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Scotts achieve direct despatch supply chain visibility with Kewill Trade software

Scotts & Co., the multi-title mail order catalogue specialist, has achieved real-time visibility of its direct despatch supply chain and detailed reporting with Kewill Trade, from Kewill, (LSE: KWL), a leading provider of global solutions for the dynamic supply network.

The solution provides Scotts’ suppliers with a simple, user-friendly system to receive and manage its orders, from initial visibility of purchase orders right through to despatch. The system automatically generating a Scotts branded documentation set for each order. A ‘Whiteboard’ facility allows both Scotts and its suppliers to add comments to a specific order and detailed history provides users with an audit trail of all status changes in the life of the order.

The Kewill system is playing an increasing role in driving forecasting improvements as Scotts continues to work more closely with its suppliers to fine tune the range of products on offer, and the quantity of stock available.

Keith Greasley, Warehouse Operations and Logistics Director at Scotts, said, "The direct despatch project has proved a win-win for Scotts and our suppliers. Kewill has enabled us to increase customer satisfaction while reducing operational costs by providing complete visibility of our fulfilment cycle of 1.7 million per annum direct despatch orders, making it possible for us to operate as a true multi-channel business. Kewill understands the retail supply chain which was evident during the implementation."

Since the implementation Scotts has conducted a full review of its carrier strategy and introduced a revised roster of approved carriers and a more flexible delivery schedule, delivering progressive savings of 10% of annual carrier costs. Scotts also offer shorter delivery times for customer orders, from 14 to 28 days to 10 to 14 days.

A further project is underway with Kewill to streamline the out of stock process which is followed by Scotts’ suppliers. The system is being developed to recognise the estimated date when out of stock items will be available again, removing the need for suppliers to keep dealing with requests for out of stock items.

Greasley concluded: "Kewill is recognised as the UK’s ‘industry-standard’ process for management of a direct-despatch supplier chain. It has been adopted by a wide range of companies, particularly substantial catalogue and online retail business that use third-party despatch" as a core part of their supply strategy.

Scotts started trading as a single catalogue brand and now operates as a truly multi-channel business. In addition to distributing over 50 million catalogues annually and operating a chain of successful retail stores, its various websites generate over 20% of sales, frequently from customers browsing a catalogue or in-store and subsequently logging on to order.

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