Excess packaging removed from the supply chain

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Boots is to reveal the results of a year-long project to revolutionise its shelf filling processes. The project is expected to save the company £80M in efficiency savings. Gavin Chappell, supply chain director at Boots, will present details at the IGD Retail Logistics Summit which is being held on November 2 at the QE II Conference Centre, London.

The health and beauty retail sector is highly driven by new products and big promotions,” said Tarun Patel, supply chain programme manager at international food and grocery think-tank IGD. “It is important that stock gets on to the shelf quickly and efficiently. Any new innovations that help with the speed of delivery and re-stocking are always going to make savings for the company. Boots will be giving us an excellent example of just what can be done with a bit of investment in time and resources.”

The project focused on ‘fit-to-shelf’, store delivery and backshop stock minimisation. Most of Boots’ products now arrive at stores in large re-usable plastic trays and can be stacked directly onto shelves rather than being squeezed onto the shelf in the cardboard tray they arrived in. These reconfigured deliveries are much more store-friendly, eliminating the need for excess outer packaging like the cardboard trays and plastic shrink-wrap. The responsiveness of the supply chain has also been speeded up to make sure products arrive quickly and shelves get restocked.

“As well as achieving considerable financial savings, Boots has also shown the potential for reducing packaging and waste,” continued Tarun Patel. “Stores are now receiving deliveries in bulk outers, which is significantly reducing packaging materials, leading to cost savings for both Boots and its suppliers.”

As well as Gavin Chappell of Boots, the conference will also hear from Richard Brasher, commercial and trading director of Tesco, Nick Ashcroft, from Woolworths, and Nick Fry, chief executive of one of Formula 1’s newest and most successful teams, BAR Honda.

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