Thursday, July 30, 2009

Case Study:Lean Supply Chain Management,Tesco


The Tesco supermarket chain in Britain has been a pioneer in retailing for more than a decade. In the mid-1990s, as he looked at the opportunities for retailers provided by the emergence of lean logistics, Graham Booth, Tesco’s supply chain management director (now retired), had a very simple insight: A rapid replenishment system triggered by the customer would work in any retail format. What’s more, it would work even better if the same replenishment system, using the same suppliers, cross-dock distribution centers, and vehicles serving many stores, could supply every retail store format. Booth saw that there might be very little difference in real costs in supplying the same item through any store format.This was because the purchase price from the supplier could be negotiated for the whole network, not by format,and the same replenishment system making frequent milk runs to larger stores could also stop at small stores to share logistics costs. The cost disadvantage of smaller outlets, due to weak supplier leverage and expensive logistics, would largely disappear.


Booth approached Dan Jones and his research group, asking how Tesco could benefit from Toyota’s supplier logistics methods to reduce time and effort. Dan suggested “taking a walk”—examining a typical provision stream, in this case the one for cola soft drink products. He urged Graham to invite the other functional directors at Tesco—retail, purchasing, distribution, and finance—along with the operations and supply chain directors of Britvic, the company supplying the cola. On a cold day in January 1997 this group set out, walking back through the provision stream for cola from the checkout counter of the grocery store through Tesco’s regional distribution center (RDC), Britvic’s RDC, the warehouse at the Britvic bottling plant, the filling lines for cola destined for Tesco, and the warehouse of Britvic’s can supplier.


Along the way, Dan and his team from Cardiff kept asking simple questions: “Why are products missing from the shelves? Why does a sales associate need to re-sort products from roll cages that have just come off the truck from the RDC? Why is so much stock needed in the back of the grocery store, at the Tesco RDC, and at Britvic’s RDC? Why are there huge warehouses of cans waiting to be filled near the bottling plants?” And so on. The walk was an eye-opener. When Tesco and Britvic directors analyzed the map they drew of the process as they walked, they could see waste at every step, along with huge opportunities for saving costs while increasing the satisfaction of the end customer. As Booth looked at the situation, he realized that practically all of Tesco’s practices for getting goods from the supplier to the shelf would need to change. The first step was to hook the point-of-sale data in the store directly to a shipping decision in Tesco’s RDC. This made the end customer at the checkout point the “pacemaker” regulating the provision stream. Tesco then increased the frequency of deliveries to the retail stores. After several years of experimentation, Tesco’s trucks now leave the RDCs for each store every few hours around the clock, carrying an amount of cola proportional to what was sold in the last few hours.

At the RDC, cola is now received directly from the supplier’s bottling plant in wheeled dollies. They are rolled directly from the supplier into the delivery truck to the stores. And once at the stores, the dollies are rolled directly to the point of sale, where they take the place of the usual sales racks.This innovation eliminates several “touches,” in which employees moved cola from large pallets to roll cages, to the stores, and then onto dollies to reach the shelves, where they were handled one last time. (In drawing the provision stream maps of the original process, Tesco discovered that half its cost in operating this provision stream was the labor required to fill the shelves in the store.For fast-moving products like cola, the Tesco RDC is now a cross-dock rather than a warehouse product, with goods from suppliers spending only a few hours between their receipt and their dispatch to the stores. To guard against sudden spikes in demand, a buffer stock of full dollies is still held aside. But because of the frequency of replenishment, the buffer is very small. Back at the cola supplier, even larger changes have taken place. Britvic improved the flexibility of its filling lines, so it can now make what the customer has just requested in small batches with very high reliability. This means that there are practically no finished goods awaiting shipment in Britvic’s filling plant.


The final logistics step is for Tesco’s delivery truck to take the dollies several times a day from the RDC on a milk run to a series of Tesco stores. At each store it collects the empty dollies and then visits several suppliers to return them. At each stop it also picks up full dollies and then returns to the Tesco RDC to restart the cycle. That may sound like a good way to increase truck miles and logistics costs, and many traditional managers, including those at Tesco and Britvic, have assumed it must. However, in practice, these methods substantially reduce the total miles driven along with freight costs, while also reducing total inventories in the system.

