BWG Foods operates some of Ireland’s foremost retail and wholesale brands including a network of more than 900 SPAR, EUROSPAR, MACE and XL symbol stores across the Republic of Ireland. It also operates a chain of 22 Value Centre cash & carry outlets throughout the country, as well as BWG Foodservice and the Xpress Stop retail brand.

The Challenge
BWG has always been keen to utilise the latest technology and adopt best practice in order to maximise efficiency in the service it offers its customers. Following an extensive review of new technologies, they decided to upgrade and expand their wholesale operations in order to improve business performance. Their key objectives were to improve accuracy and productivity, enable the tracking of key processes and stock movements, and reduce costs associated with stock holding and manpower

The Solution
The company opted to deploy our Accord Voice Warehouse Management System (WMS). Veronica Sullivan, Head of IT at BWG Foods explained: “BCP emerged as the best fit for our business given it is a fully integrated solution capable of covering the complete range of our warehouse activities.”

Voice was initially implemented in at the BWG Food Wholesale Division where, in 2008, a new purpose-built depot in Dublin provided the opportunity to deploy Voice WMS from the outset. The 52,000 sq foot facility brought together Value Centre Cash & Carry and BWG Foodservice in the same building for the first time to deliver maximum synergies for the two divisions and to provide both walk-in and delivered capabilities for customers. 

BCP worked closely with the BWG to implement the system efficiently and have warehouse operators fully trained and ready to start as soon as each phase of the system came online. Prior to opening, Voice was used across Goods Receiving, Put Away and Transfers to stock the depot, with Picking going live when the depot opened its doors.

The Results:
Since the implementation went live, BWG Foods has realised performance benefits across its business with improved operational efficiency and in turn a more accurate service to customers. Picking is virtually error-free with order fulfilment running at 99%.

Real-time information from the system is giving the business full visibility and an accurate audit trail across all aspects of the warehouse operation. Tracking live stock levels greatly improves the replenishment and ordering processes and the net result is that it’s allowing us to reduce the amount of money we have tied up in stock. In addition, substitutions in order assembly are now system-managed, helping BWG Foods to drive sales as well as further improving customer satisfaction. 

Following the success of the implementation of the North Road Site, BWG Foods has since rolled out the same Voice solution at its retail distribution centre in Walkinstown. 

“It has exceeded everyone’s expectations, from our finance team to our trading team,” reports Veronica Sullivan “and feedback from customers has also been very positive, particularly around the accuracy of deliveries.”