Magazine Article | November 28, 2016

Supply Chain | 2017 IRT Retailer Innovation Awards

Our inaugural Retailer Innovation Award recipients aren’t just doing something new, they’re reaping the business reward for the execution of their innovation. Award winners were recognized in six critical areas of business transformation —omni-channel retailing, customer engagement, in-store operations, WFM/HCM, loss prevention, and supply chain/fulfillment.

The winners and finalists we recognized this year are addressing the incredibly complex problems retailers face today, and they represent some of the brightest minds and boldest leaders who are solving those problems through innovation.

On behalf of the team at Innovative Retail Technologies, congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Retailer Innovation Awards.  We’re inspired by your success, and we know our subscribers will be, too.


Winners The Paper Store

The Paper Store

Project Leads: Tom Anderson, COO; Craig Hewitt, VP Operations; Linda Thatcher, VP Planning; Brian McGinty, VP IT, The Paper Store

As The Paper Store (TPS) grew, management there understood that in order to maintain a high customer service level, unique and diverse assortment, and convenient fulfillment options, it would have to bring world-class technology and innovation to its supply chain processes.

With an ERP system from Aptos and integration of Retalon’s predictive analytics platform, TPS is now able to calculate demand at the store, DC, and e-commerce levels. The merchant has integrated demand forecasting with purchasing, replenishment, and promotions on one predictive analytics platform, allowing automatic and proactive accounting when calculating optimal purchasing and replenishment quantities across the business.

TPS is a highly seasonal, event-driven retailer with many high peaks and low valleys in demand. To mitigate the ill effects of seasonality, the merchant has implemented a system to account for all seasonal peaks, moving events, promotions, and even weather changes. This allows TPS to maintain a high in-stock position on hot items during all seasonal peaks while avoiding overstocks and carrying costs.

Prior to bringing increased automation to its supply chain, TPS was manually reviewing almost every SKU/Store combi- nation for DC replenishment and purchasing order quantities. As part of the innovative technology TPS implemented across its supply chain, many of these processes are now automated.

The work that TPS has invested into bringing world-class predictive analytics technology to their supply chain has created many benefits, including:

  • Reporting time efficiency improvements, from several days and multiple associates to mere minutes.
  • A decrease in inventory carrying costs, marked by a reduction from 40 weeks of supply to just 12 without losing any sales.
  • 30 percent store growth through the addition of 20 new stores in less than two years.



FinalistsFields Canada

Project Lead: Dean Petruk, President/COO, Fields Canada

Fields turned its Vancouver logistics DC ‘green’ by eliminating paper consumption using RF technology. Its Magstar platform and wireless mobile devices from Zebra/Motorola allowed an 80 percent reduction in cycle time, freed up ten hours per week for store managers, and shaved 14 days from its previous time-to-store metric.

FinalistsThe Sportsman’s Warehouse

Project Lead: Jeremy Williams, General Manager, The Sportsman’s Warehouse

Sportsman’s Warehouse gives partial credit to a HighJump WMS implementation for the double-digit growth of its eCommerce business and addition of several new stores. The merchant took advantage of adaptability tools inside the WMS to move from solely retail store fulfillment to omni-channel fulfillment.

FinalistsTractor Supply Company

Project Lead: Rob Mills, Sr. Vice President & CIO, Tractor Supply Company

Recognizing that its supply chain and fulfillment efforts run on mobility, Tractor Supply took steps to reduce labor and inventory costs by implementing a Mobile Power Management system from GTS. The system allows the merchant to quickly identify bad mobile batteries, remove them from its fleet of devices, and optimize operations.

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