Tesco Direct launches with smarter supply chain
The UK supermarket chain Tesco has recently launched its new non-food direct retail operation, Tesco Direct, while at the same time bringing order fulfilment in-house to improve customer service and supply chain control.
Tesco Direct is a retail web site that offers UK consumers a choice of over 8,000 non-food lines. In conjunction with the existing Tesco.com food retail service, Tesco Direct means that customers can not only do grocery shopping online but also buy a range of non-food goods such as furniture, kitchenware, gifts, toys and sporting goods.
Customer service While the delivery of some lines was previously outsourced to logistics partners, Tesco has brought all fulfilment in-house with the aim of providing an improved service for its customers.
Order fulfilment in the new Tesco Direct operations centre is being managed using Manhattan Associates' warehouse management and performance management solutions, using Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006.
Supply chain efficiency Linked to Tesco.com's existing web servers and enterprise systems, the new systems are expected to help Tesco gain tighter control over its fulfilment operation, providing shorter delivery times and higher levels of stock availability, as well as greater responsiveness and customer service as the new business unit grows.
According to Jon Higgins, IT director for Tesco.com, the fulfilment process changes aim to make life easier for customers: "Tesco.com now supplies far more than a weekly grocery shop to a large proportion of our customers. By bringing fulfilment under our control we can ensure a consistently high level of service across all product categories while streamlining our own operations."