Associated Food Stores Cuts Weekly Shrink 50 Percent with Tech Application

SALT LAKE CITY -- Associated Food Stores here said it is decreasing inventory levels, improving turns and service levels, and enhancing planner productivity, thanks to new warehouse replenishment technology the wholesaler put into place last year.

"Last year was one of the best years we've ever had," said Todd Bell, inventory management team lead, Associated Food Stores, a regional cooperative wholesale distributor supplying products to almost 600 independently owned supermarkets in eight Western states. "Over a six-month period, we've seen an increase of service levels over 2 percent. At the same time, we've decreased our inventory levels over $1.4 million on a weekly average."

Associated sourced the solution from JDA Software Group, Inc., based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The Advanced Warehouse Replenishment by E3 solution enables Associated Food Stores to reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary inventory orders, according to JDA. It also allows the company to maintain optimal levels of inventory within the company's DC's while managing product groups and service levels.

Added Bell, "Over the last couple of years we've implemented the daily profile and calendar capabilities. It's helped us take advantage of perishable buying, and we've eliminated 50 percent of our weekly shrink at the distribution center level by using those capabilities. Also, our in stock percentage is up two points above our service level goal. That's pretty amazing."
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