Planet Organic implements retail enterprise suite

UK health food retailer Planet Organic has rolled out new core retail enterprise technology from IT provider itim.

According to Al Overton, buying director at Planet Organic, said the business needed a “platform to allow for future growth and a stable, end-to-end solution” to help manage the daily ordering and replenishment of products on shelves, to planning promotions and processing supplier invoices.

The retailer will use the new technology to manage around 600 products on production at any one time and to boost sales with planned multi-buys and deals. In-store staff use handheld devices to scan items required for automatic ordering through a network of 140 suppliers, with multiple deliveries a day to seven London-based stores.

Online sales for the retailer are growing at 30 per cent each year, with greater investment priority being placed on e-commerce channels. The company now has one central database to manage both online and bricks and mortar stores, instead of two separate systems that it was running before. Previously, this meant having to upload thousands of products twice, which was very time consuming and led to manual errors and duplication of data.

Planet Organic has also managed to save a considerable amount of time by switching to EDI (Electronic Data Interchange, a standard for exchanging information between IT systems) and itim’s invoice matching solution, Didos. Everything is electronically processed, with invoices automatically matched against delivery notes, leading to fewer queries on invoices and means being able to process higher volumes with less staff.

Eric Adatia, finance director at Planet Organic, says he particularly likes the management reporting capabilities of itim’s software and the ability to provide meaningful insights on sales performance. “We chose itim because we liked the joined-up nature of having everything we needed to run a retail enterprise on one platform, rather than lots of separate pieces,” he said.

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