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Times Supermarkets, operator of grocery stores and wine shops across Hawaii, is deploying an inventory optimization solution for its 24 locations.
The solution from Itasca Retail Information Systems includes merchandise forecasting, perpetual inventory, DSD receiving, and the hand-held devices that support store execution processes. The rollout follows a four-month pilot in one store in Honolulu and another in Lihue.
“We’re highly encouraged by the results of the pilot just completed with Itasca Magic,” said Chris Borden, Times’ senior director of marketing. “The benefits to reordering accuracy, in-stock position, and reduced back stock have been profound in those locations. We plan to proceed with chain wide implementation without delay.”
Due to its island locations and the necessity to deliver product by ship, Times faces some unique supply chain challenges with respect to order timing and delivery frequency. Lag times and uncertainty had led to excessive and costly levels of back-room stock, combined with out-of-stocks that often exceeded industry norms.
Results from the pilot indicate that these problems have been significantly mitigated in several grocery and dairy categories. Average out-of-stock levels dropped significantly and excess back-room inventory has been reduced, with associated labor savings.
The rollout will encompass grocery, dairy and frozen departments in all Times locations. These are sourced through four main warehouse suppliers: Unified, C&S, Lathrop (PAQ) and Direct (local, internal).
Times Supermarkets operates stores under the Times Supermarkets, Big Save, Shima’s, and Fujioka’s Wine Times banners, on the Hawaiian islands of Oahu, Maui and Kauai. It is a member of the Unified Grocers wholesale grocery cooperative.