Women’s value fashion retailer Bonmarche has focussed on improvements in its supply chain and greater efficiencies within its distribution centre in an effort to reduce costs, the company said in its year-end results this week.
Within its logistics operations the company carried out a strategic review in early FY18 which it says identified a number of opportunities to improve or modernise the operation and reduce costs.
Bonmarche started with what it called “a sharpened focus on improving the basics” such as reducing the number of steps needed to complete a picking operation, re-laying part of the distribution centre and increasing the picking and packing productivity of the ecommerce operation. Further initiatives are being carried out this year.
The company also introduced new suppliers in the last year aimed at delivering with a shorter lead time and improving agility at the retailer, allowing it to react faster to customer demands. The new model has also allowed Bonmarch to reduce stock levels, it said.
It held its first supplier conference in September 2017, aimed at delivering a consistent message to its suppliers and to encourage more exchanges of views. It said the event allowed it to address operations matters such as standardisation of boxes in which stock is delivered, improvements in which allows it to improve efficiency within its distribution operation.
Bonmarche also improved its delivery offer in the last year so that customers now benefit from free delivery above a certain spend threshold. The retailer said it would continue to test different thresholds which may alter at different times of the year or to coincide with promotions.
It said that further improving delivery options and making the whole experience slicker would be a key focus for the new financial year. The company plans to introduce an improved customer fulfilment option using a partner third party interfacing to its systems. It will release more details on this at its interim results in November.
Image credit: Bonmarche