Exel supported the final stages of launching the brand across Boots' UK stores, following the brands successful relaunch last month.
No 7 was relaunched across 1,400 stores overnight, following planning that began in July 2002 involving representatives from a broad range of departments from initial development to final supply chain.
Exel became involved in the project in June 2004 with a dedicated team working together with the Boots supply chain. In September 2004 Exel took receipt of the relaunched No7 ranges at its distribution centre (DC) in Bawtry, South Yorkshire. This involved over 4,800 pallets of stock being delivered from Boots' manufacturing plants in the UK, France and Germany.
Boots developed a method of store stock presentation to enable an overnight relaunch of this scale. Exel was tasked to present the products to store assembled and boxed by shelf.
To deliver this, Exel deployed over 90 staff at the 850,000 sq ft Bawtry DC to handle storage of 22 million singles of cosmetics products, to pick specific store kits and to dispatch the correct kit to each store.
Volumes for the previous range were committed to 12 months prior to the relaunch, according to planning and forecasting by the Boots No7 supply team. Accurate stock availability and delivery of the No7 range was crucial to keep the brand at the top of the UK cosmetics market.
Guy Elliott, Exel's president for its Consumer and Food Retail Sector said, "Each Boots store required a different collection of products and point-of-sale material called 'kits' depending on its size and location. Exel collated the kits for each store following specific guidelines, and then delivered the right kit to every Boots outlet," he said.
Gavin Chappell, supply chain director for Boots said, "This was the first time we had attempted to deliver a relaunch in store by this complex method. It was a strategic decision to outsource the supply chain component for this specific project and the ability of Exel to be wholly flexible with the volumes and the timescales was a key factor in its complete success,"
The implementation, which was also overseen by an Excel project manager, involved 90 trailer loads of product being sorted, stored, picked and dispatched simultaneously.
Boots said that ultimately accurate planning and timing meant that all 1,400 stores received the correct kit on time, allowing for a successful national relaunch.