John Lewis & Partners has implemented Paragon’s Live Management software to increase the efficiency of its nationwide operation. The retailer will now be able to share real-time delivery information across its store network, allowing each location to better manage the delivery and replenishment processes.

“Consumer expectations are increasing year on year making the market more competitive than it has ever been. John Lewis & Partners is dedicated to providing the best customer service possible – it’s in our DNA. When we make a customer service pledge, we absolutely must deliver on the promise, but it has to be done in the most efficient way possible,” explained Ben Farrell, Head of Central Operations and Transport at John Lewis & Partners. “Successful supply chain management in a digital world is all about visibility. By adding Paragon Live Management to our existing Paragon solution we can quickly share vital information across the Partnership. This helps us to make better use of John Lewis partners in each shop and provide a better experience for our customers.”

The Paragon Live Management module will allow the John Lewis central transport office to share up-to-date arrival times with all 51 stores nationwide. Store managers will have visibility of the exact arrival time of each delivery vehicle, ensuring the relevant stock management partners are available, increasing vehicle turnaround speed and reducing internal calls to the transport office service desk.

Ben Farrell went on to say: “As we get nearer to the peak period the ability to quickly turn around deliveries becomes even more vital. This is especially true in the week before Christmas when customers make significantly more click and collect purchases because they value the certainty that John Lewis & Partners will have their gifts ready and waiting for them to collect at their convenience. ”

John Lewis’ transport management team has been using Paragon’s routing and scheduling software for more than 10 years to create daily transport plans to manage their click and collect and store replenishment requirements. These delivery plans need to be highly-efficient and 100 per cent achievable to ensure the retailer meets its customer service promise, which includes post-2pm next-day collection for all click and collect orders. The planning process also needs the agility to handle the significant increases in volumes during peak when the busiest day can be 10 times larger than the quietest day in the year.

For example, John Lewis & Partners expects customers to order 500,000 items on Black Friday alone, with the four-day period through to Cyber Monday generating sales of more than two million products. Of this, around 55 per cent will be fulfilled via click and collect. This will be followed by a huge surge in click and collect in the days leading up to Christmas– as many as 90 per cent of all online orders will need to be fulfilled this way.

Ben Farrell concluded: “The continuous improvement of our logistics operation is essential to helping John Lewis & Partners achieve its aim of delivering the very best in customer service while minimising our operating cost base throughout the year. Planning more tightly so we can make better use of our resources and target continuous improvement is one of a number of ways we achieve this.”

William Salter, Managing Director of Paragon Software Systems commented: “Retailers are facing increasing pressure to keep control of costs and provide a quality service to the consumer. Our routing and scheduling software has always been a powerful tool that has helped retailers to enhance and optimise transport planning. Now with the addition of tools such as Paragon Live Management, our customers can benefit from increased visibility of the distribution performance across their retail operation.”

John Lewis & Partners targets greater store efficiencies with Paragon