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iForce logistics goes live with the retail chain Sainsbury’s new non-food website

Combined under one roof in Corby and representing a UK fulfilment sector first, iForce’s efulfilment and multi-channel returns service for Sainsbury’s new non-food offering is now live.

iForce, the UK’s leading multi-channel logistics specialist, went live to the general public on 25th July with its service for Sainsbury’s exciting new non-food online offering, following the national launch of the leading retail chain’s new non-food website.

The service iForce is providing is a first for the UK fulfilment sector as it combines online fulfilment, online returns and retail returns processing for Sainsbury’s non-food goods under one roof. At the 250,000 sq ft depot in Corby, Northamptonshire, iForce is also providing Sainsbury’s some of the highest customer service levels available in Europe.

For the first time shoppers can now buy non-food ranges from sainsburys.co.uk – anything from toys to televisions, cups to computers. The newly-improved site will initially offer 4,500 non-food products rising to 8,000 by September 2009 – a step change in the number and variety of products that can be purchased online from sainsburys.co.uk.

iForce is providing its comprehensive service for fulfilment of online orders (efulfilment) at Corby, managed by its in-house SMaRT software, while the company’s IRS (Intelligent Routing System) provides carrier management routing of parcels by weight and value to provide the most cost effective delivery solution.

The multi-channel returns processing service consolidates returns of non-food products bought from retail stores and online. Using another in-house system, called ReSCU, iForce manages the dispersal of the returns via routing perfect condition goods straight back to stock in Corby or the onward sale of raw returns and discounted lines via its Buy-Force platform, which sells single and bulk pallets of all types of customer returns to B2B customers and the general public. iForce will also recycle obsolete items in accordance with the WEEE Directive to all but eliminate waste going to landfill.

Since announcing the contract in January 2009, iForce partnered closely with Sainsbury’s to integrate and configure the Corby facility – a process that has proved to be a great success, with iForce delivering its solution on time by following its established integration process that has achieved consistently good results for all its retail clients.

A number of iForce colleagues were promoted and transferred from iForce’s other sites to Corby to create an experienced nucleus for the management team, with additional recruiting of colleagues and supervisors from the local area. iForce fores that at peak circa 200 jobs will be created on the site in the coming year.

David James, Head of Sainsbury’s Logistics Non Food commented: "We are very pleased to be working in partnership with iForce on this new and exciting venture for Sainsbury’s. They have helped us develop an effective and efficient e-fulfilment operation that is fully customer focused and also accommodates our returns operation."

Commenting on the Corby operation, Mark Hewitt, CEO of iForce said: "This is a great Partnership for us and we are proud of the results to date. The future looks even more exciting! By putting their non-food online fulfilment and returns under one roof with a shared management resource, rather than having a disparate service through a number of channels, we are providing Sainsbury’s with a highly efficient one stop solution. This not only demonstrates iForce’s unparalleled capabilities but also marks an important development in the UK’s burgeoning multi-channel fulfilment and returns processing sector."

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