Praxis solves the puzzle of seasonal product distribution

Praxis is a Do-It-Yourself brand in the Netherlands with a total of 140 stores and 1 webshop. Twenty-nine of these stores fall into the mega store category, with a surface of 5.000 – 8.000 m². Praxis has garden centers in 11 of its mega stores and was in need of a solution that could help them optimize the distribution of seasonal plants for all their stores. To address this, business and software solutions provider Ab Ovo, developed an AIMMS-based application that will allow Praxis to optimize distribution in accordance with seasonal change, while bringing more transparency and reliability to its planning process. This was announced in a press release of 15 January 2014.

Praxis, with an assortment of over 20.000 SKU’s, works with numerous plant growers which deliver their products in roll cages to a central distribution supplier. Roll cages are then combined and dispatched to Praxis’ stores from this supplier. Praxis needed a solution that could help them establish a cost-efficient merchandizing and logistics procedure for their stores based on seasonal sales volumes.

Ab Ovo’s solution to this problem is two-fold. It consists of a forecasting & merchandizing module, and a logistics planning module. Both modules aim to optimize the overall contribution margin to Praxis. The Praxis’ supply chain team is now able to evaluate different delivery methods in order to arrive at the best possible outcome. The implemented solution also facilitates discussions with the supplier in order to assess which plant combinations can be best picked up at the supplier for direct delivery to each store, thereby reducing shrinkage, handling and transportation costs.

“We are experiencing the benefits of the AIMMS-based solution on a weekly  basis. The close cooperation with the Ab Ovo team and their understanding of our needs resulted in one of the fastest ICT projects we have encountered so far. Within 2 months the AIMMS tool was operational and we could start the implementation of the new plant planning process,” states John ter Horst, Supply Chain Demand Planner at Praxis.