Associated Grocers of New England Upgrades Purchasing Technology

Grocery co-op selects HIMPACT by Herlitz to purchase all inventory
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Associated Grocers of New England Upgrades Purchasing Technology
Associated Grocers of New England has signed with Herlitz to improve upon its existing purchasing system and to further advance its goal of serving the needs of independent retail grocers.

To help serve the needs of independent grocers of every store size and format, Associated Grocers of New England (AGNE) has selected Herlitz Inventory Management Inc.’s HIMPACT solution as its new purchasing system. By rolling out HIMPACT in the coming months, AGNE will be replacing its current legacy purchasing system, E3 Trim.

As a grocery co-op, AGNE offers a variety of products and retail support services to its members. AGNE member stores rely on these tools to make accurate and informed decisions so they can better serve their customers. AGNE chose the HIMPACT purchasing solution to allow its members the ability to manage promotions, calculate freight allowance and allocation more easily, and buy and manage perishable items more accurately. The speed with which HIMPACT can be implemented was also an important factor in AGNE's decision to switch purchasing systems.

"HIMPACT includes many of the standard functions of our existing purchasing system, but also offers a more robust set of features specific to perishable purchasing," explained Ann Visser-Depp, director of fresh merchandising and procurement at Pembroke, N.H.-based AGNE. "While these features are exciting, it would be a moot point if our current IT infrastructure was not able to support the software. With HIMPACT, we expect integration to be swift and require very little internal IT intervention. We are confident that the features available to our fresh procurement team will be a considerable asset in the areas of inventory and margin management, freeing up time for our procurement team to laser focus on category management."

Despite its name, AGNE services a greater area than just New England. According to the company's website, while most of its business is in the six New England States (New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island), it has expanded to upstate New York as well.

"As AGNE has grown over the years, it's important we upgrade our technology to match the needs we have from our independent retailers," said Joe Conley, director of merchandising and procurement at AGNE. "We oversee a large distribution center with thousands of SKUs, so it's critical we have the efficiencies in a buying and inventory management system that can satisfy the dynamic needs of our business. On the tailwinds of COVID-19, we needed additional support to maintain our growing and evolving supply chain. We are confident that HIMPACT will provide the assistance our team needs to perform at the next level."

Carl Herlitz, president and CEO of Somerville, Mass.-based Herlitz Inventory Management, points out that AGNE will be the fourth ROFDA (Retailer Owned Food Distributors and Associates) member to join HIMPACT. “With a shared goal of empowering independent retail grocers nationwide, ROFDA and Herlitz are a natural fit,” Herlitz said. “We hope to work with even more ROFDA members in the coming years to help support their cause and further their mission."

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