Reshaping the Future: Creating Sustainable Business Growth
Reshaping the Future: Creating Sustainable Business Growth
By Körber Supply Chain
As the world returns to normal, Körber Supply Chain discusses its recent success with one of Australia’s largest retailers as well as strategies for creating sustainable business growth.
Rising consumer expectations, increasing operational costs, tight margins and rapid inflation growth are all contributing to one of the most complex environments for businesses the world has ever seen.
Alongside this, there’s an increasing emphasis on making businesses as sustainable as possible, both from an environmental point of view as well as future-proofing your business.
With so much instability and turbulence, long-term business growth is difficult to focus on and as a result, for the past two years many businesses have found themselves treading water instead of focusing their attention and efforts on sustainable future growth.
However, the businesses that had the strategies and processes in place to overcome challenges during the pandemic were able to come out of this period stronger than ever before, seizing the many opportunities that arose because of the major societal and commercial changes that transpired from this unprecedented period.
As the world returns to normal and restrictions are lifted worldwide, organisations are pushing for collaboration, resilience and agility. One company leading the way with Körber Supply Chain’s software solutions is leading retailer Super Retail Group.
TARGETING FUTURE GROWTH WITH KÖRBER SUPPLY CHAIN
At a consumer level, the ongoing disruption to our lives over the past two years has spurred people around the world to learn new skills, take up new hobbies and explore new passions.
In Australia, Super Retail Group is at the heart of this pursuit. Home to well-known household brands including Rebel, Macpac, BCF and Super Cheap Auto, Super Retail Group is one of the largest retailers in Australia.
Founded in the 1970s, the ASX-listed retailer’s vision is to inspire people to live their passions. Through its broad portfolio of car parts and accessories, sporting and fitness goods, camping and outdoor equipment and outdoor clothing ¬– there’s something for everyone.
Well-positioned across all the major retail growth segments of the pandemic, Super Retail Group reported record growth over the past two years due to unprecedented consumer demand in the Group’s lifestyle and leisure categories.
At its Annual General Meeting in October last year, Super Retail Group reported 22 per cent year-on-year growth in sales across the Group, reaching a record $3.4b.
In online sales, the Group reported 43 per cent year-on-year growth and announced that online sales now represented 12 per cent of total sales. Click and collect sales also grew more than 50 per cent and the Group completed more than 1.5 million home-delivery orders.
Having gone through a significant period of expansion and acquisitions over the past 30 years, Super Retail Group is now focused on establishing a stable foundation to support further growth.
“We’ve had a long history of expansion and now our strategy is very much focused on getting the Group to work well together by establishing some really good core processes” Patrick Fountain, General Manager – Supply Chain Strategy at Super Retail Group says.
Prior to partnering with Körber Supply Chain, Super Retail Group was operating several disjointed legacy Warehouse Management Systems across its broad brand portfolio. “We had a number of different systems that were working on legacy hardware. At the same time, we were pumping through an immense volume of orders, particularly around December peak period. We recognised this was huge risk for us. If we can’t get our product to the store or customer quickly, our customers will just go elsewhere,” Patrick says.
After a near three-year tender process, the leading retailer has selected Körber Supply Chain’s K. Motion Warehouse Advantage Warehouse Management System as the future foundation of its omnichannel operations.
Super Retail Group will roll out Körber’s WMS across its entire fulfilment operation, which includes six distribution centres in Australia and New Zealand. The distribution centres currently service more than 670 stores and store an impressive 24,870 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) and the deployment is expected to be complete by FY23.
“There’s just no way that you could run a business at our scale and our complexity on paper. So, a huge driving factor in our decision to invest in a WMS was the risk factor. We needed a system that could scale up and be as stable in December as it in April or May,” Patrick explains.
Through the tender process, Patrick says once the team got deeper into the numbers, they realised the incredible importance of WMS. “Though the journey with Körber, we started to understand how the capability in this space had moved on and how the WMS was central to us setting ourselves up as a true omnichannel retailer,” he says.
Historically, Super Retail Group ran its home delivery business through its store network. However, as the Group continues to experience growth in online, there is limitations to operating this way and the retailer has plans to fulfil online orders direct from its distribution centre network.
“We want to have far more online orders moving through our warehouses than through our stores, and this new WMS is really the leapfrog in this strategy,” Patrick says.
Having a system Super Retail Group could rely on was a crucial part of replacing its legacy systems, and as a result cloud-first was non-negotiable. For Super Retail Group, Körber’s flexible upgrade path was a real point of difference.
“Many WMS providers offer a forced upgrade monthly or fortnightly, but Körber’s WMS features an optional upgrade, and this was something that we were very impressed with. Of course, it’s important to have an upgrade path, but knowing that we have the choice is helpful for us given the nature of our operation and intense peak periods we experience,” Patrick says.
Another reason for cloud capabilities was in ensuring that Super Retail Group could focus on the core of their business. “We want to worry about the things we need to worry about. We don’t need to have these immense internal capabilities in technical areas when it’s not a point of difference for us. We instead have confidence in the Körber cloud offering to take care of the technical side and ensure that we have stability, security and high performance,” Patrick says.
LEARNING FROM SUPER RETAIL GROUP’S SUCCESS
As demand shows no signs of slowing down, this new investment in Körber’s WMS will ensure the Group is well-placed to capitalise on future growth. As consumers around the nation continue to pursue their passions, Super Retail Group is strengthening its operation to provide its growing customer base with a true omnichannel experience. Which for Körber Supply Chain is its key to success.
Jamie Sterling, Director, International Sales & Operations (APAC), Körber Supply Chain Software says Super Retail Group is a great example of a retailer pivoting its operation to make the most of the increasing demand for true omnichannel retail offerings. “Super Retail Group has an impressive vision for the future and a key part of its commitment to its customers is to provide a full omnichannel experience. Körber’s K. Motion Warehouse Advantage WMS will ensure that the leading retailer is well-positioned to continue to capitalise on the growth and opportunities in the retail landscape in Australia through efficient and accurate fulfilment across its entire distribution and store network,” he says.
“Crucially, our WMS allows Super Retail Group to take ownership of their own solution, being able to adapt it to quickly respond to market trends rather than having to wait for external assistance. This allows them to remain nimble and agile while enhancing efficiency and productivity. With Super Retail Group’s impressive growth over the last 12 months, we are looking forward to seeing the company improving overall business operations and most importantly customer service with our WMS,” Nishan Wijemanne, Managing Director APAC at Körber Supply Chain Software says.