KNAPP wins two awards with John Lewis
In a year of activities to commemorate 150 years in business, John Lewis has another reason to celebrate: the UK's largest department store retailer has scooped two awards with its logistics automation supplier, KNAPP, at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards.
Held at the London Hilton on Park Lane on 5 November, the European Supply Chain Excellence (ESCE) Awards recognise outstanding logistics performance in a range of industries and disciplines. John Lewis and KNAPP AG jointly won the categories ‘Retail & E-Tail' and ‘Warehouse Initiative'.
Both awards recognise the huge success of John Lewis' omni-channel fulfillment, much of which is performed at the retailer's Magna Park distribution centre in Milton Keynes using advanced logistics automation systems from KNAPP.
David James, Regional Director for KNAPP, who attended the awards with other members of the KNAPP and John Lewis teams, said: "We are thrilled to have won these awards together with John Lewis. Since the automated facility at Magna Park was first conceived some seven years ago, we have developed a close working relationship with the logistics team at John Lewis.
“Their enlightened approach to investment in supply chain automation is making a significant contribution to the success of John Lewis, and it's very pleasing to see this recognised across the industry."
John Lewis has seen phenomenal growth in its direct-to-customer business and, as a result, the company is now investing in a second distribution centre at Magna Park. The new DC, being kitted out by KNAPP, is connected to the existing facility by a link bridge.
The ESCE accolades come hot on the heels of other awards recently for John Lewis; the retailer picked up two prizes at the Hermes Retail Week Supply Chain Awards and one at the CILT Annual Awards for Excellence.
KNAPP AG operates internationally in the field of warehouse automation and warehouse logistics software. The company, headquartered in Austria, has 2,500 employees worldwide with 20 subsidiaries and 13 representative offices around the globe. More information can be found at: http://www.knapp.com/cms/cms.php
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.