Halfords Launches DC Optimization Initiative

Halfords, a UK-based retailer of car parts, car enhancement, cycles and travel solutions, has chosen supply chain optimization provider, Manhattan Associates Inc. as its technology partner to support its future distribution network. Halfords plans to deploy a range of solution components from Manhattan’s Distribution Management suite, including Warehouse Management, Labor Management and Slotting Optimization as well as its Supply Chain Intelligence solution, as the retailer seeks to build an optimized fulfillment capability to extend the success of its multi-channel retail operations.

Halfords has already launched phase one of its strategy to consolidate and reconfigure its logistics infrastructure, which will result in the opening of a new national distribution center (NDC) in 2010. The restructured network, which will comprise the NDC and an existing DC at Redditch, will serve Halfords’ network of almost 500 stores in the UK, Ireland and Central Europe, as well as handling customer orders received through its online store. The Manhattan solutions will manage both DCs.

According to Tony Smollett, head of systems at Halfords, by optimizing its distribution infrastructure the retailer will be able to improve service levels to its customers while providing transportation efficiencies and increasing productivity. “This revised distribution network needs to accommodate our growth ambitions across the business. We therefore needed a scalable supply chain technology backbone that would reliably serve the new DC network and meet our cross-channel fulfillment requirements and allow us to introduce various flow-through techniques including cross-docking.” That led to Halfords’ choice of Manhattan based on prior experience of working with them as well as the ability to integrate the solution within an existing SAP enterprise resource planning platform.

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