Leading Food Service Distributor Sees Immediate Results from Blue Ridge Forecasting and Replenishment Solution
Nicholas & Company implements in 90 days and starts seeing results from Blue Ridge CLARITY Replenish forecasting and analytics solutions.
Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) June 05, 2012
Just three months ago, innovative Utah food service distributor Nicholas & Company began implementing a new demand forecasting and replenishment solution. The company teamed with Atlanta, Georgia-based Blue Ridge, a leading provider of SaaS inventory optimization and analytics solutions recognized for enabling supply chain excellence. Now Nicholas & Company is beginning to see success after implementing CLARITY Replenish to align inventory levels with demand to improve demand fulfillment and product availability.
Founded in the late 1930s with humble beginnings, Nicholas & Co. is now a leading food distributor and retailer of more than 1,000 products, a far cry from its beginning. The company has been able to sustain growth through not only the ability, but also the commitment to adapt in an ever-changing business environment.
It was this commitment to adaptation and continued process improvement that brought the two companies together in February 2012. In just three months´ time, Nicholas & Co. has already seen an increase in sales and a decrease in inventory levels–exactly what Barry Houghtalen, Vice President of Procurement at Nicholas & Co., was hopeful to see by implementing CLARITY Replenish. Houghtalen heard from others in the industry that the solution improved inventory alignment through advanced forecasting, replenishment economics, inventory optimization, promotion management, and deal forward buying.
Houghtalen knew that Nicholas & Co. excelled at collaboration, customer service and servant leadership, and yet he recognized the company needed a better way to empower its replenishment buyers. “We had outgrown our system. It was out-of-date and behind the times. We wanted to find best-in-class and Blue Ridge fit the bill.”
Nicholas & Co.´s implementation of CLARITY Replenish is another example of a food service leader increasing its ability to predict demand and manage inventory needs more effectively, leading to dramatic improvements in sales levels while increasing cash flow and margin. The early indication of the Nicholas success story is the latest in a growing number for Blue Ridge users. In fact, when Houghtalen started looking for solution providers, one of the first things he did was turn to another leading company in his industry and inquire about their experience with Blue Ridge. After hearing about their success, he decided to take the next step.
While Houghtalen believes seeing results immediately is impactful, he also believes the education phase of the CLARITY Replenish implementation, along with on-going support, assures the sustainability of results by turning replenishment buyers into investors. This effect resonated with Houghtalen. “The education and buyer training was a key selling point. I´ve experienced where you just plug in the system and then they say, ℠Ok well, see you,´ and you are left with a bunch of work-arounds. At least I had the assurance that every buyer would be doing the same thing for every situation.” In the case of Nicholas & Co., training was completed within 4 weeks, and results came soon after.
One key focus of Blue Ridge is ensuring that the entire process of using their technology is an enriching experience for users. Based on hundreds of implementations, the Blue Ridge team has repeatedly experienced that usability is critical to a customer´s success. Houghtalen found support from both his team and the team at Blue Ridge. “I am very happy about that. It has been a seamless integration,” Houghtalen stated.
Both Blue Ridge and Nicholas & Co. are optimistic about their relationship and how it will continue to be mutually beneficial in the future. One of the key reasons Houghtalen chose Blue Ridge was for its commitment to innovation. “We wanted a system that will grow as we grow. We needed a system that in 5 years will still have the technology for us to manage our business properly.”
Houghtalen discovered during his search that innovation seems to drive Blue Ridge. The company constantly builds capabilities into the product to improve the performance in individual industries. Due to the prominence of food service in their customer base, Blue Ridge has unique capabilities that manage key food service challenges such as promotions, commodities and perishables. Greg White, CEO of Blue Ridge contributed, “Food service is a key industry for us, the dynamics of the business“¦broadlines, institutional and street business all create unique demand patterns, and the perishable nature of so much of the product requires remarkable precision to assure these companies make money on incredibly tight margins.” White continued, “We applaud innovators like Nicholas and we´re really pulling for them to squeeze every penny they can out of their inventory. That results focus guides everything we do, from implementation to support, education and innovation.”
About Blue Ridge Inventory
Blue Ridge leads the way in enterprise-class Software-as-a-Service supply chain solutions. Blue Ridge solutions and services turn inventory investments into cash flow and revenue generation opportunities. The company´s robust cloud-based solutions deliver a tightly-integrated, yet flexible architecture for demand analytics, forecasting, planning, replenishment, SKU rationalization and other demand-driven optimization solutions to provide a sound foundation on which companies can solidify and enhance their supply chain initiatives. To find out why global supply chain leaders such as CVS, Shamrock Foods, CRP Industries, Europris, Home Hardware, Martin Brothers and Burris Logistics trust Blue Ridge and its unmatched expertise to be their inventory alignment partner, visit http://www.blueridgeinventory.com
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