Retail Services Case Study
A Case Study – The Range
When it comes to ensuring a profitable future, The Range start by knowing what and where their inventory is.
Choice and availability are what The Range are all about. With over 65,000 products across 16 departments, a firm grip on stock levels are essential.
With WIS International’s help, the inventory counting process that ensures the wide range is available to all, is completed accurately, on time and efficiently.
Who are The Range?
The Range is the UK’s fastest growing retailer with over 175 stores nationwide and opening new stores on an almost weekly basis! Their ethos has always been to bring customers great quality products at great prices. The growth of this key part of their business is securing future success and WIS are proud to play a part.
WIS and The Range have worked closely together since 2012 to complete their annual stocktake programme. The count is compressed into four weeks in January.
Since initially testing in two stores in 2012, growing slightly in 2013, in 2014 we were awarded 50% of their stores. And then in 2020 we were given 100% responsibility for the entire estate.
With the addition of Iceland products in-store, WIS has brought into play their grocery expertise too, to ensure a seamless addition to the count process on the night.
Continuous improvement plays a huge part in the partnership. The ongoing training and certification of managers and counters is essential to WIS’ success. Dedicated teams and the absence of any agency staff ensure a consistency in service delivery not found elsewhere.
The use of the latest technology enables data to flow seamlessly between the two companies ensuring not only a smooth count programme, but also a greater understanding of the post count data through analytical insights.
Both companies can dive in and understand what is really happening at count, manager, counter, category and SKU level, across several KPI’s. We are always seeking continuous improvement and that can only happen with complete transparency.
Benefits for The Range
Accuracy – The Range benefit from our attention to detail, audit trail and customised process. Our WISard™ data collection terminal has built-in alerts to assist WIS auditors in providing accurate results and helps to eliminate common count errors.
Trained Workforce –Trained, direct employees provide the inventory expertise facilitating a smooth and accurate count. The use of R.F. technology provides real time insight into an inventory’s progress.
Project Management Expertise – Successful Physical Inventory takes planning to succeed. With over sixty years of project management expertise we take care of all the details to ensure flawless execution of the inventory
Technology – Technology is an important component of an accurate stock count. WIS provide to The Range the latest bespoke developed equipment and software to ensure the utmost data integrity.
Count Assurance – Utilising the latest tools and the vast array of data available to interrogate, data dashboards have been developed that enable The Range to view in real time not just the progress of the count, but also after the event in depth analysis of key performances buy store, count manager, counter, sku and category. Absolute count assurance is guaranteed, total transparency.
Example generic dashboards.
WIS International provide full-service inventory counts in all 175+ stores in a compressed four-week slot in January.
A full-service inventory count really does mean “full service.”
From the initial consultancy we then take time to understand in detail the specific needs of each client.
Then we develop software to technologically underpin the planned count, which undergoes rigorous testing before being deployed.
The teams who will be working on the count undergo thorough training, so they properly understand the business, the objectives, and the context in which the count will be undertaken. They also receive simulation training for the bespoke version of the software that they will be using.
At each count the WIS teams arrive in company minibuses wearing full uniform. The scheduling of each team ensures that they are efficiently deployed and that each count will be undertaken calmly and professionally with speed and accuracy.
WIS provides all the equipment necessary to complete the count. All that we ask for is a table and a plug socket!
The store is involved throughout, first in the team brief and then continuously during the count. With the latest tablet technology, store management can observe and understand how the count is progressing whenever they wish.
The warehouse is counted before store closing and handed back promptly to the store for replenishment. The salesfloor count starts at closing, once the warehouse count is finished, and is completed within a pre-defined run time.
Throughout the count, store staff can audit the counters using Wi-Fi and tablet technology, the days of paper audits are long gone – more accurate and environmentally friendly.
Using the latest on hand stock files, variance reporting on the night is carried out – another layer of checking to ensure the most accurate count possible.
Finally, the count is complete. The result is agreed. A client satisfaction survey is completed, and the files transmitted promptly to The Range for processing.
The next morning WIS’ field management reviews each count for its performance against key performance indicators.
The web portal dashboard is updated automatically and made available to both WIS and The Range.
Continuous improvement is not something that we only think about after the count is completed. It is something that we plan-in from the very beginning before anyone has counted a single item! At every step of the project we are looking for opportunities to improve.
What are people saying?
“Once again a pleasure to work with, i have to say that in the past 10 years this has been by far the most organised , well controlled and the store is the tidiest by far. thank you”
“Great team, conducted themselves very professionally.”
“Best stocktake team since store opening. xxx was very helpful and rectified any issue straight away. The team is credit to your company.”
“A very professional approach to stock taking, accurate and effective.”
“Excellent job. Very professional and efficient team. A pleasure to deal with. Highly recommended.”
“Our relationship with The Range goes back to 2012! Initially with two stores, then from 2014 we have been the proud vendor of stocktakes to half the retail estate and in 2020 to all the estate. With the addition of Iceland products in store we have utilised our grocery expertise to deliver a seamless addition to the process. Through partnership, striving to constantly improve and only wishing to be the best we lay the foundations for success with The Range”
Geoff Chaplin, Managing Director, WIS International.
“The Range have partnered with WIS since 2014 – The level of service and accuracy provided by WIS has been exceptional and one of the reasons The Range awarded WIS 100% share of their estate for the upcoming 2020 counts. Dedicated teams and a robust checking process are just two of the many reasons we decided to extend our partnership”.
David Joyce, The Range.