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Wickes Building Supplies Ltd. stores are designed to appeal to serious do-it-yourself customers who carry out more complex projects and tradesmen who undertake general repairs, maintenance and improvement projects for households. These customers are more demanding in terms of service, quality and price.
The company offers a targeted range of primarily private label home improvement products with a particular emphasis on building products, such as timber, bricks and cement. In addition, Wickes offers a range of kitchens, conservatories, bathrooms and bedrooms, which are sold through in-store showrooms.
Wickes utilises CALIDUS solutions from OBS Logistics to more effectively manage logistics growth, implement vendor managed inventory and facilitate the introduction of a home delivery service.
As a part of a continuing drive to improve customer service Wickes has installed the CALIDUS Warehouse Management System from OBS Logistics at its Distribution and Home Delivery Centres.
A major player in the retail market Wickes has some 180 stores, with a total net selling space of approximately 5.8 million square feet. These stores are situated in large population centres where there are concentrations of tradesmen and serious DIY enthusiasts. In a volatile and highly competitive marketplace Wickes has enjoyed steady sales growth with store numbers having increased to some 180 from 131 in 2000 and annual turnover now approaching £900 million. In early 2005 Wickes was acquired by Travis Perkins plc, a leading Builders' Merchant and Home Improvement company. Travis Perkins is a major supplier to one of the largest UK growth industries, building and construction. With a turnover in excess of £3billion Travis Perkins continues to follow its successful growth strategy of acquisition and organic investment.
Wickes stores are designed to appeal to serious DIY customers who carry out more complex projects, and to tradesmen who undertake general repairs, maintenance and improvement projects for households. These customers are considerably more demanding in terms of service, quality and price. Wickes meets these expectations by offering a targeted range of primarily own brand, competitively priced home improvement products, with particular emphasis on building products, such as timber, bricks and cement. In addition, Wickes stores offer a wide range of kitchens, conservatories, bathrooms and bedrooms, which are sold through in-store showrooms.
To successfully meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive marketplace Wickes decided to radically re-engineer their total supply chain. Three new, strategically located, Distribution Centres were created. The commercial relationship with suppliers was changed to stock being ‘vendor owned and managed’ within the Distribution Centres. This enabled suppliers to take responsibility for their total supply chain and to make savings by optimising their overall stock levels in their own factories and warehouses.
OBS Logistics was selected by Wickes as the prime contractor to provide the systems to operate the new Distribution Centres. The OBS Logistics solution included the installation of CALIDUS as the Warehouse Management System (WMS). This adaptable and sophisticated system enables Wickes to operate the Distribution Centres at high efficiency levels and at the same time provide visibility to suppliers of specific information to enable them to effectively monitor and manage their stock and demand levels.
In addition, a ‘self billing’ module was provided to ensure that once a shipment is made to the retail outlets the supplier payment process is initiated within the Wickes accounting systems. Replacing an inhouse developed system, Calidus has improved stock accuracy, increased operational efficiency and provided total visibility of operations in real time thereby reducing stock-outs and improving delivery accuracy.
To manage the continuing growth in the business Wickes has subsequently opened an additional fourth site - the Home Delivery Centre in Northampton. The Home Delivery Centre uses the Calidus solution, particularly in the supply of kitchens and bathrooms to customer homes and is an important part of the drive for continuous improvement in service - ensuring customer orders are delivered correctly and on time.
The CALIDUS solution provides Wickes with all the standard features of a modern WMS including: