Alliance Boots, Great Britain’s leading health & beauty retailer, has been overwhelmed with awards. “In 2006 we began to optimise our entire Supply Chain and logistics processes. Our goal was to offer the best supply chain in pharmacy retail, as well as in the health and cosmetics section. The corporate design and the organisation of the stores were to exceed all Boots customer’s expectations”, says Craig Farina, director of logistics at Alliance Boots. “It is a great honour to receive all these awards as tribute to our efforts”. Besides other awards, Alliance Boots received the famous “Grocer Gold Award” in the category “Business Initiative of the Year” in June 2010. That award is considered the pinnacle achievement for retailers in the UK. The company also won the “European Supply Chain Distinction Award for Operational Excellence” provided by the European Supply Chain Council and the “Supply Chain Excellence Award” presented by the British magazine “Retail Week Technology”.
Alliance Boots reorganised its entire supply chain network by combining a total of four national distribution centres and 17 regional warehouses into one central distribution center in Nottingham. According to Craig Farina, “the Stores Service Center (SSC) is the key behind the ambitious achievement. The SSC enabled the consolidation, which led to increases in both efficiency and availability of goods in the store by a record value of more than 98%”. The picking system at the SSC consists of 180,000 tote locations and 39,000 pallet locations and supplies 2,500 stores. The article range covers some 30,000 different products. On peak days, Boots has the capacity to pick up to 6 million single pieces with Witron’s DPS (Dynamic Picking System) and CPS (Car Picking System). Witron’s picking systems enable family-grouped order picking that fits the respective store layout.
Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH from Parkstein, Germany served as the general contractor for the design and realisation of the entire Intra-Logistics structure. The SCC project represented one of the largest European SCM projects, and Witron’s efforts were recognised with the “Grocer Gold Award” in the category “Technology and Logistics Supplier of the Year.” “The logistics concept designed by Witron is an optimal fit or our business”, explains Craig Farina. “Together with Witron, we have managed the realisation of a successful key project that helps us generate sustainable competitive advantages.”