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JF Hillebrand helps Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain revolutionise wine supply chain

Added: (Thu Oct 14 2010)

Pressbox (Press Release) - “Inventory has decreased by 30%, but on-shelf availability has risen to 99%. Lead times are now just 4 weeks from order to delivery. It used to be 8-12 weeks.”
Mr Huub Fronen, AIL (AHOLD Inbound Logistics)

The background

Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, is part of the retail giant Royal Ahold. The company understands that a supply chain can deliver vital competitive advantage and has established Ahold Inbound Logistics (AIL) to take responsibility for all international inbound logistics for Ahold’s European retail companies, including Albert Heijn, Gall & Gall and the drugstore ETOS.

JF Hillebrand, the world’s leading logistics provider to the drink industry with 50 offices in 30 countries, began working with Albert Heijn in 2004, managing the delivery of wines into the Netherlands from vineyards around the world.

The challenge
AIL and Albert Heijn wanted to:
- improve the selection and quality of wines offered
- reduce inventory
- minimise obsolete stock
- respond more quickly to customer demand
- reduce operational and capital costs
- improve stock visibility for all supply chain links by creating an integrated data platform
- improve the cross functional collaboration between production, global sourcing, international logistics and (local) merchandising/sales .

The solution
JF Hillebrand worked closely with the customer to examine every part of the supply chain and all the relationships within it. Combining more than 150 years of industry knowledge with the highly sophisticated Supply Chain Management (SCM) system it has developed, JF Hillebrand designed a custom-built solution (tailored to customer requirements).

But the solution is about a lot more than software. It included AIL and JF Hillebrand visiting all the wine producers to explain the advantages of producing to forecast, rather than producing to order. This was a vital element in reducing lead times and responding more quickly to customer demand.

Also, JF Hillebrand has established a warehouse in Cape Town where wine can be temporarily stored from many different producers before shipping to Europe – already consolidated and palletised in line with AIL/AHOLD’s requirements. Through the SCM system’s AXIS web portal, AIL planners can monitor all global stock positions in a ‘virtual warehouse’.

The result
Albert Heijn has 99% on-shelf availability and lead times have been reduced from 8-12 weeks to just 4 weeks i.e. only the operational lead-time needed, thus cutting out stock/order preparation time. There is a reliable supply of smaller quantities of a wide range of wines. Inventory in the Netherlands has decreased by 30%, cutting obsolete stock and costs.

Logistics costs and wine availability are now much more transparent than before and closer relationships have been built both internally at AIL/Albert Heijn and externally with producers.

The future
JF Hillebrand continues to collaborate closely with customers and to develop its SCM system. It will soon be introducing a second phase, including EDI and RFID, as part of its efficiency improvements.

Picture Caption: Hillebrand vehicles collecting containers at port

Please contact amanda@imageline.co.uk for a high res version of this image


About JF Hillebrand: With a global network headquartered in Mainz, Germany, JF Hillebrand employs 1500 people in 45 offices around the world. The company reported a throughput of over 268,000 containers in 2009 - equating to over 1.4 billion cases of wine.

Since 1844, it has dedicated itself to the efficient and cost-effective logistics of wines, spirits and beers. As well as offering first class logistics services, it also leads the way in the development of innovative products, services and IT tools to the global beverage industry.

JF Hillebrand was voted “Best Logistics Company” in the 2010 Drinks Business Awards.

For further information please go to www.jfhillebrand.com

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Submitted by:Amanda Shoffman
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