Extrashop sets itself apart with attractive shops full of atmosphere, helpful staff and competitively priced homeware and cosmetics. The company also offers a surprising assortment of seasonal products, ranging from Christmas decorations to garden furniture. Since it was founded in 1992, Extrashop has steadily grown into a retail chain with 45 branches across Belgium. Extrashop’s storage and stocking operations are run from its central distribution centre in Zwevegem, which had to double its capacity earlier this year to accommodate further growth going forward.
ERP fell short
"What makes our logistics so complex is the huge variability in our range and ordering patterns," says Supply Chain Manager Michiel Bellemans. "To keep our prices down, we procure our products in the Far East and buy overstock from high-profile premium suppliers. Where we excel is in our ability to act quickly to seize opportunities that arise. As a result, the stock in our warehouse and what we supply to our shops changes constantly. We don't have the kind of fixed flow that you often see at supermarkets."
To keep our order picking processes efficient and make the most of the warehouse space we have, every item must be assigned to the most logical storage location. Fast-moving goods that are picked a lot should be placed in the front of the warehouse and the size of items must also be considered carefully. At Extrashop, this is an enormously dynamic process. Both the product range and stock rotation speed change rapidly, meaning that the company needs to be able to reallocate in time. This is where the ERP system that we had been using for years to run our warehouse simply fell short.