The consequence, in terms of performance, is remarkable.Total “touches” on the product (each of which involves costly human effort) have been reduced from 150 to 50. The total throughput time, from the filling line at the supplier to the customer leaving the store with the cola, has declined from 20 days to 5 days. The number of inventory stocking points has been reduced from five to two (the small buffer in the RDC and the roller racks in the store), and the supplier’s distribution center for the items has disappeared. As he grasped the logic of lean logistics, Booth realized that his simple insight was valid: A rapid-replenishment system triggered by the customer would work in any retail format. What was more, it would work even better if the same replenishment system, using the same suppliers, crossdock distribution centers, and vehicles serving many stores, could supply every retail format.

Using those insights, Tesco set out to create a range of formats, beginning in Britain, so that households could obtain fast-moving consumer goods from a complete variety of outlets. This has led to tiny Tesco Express convenience stores at gas stations and in busy urban intersections; Tesco Metro stores (at the small end of the “supermarket” range) on busy streets and in high-density urban areas; traditional Tesco supermarkets in urban and suburban areas; Tesco Extra on the suburban perimeter as an answer to “big boxes” retail stores operated in Britain by Wal-Mart’s ASDA subsidiary; and Tesco.com for the Web shopper. The strategy has worked quite brilliantly, permitting Tesco to establish the lowest cost position among British retailers (including Wal-Mart) while posting progressively higher margins and steadily increasing its share in every format. But this is just the beginning. By offering households a range of formats for every circumstance and pioneering the use of loyalty cards, which give discounts to frequent shoppers, Tesco is in a position to know everything a household buys during the course of a year at all formats, and where and when they buy it. In fact, 80 percent of items currently bought in Tesco stores are bought by loyalty-card holders. These loyal customers obtain close to 100 percent of their needs at the range of Tesco outlets.

Source: James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, “Teaching the Big Box New Tricks,” Fortune, November 14, 2005.

QUESTIONS

1. What key insights of Tesco’s SCM director Graham Booth helped revolutionize Tesco’s supply chain and range of retail store formats? Can these insights be applied to any kind of retail business? Why or why not?

2. How did Dan Jones and his research group from the Cardiff Business School of Wales demonstrate the inefficiencies of the Tesco and Britvic supply chains? Can this methodology be applied to the supply chain of any kind of business? Why or why not?

3. What are the major business and competitive benefits gained by Tesco as the result of its supply chain initiatives? Can other retail chains and retail stores achieve some or all of the same results? Defend your position with examples of actual retail chains and stores

4 comments:

Deepak said...

1. Lean Logistics was the key here, he got an idea from MUDA( wastes), MURI (overburdening) elimination concepts of TPS.
Some important changes were:
• point-of-sale data in the store directly to a shipping decision in Tesco’s RDC.
• “cutomers as pacemaker” regulating the provision stream
• increased the frequency of deliveries to the retail stores
• shiping dollies directly upto POS.
• Contingency plan: buffer stock of full dollies is still held aside
• supplier’s distribution center for the items has disappeared.
• Converting RDC as cross docks , reducing costs their also.
• Many more .........
B) these SC’s can be implemented in those product lines where the demand is almost consistent throughout the year.with few occasional changes... like liquor, cola, kids items, FMCG etc.
Reason: very less buffer is kept, if the demand surges touch peak, MURA( unevenness) , high costs , bullwhip effect may occur.


2. The best thing which was practically correct done by Dan and his research group was to include the suppliers in finding ways to reduce non value added activities.
3. If he would have done it in isolation studying only his supply chain then the solution wouldn’t have been effective.
4. The new solution consisted of changes in logistical and other SC activities right from Suppliers end to POS at retail stores. That is critical in lean logistics.
5. The case signifies and emphasises the need of participation and cooperation of Suppliers in SC.
6. Otherwise , only superficial changes would have occurred and the solution wouldn’t have been possible.

