INDUSTRY

Specialty Retailer

SOLUTIONS

JustEnough Demand Forecasting

JustEnough Replenishment

CHALLENGES

Growth had impeded GO Outdoors’ ability to accurately produce forecasts, and the sole use of Microsoft Excel led to hit-or-miss forward ordering. As a result, the company suffered from lost sales and a poor mix of products on the store shelves. In addition, GO Outdoors relied on its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to handle its replenishment needs, which hindered the company’s ability to ensure the right products were delivered to the right locations at the right time.

RESULTS

Improved product mix at the store level

Enhanced forecast accuracy

Reduced stock-outs, product obsolescence and lost sales

Improved order planning and replenishment

Increased planner productivity

 

Overview

For outdoor enthusiasts in the United Kingdom, GO Outdoors is a one-stop shop for the best and largest selection of camping, skiing, water sports and fishing gear. What began over 40 years ago as a small shop offering camping equipment has since become a successful, 30-store strong business. Today, GO Outdoors offers its loyal shoppers more than 25,000 individual products in stores that average 40,000 square feet.

 

In addition to its successful brick-and-mortar business, GO Outdoors operates an e-commerce site and a private-label venture that comprises about 25 percent of the company’s annual revenue.

Expansion Pushes Forecasting, Inventory Planning to the Breaking Point

Several years ago, GO Outdoors realized that its growth had taken a toll: the company simply couldn’t produce accurate forecasts to drive the right orders for suppliers. “It became impossible to use Microsoft Excel – which we had always done – for producing reasonably accurate forecasts,” said Ed Sygrove, GO Outdoors’ head of IT. “Forward ordering was very hit-or-miss.”

As a result, GO Outdoors suffered from lost sales and a poor mix of product on the store shelves.

“If we needed to react to trends – for instance, supplying more wet-weather gear in response to a rainy summer – we always found that doing so was a slow, time-consuming process.

Planning for promotions was also a huge challenge – since that’s such a big part of our business, we definitely needed to make a change,” Sygrove explained.

Additionally, the company was leveraging its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to handle its replenishment needs.

“Not having the right systems in place for replenishment meant that products were not always available at the right stores at the right times,” Sygrove added.

We’re very impressed with the functionality JustEnough’s solutions bring to the table.

Ed Sygrove

Head of IT, GO Outdoors
 

Zeroing In On the Best Solutions to Drive Business Improvements

To keep pace with the company’s growth and to stay on top of the competition, GO Outdoors needed to bring best-in-class demand forecasting and replenishment solutions on board.

“Our main requirement for the new system was that it had to be able to provide aggregated forecasts,” Sygrove said. “We knew that doing so would deliver a better product mix to the stores, helping us reduce stock-outs and increase sales.”

GO Outdoors selected JustEnough’s Demand Forecasting and Replenishment solutions after evaluating several other solution offerings on the market.

“It really came down to just one thing, which was focus,” Sygrove said of the company’s decision to license JustEnough. “We could tell immediately that JustEnough was the only software provider truly focused on best-practice forecasting. The science behind JustEnough’s forecasting engine was far in advance of any other solutions we looked at.”

GO Outdoors selected JustEnough’s Demand Forecasting and Replenishment solutions after evaluating several other solution offerings on the market.

New Systems Improve Forecasting, Order Planning and Replenishment

GO Outdoors is able to automate the production of its forecasts with JustEnough Demand Forecasting. The solution predicts everything from erratic products to seasonal variations and trends. Leveraging smarter forecasts that represent true demand helps the retailer avoid poor forecasting outcomes like overstocks, product obsolescence and lost sales.

Use of JustEnough also helps GO Outdoors speed up and improve its order planning and replenishment process. JustEnough Replenishment produces a forward-looking, time-phased ordering plan that considers both the demand forecast and the retailer’s current inventory plan. The solution then suggests the most cost-effective ordering plan to achieve GO Outdoors’ targeted service levels.

Achieving Results, User Satisfaction with JustEnough

Following a fast and successful implementation, Go Outdoors went live in December 2010.

“We were extremely pleased with how well the implementation went,” Sygrove said.

Part of JustEnough’s appeal was the ease of use and simplicity its Demand Forecasting and Replenishment solutions offered, he added. The 10 planners who use the solutions report remarkable improvements to their day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

“Our users are extremely happy with the new JustEnough tools,” Sygrove concluded. “The ease and flexibility in which they can place orders today is worlds away from how they had to perform this function using the old system. We’re very impressed with the functionality JustEnough’s solutions bring to the table.”