To be able to better serve its customers, Albert Heijn is working on speeding up its supply of fresh produce. The introduction of two new Shared Fresh Centres (SFC) heralded the first step in optimising the logistics chain. The establishment of these fresh centres creates room for further growth in the fresh produce segment. Albert Heijn has already opened the first of the two SFCs, in Nieuwegein.
The SFC concept is based on the principle that suppliers transport their products to the Centre immediately after the production process has finished. This means that fewer products need to be kept in stock, the number of transport journeys is reduced and it takes less time for the fresh foods to actually be available in stores. In addition, stores will soon receive all products from the same category in one delivery, making it easier for Albert Heijn staff to re-stock the shelves.
The Albert Heijn SFCs use the Vendor Management Inventory (VMI) principle. This means that suppliers are themselves responsible for the SFC supply process. They have to ensure that their products are in stock at the right moment and in the correct amounts - and are as fresh as can be. Supply is based on stock inventories and store-order forecasts.
Those customers of Schouw Informatisering supplying AH were therefore directly involved in this, the so-called VERSnellen project. And now they will be supplying the Albert Heijn SFC. Schouw, as their software partner, has therefore naturally opted to respond as quickly as possible to the demands Albert Heijn set for its suppliers concerning the provision of certain information streams necessary for the project.
The further development of the VMI module in Microsoft Dynamics NAV allows for providing Albert Heijn, and thus the Schouw customers, with a customised solution. Schouw Informatisering is currently developing various EDI messages for use in the VERSnellen project, concerning stock information, order information, delivery information and invoicing. Acting in the Food Community spirit, Schouw is collaborating with its customers to develop this solution, ensuring it can be included as-is in SI Foodware, the standard food-specific add-on for Dynamics NAV developed by Schouw. Starting in early 2016, all relevant Schouw customers involved in Albert Heijn's VERSnellen project will be live with the new VMI module in Dynamics NAV.