This Methodology should be applied to other SC as well no matter in which sector they are in.



3.
• improved flexibility of cola m/f filling lines, so it can now make what the customer has just requested in small batches with very high reliability.
• This means that there are practically no finished goods awaiting shipment in Britvic’s filling plant.
• Increase in loyalty of customer leading to increase in sales and more certainty in demand too.
• Reduced costs, operating costs were offset by overall profits in a long run
• increasing its share in every format
• Reduction in total throughput time to 300%, better avail;ability od product , consistent timely supply.
• Better forecasting ability, i.e better knowledge of consumption of each type of consumables at store.
• Reduced inventory case as RDC got converted into Cross docks.
• Reduced Transportation costs due to milk runs.
• Reduction in stock points too.
• The no. Of logistical activities for a pallet to reach the final storing point reduce to 200%

B)
• As booth himself said that this lean logistics is workable in any retail stores like Fuel/gasoline etc, garments etc. All of the retail business involves the same consumption patterns may be not in that quantity.
• Pharma companies through stockists or distributers can use the same concepts at retail stores , milk run from one retailer to other for as distributer is a ood concept.
• Garment companies like pantaloons, Central etc

• Hardware, Electrical, utensels and footware can use it.
• In Jems and jewellery consumption may be too low to offset the operating costs. The high value low demand items may notneed this concept.
Rgs
Dk,

Manoj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manoj said...

1. A rapid replenishment system triggered by the customer would work in any retail format. What’s more, it would work even better if the same replenishment system, using the same suppliers, cross-dock distribution centres, and vehicles serving many stores, could supply every retail store format.
These insights can be applied to any retail business where demand is constant during whole year and as any retail business feeds directly customers, so as soon as customer’s supply goes below a threshold it can be replenished back with approximately same stock to retailers.

2. Dan and group followed the methodology of examining a typical provision stream by taking a walk back through the provision stream for cola from the checkout counter of the grocery store through Tesco’s regional distribution centre (RDC), Britvic’s RDC, the warehouse at the Britvic bottling plant, the filling lines for cola destined for Tesco, and the warehouse of Britvic’s can supplier. They found during the walk that products are missing from the shelves, sales associate need to re-sort products from roll cages that have just come off the truck from the RDC, excessive stock was existing in the back of the grocery store, at the Tesco RDC, and at Britvic’s RDC, there were huge warehouses of cans waiting to be filled near the bottling plants et al.
This methodology can be applied to supply chain of any kind of business as it gives insight into what are the various fields where there are huge opportunities of saving costs and those demanding a supply of concrete solution to run a profitable business.

3. Tesco is substantially able to reduce the total miles driven along with freight costs, while also reducing total inventories in the system. For instance, Performance has increased in terms of human effort on a product being reduced from 150 to 50. The total throughput time for this product has declined from 20 days to 5 days. Due to these factors Tesco is able to establish the lowest cost position among British retailers while posting progressively higher margins and steadily increasing its share in every format be it Tesco Express convenience stores at gas stations, Tesco Metro stores on busy streets and in high-density urban areas, traditional Tesco supermarkets in urban and suburban areas, Tesco Extra on the suburban perimeter or Tesco.com for the Web shopper. It is also in a position to know everything a household buys during the course of a year at all formats, and where and when they buy it. Number of inventory stocking points has been reduced from five to two.

Other retail chains and retail stores can also achieve similar kind of results by using lean supply chain management fundamentals.

Citing here example of Walmart Inc., which reported a meagre annual sales of only $1 billion in 1980, the company started investing in transportation and information infrastructure to facilitate the effective flow of goods and information than concentrating on stocking too much inventory. It designed its supply chain with clusters of stores around distribution centres to facilitate frequent replenishment at its retail stores in a cost-effective manner allowing matching of supply and demand more effectively. The results turned out to be impressive. In 2004 annual report, the company reported a net income of more than $9 billion on revenues of about $250 billion. So, it was a kind of great achievement from its 1980’s postings.

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