and Bilka chains.
ADC was an ideal partner, since the company’s focus is entirely on fresh food retailers, supplying supermarket chains with its InterStore suite of software for Fresh Item Management or FIM for short.
Critically, ADC is focused on ERP integration – adding on fresh food functionality to retail systems – and is SAP certified as a specialist for fresh food management. That expertise helped to secure Dansk Supermarket Gruppen as its first European client back in 2013.
ADC first presented to Dansk Supermarked in spring 2011.
“After our introductory presentation, it was suggested that our software appeared to meet 95% of their requirements. Because we are focused on the specifics of fresh food delivery, we seemed to have hit the nail on the head,” recalls Steve Loveridge, ADC co-founder and CEO.
Following on, Dansk took colleagues from its IT department plus deli, butchery and bakery operations – where the complexity of the fresh foods business sits – out to the US. They visited existing ADC customers – SuperValu, the Brookshire Grocery Company and Harris Teeter, a high end retailer now owned by Kroger – to experience the FIM solutions in practice and their impact on the businesses. Deploying ADC solutions, one 200+ store supermarket chain in the USA has recorded a 35% average reduction in wastage, for instance.
Dansk Supermarked implemented ADC’s InterScale software as the first phase of its ISFP system.
ADC’s software was the integration “glue” between Dansk’s legacy IBM system and the Espera scales in the butchery department and to Axicode printers on the deli side.
According to Jensen, there was no training at this stage – the changes were behind the scenes – putting ADC in place, ready for when the business went live with SAP.
But, because ADC is an independent scale-neutral solution, it meant Dansk could choose from 12 different manufacturers. “That was very positive,” says Jensen.
InterScale communicates directly with all of Dansk’s hosted in-store devices, including barcode labelling scales and printers.
With InterScale, Dansk can manage all scales data centrally, including event batch creation and management, sending network tests, re-loading scales and pulling back data for comparison reporting. Additionally, InterScale provides insight into what has been produced versus what has been sold, further helping to improve fresh department efficiencies.
In phase two, Dansk unplugged IBM and switched over to SAP across its butchery and deli departments plus the bakery printers.
The other two systems in ADC’s InterStore suite were also introduced between January and August 2014: NutriGen Recipe Manager, which provides interactive recipes for store operators for items produced or finished in stores; and the P-Cubed Production Manager, which automates, manages and tracks production in the fresh departments of grocery stores. P-Cubed also recommends store-specific production quantities through ADC’s integration to SAP’s Forecasting and Replenishment (F&R).
The P-Cubed module is used to capture shrink and provides traceability across fresh lines such as meat – a key Dansk differentiator.
ADC’s Fresh Combination Manager, meanwhile, enables the retailer to manage the inventory of fresh food selections made at touchscreen food counters.
Dansk and ADC co-operated closely on the roll out with training, workshops and testing all a critical part of the mix.
“We used ADC as a partner to find the right solutions and in change management,” says Jensen. “There are a lot of new processes for the stores so we have taken on board their views and provided hands on training before the user goes live. We also wanted to keep the processes simple for stores – not revolutionising anything but at the same time recognising we need the stores to do new tasks.”
The results? Phase one, of a multi-phase implementation, was completed in September 2013 and has had a positive sales impact, reducing waste due to effective production planning. It is also a user-friendly interface for store personnel.
Best of all, ADC’s solutions have provided a platform for future functionality within food production at Dansk Supermarked’s stores.
(A Retail Times’ sponsored article)