Requirements: deployment of an online inventory in order to take inventory while the stores are open
Early 2008, REWE decided to deploy a solution for online inventory for all of the 2,400 Penny discounters in order to take inventory during the day while the stores are open. What is unique about REWE’s online inventory system is that current item movements – including all sales and incoming goods, and inventory corrections – are all precisely registered within 5 minutes.
It became clear to REWE in the course of creating the concept for the mobile inventory application with Bosch Software Innovations that optimization with respect to items the store had not listed when inventory was taken would also be necessary. So Bosch Software Innovations was set about expanding the originally sought solution to include a seamless integration of item listings – which means, adding an item to the store’s product lines. That in turn expands the downstream processes along the value chain including inventory management, automatic merchandise planning, and order activation.
Requirements for mobile devices:
- highest performance (response time less than 1 sec.)
- low maintenance cost
- economical (more than 20,000 mobile devices in use)
Solution: implementation of a rule-based online inventory with our BRM software Visual Rules
A highly qualified COBOL developer was supposed to implement the analysis and preparation of store item data for the online inventory. After three months, the complexity of the processing logic had increased to such an extent that it was no longer comprehensible or controllable. A new approach was called for, one that would work in coordination with the experts in inventory, auditing, and merchandise master data. For REWE, that tipped the balance in their decision to implement the online inventory solution with the rule-based approach and Bosch Software Innovations' BRM software Visual Rules. The experts from REWE and Bosch Software Innovations were then able to completely implement the business rules for merchandise data analysis and preparation in just 14 days.
Prerequisites for ensuring the speedy and successful implementation of the project included:
- exchange of information and experience beyond the seperate domains
- using proof-of-concept based on previous joint projects
- optimized performance
- approaches that save system resources, such as lazy loading, and clear process steps in the dialogue flow
Results: introduction of the online inventory application in more than 5,400 stores
This BRM software based online inventory application was successfully rolled out in 2009 in more than 2,400 Penny discounters. Since the system was so well received in those stores, the solution is now being introduced in the more than 3,000 REWE supermarkets and the almost 100 Toom convenience stores (with an inventory of 45,000 items each). Simultaneous to the quantitative expansion to include more than half of all REWE stores, the solution is also being expanded by the business processes to include the full range of merchandise in addition to grocery items. The system’s open design was critical in enabling adaptations of the online inventory solution to include additional sales areas. The REWE ERP system is designed to enable different implementations of inventory management processes for the respective channels of distribution, all on a single platform.
The German REWE Group is one of Europe’s leaders in retail and travel. Since it was founded in 1927, the REWE Group has evolved from a retail cooperative into a multinational corporation with a turnover of more than 50 Billion Euro, 330,000 employees and more than 15,000 stores. The new umbrella brand name „REWE Group“ was introduced to link the more than 80-year old traditions of REWE to the modern demands of an international company.