Success Story: Delhaize

Efficient store-to-corporate retail chain management with Axway MFT

  • Headquarters

    Brussels, Belgium
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    Increase automation of business processes in support of strategic, time-sensitive business decisions that boost in-store sales and improve the customer experience. Quickly implement and roll out enhanced file-transfer visibility and reliability for multi-banner stores.

  • Solution

  • Results

    • Reliable data for analysis and management of sales, inventory, pricing or marketing, resulting in improved in-store customer experience
    • ƒMFT quick-start packages for each store banner and configuration, for an efficient and rapid deployment to 50-60 stores per day
    • ƒInventory accuracy ensuring on-time delivery and on-shelf point of sales
    • ƒProactive manageability of file transfers through Sentinel monitoring and dashboards
    • ƒCentral Governance using Axway Composer and Axway Navigator for central configuration and operations
    • ƒStable, reliable and scalable managed file transfer solution

Axway Delhaize Video

“With Axway MFT, we have the visibility we require to manage sales figures, promotion activities, segmentation, customer loyalty programs and pricing. Receiving and analyzing this information in a reliable and timely manner leads to a better in-store experience for our customers.”

A Large International Food Retailer

Bringing quality and value to the people

Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer that maintains operations in six countries spanning three continents. Delhaize Group is listed on Euronext Brussels and the New York Stock Exchange.

Delhaize opened its first store in 1867. At the close of 2009, Delhaize’s sales network consisted of 2,732 stores, which together posted €19.9 billion in revenue. Today, the Delhaize Group employs approximately 138,000 associates worldwide, and the group is one of the top five employers in Belgium.

Delhaize Group is committed to offering nutritious, healthy, safe, and affordable food, while delivering superior value and maintaining high social, environmental and ethical standards.

Central Management of In-store Sales

For a multi-banner network of retailers

Using Axway MFT, Delhaize has implemented daily store-to-corporate managed file transfers throughout its network of 775 multi-banner stores across Belgium. Each store transfers about fifteen files daily to headquarters. “With Axway MFT, we have the visibility we require to manage sales figures, promotion activities, segmentation, customer loyalty programs, and pricing. Receiving and analyzing this information in a reliable and timely manner ultimately leads to a better in-store experience for our customers,” said Freiko Baeyens, Manager IT Operations at Delhaize Belgium. “We need to be able to provide our store teams with customer affinity and related store updates on a timely basis, so getting the information we require to make the right
decisions is absolutely key to running our business.”

Initially, Delhaize implemented Axway MFT to handle store-to-corporate and corporate-to-store communications for 50 stores in Romania, replacing a “home grown” file transfer tool. Axway MFT now enables all 50 stores to report daily sales, stock levels, and customer loyalty program transactions to Delhaize headquarters, as well as receive transfers of updated pricing information back from headquarters on a daily basis.

Improving Business Flow with Reliable File Transfers

Through proactive visibility and monitoring

Delhaize’s commitment to quality depends on prompt, accurate and reliable transfer of data between headquarters and its thousands of stores. With about 17,000 file transfers per day, Delhaize could not afford to have a sub-standard file transfer infrastructure. Delhaize was dissatisfied with its file transfer solution because it did not provide visibility into transactions. If there was an error with a transfer, once the error was located it was often too late to rectify the problem and integrate changes into the daily reporting. In addition, fixing errors was costly and difficult – operations staff had to contact the store and take over the server remotely to diagnose the problem, and then reboot. Incomplete or late data required time-consuming analysis and after-the fact data recovery. And when incidents could not be resolved quickly enough, it negatively impacted sales, the supply chain, logistics, and strategic decisions.

“We needed a solution that would give us full visibility into file transfers, and at the same time offer reliable managed file transfers. Having visibility into what goes wrong in real time is key, but I prefer to have it right the first time. Axway MFT brings the reliability and visibility we need,” said Baeyens. “We use Axway Sentinel to detect problems early on and correct problems before they can negatively impact other departments within the company. We don’t have to chase down the facts anymore – it’s all there in the Sentinel dashboards. Additionally, we use Axway Navigator to resend or reactivate files if they have not been successfully transferred for any reason, and to set up and test new file transfers centrally. We then push the new file formats out to all the stores and activate them centrally with Axway Composer. Navigator and Composer really simplify simultaneous deployment of updates to all stores in just a few clicks.”

“With Axway MFT, we ensure inventory accuracy, on-time delivery and on-shelf point of sales.”

Critical IT Governance

For a mass MFT rollout

Once Delhaize saw how well Axway MFT performed in Romania, the group was confident about rolling it out to larger and more complex markets, beginning with Belgium. Axway’s Professional Services group assisted Delhaize in defining and developing the installation and deployment packages for 775 stores in Belgium, comprised of six different retail banners, each addressing different market segments. In addition, some stores are integrated or wholly owned by Delhaize, while others are franchised, requiring different configurations.

Reliable and effective IT governance processes were vital to implementing such a large deployment. Everything related to file transfer governance had to be defined and configured in advance of the rollout to stores, so that Delhaize could rapidly:

  • Validate that every component had been activated;
  • Intervene in case of problems; and
  • Make configuration adjustments when new types of files must be exchanged.

Axway designed, developed and tested MFT Quick-Start packages for each Delhaize brand, while taking into account the unique configuration requirements for both the integrated (wholly owned) and the associated (franchise) stores. Once the specific packages were developed, the rollout went smoothly. “We succeeded in deploying the new solution to 50-60 remote stores per day with just one person located centrally,” said Baeyens. “Axway MFT gives us a level of flexibility and scalability that lets us easily on-board new stores into the system. It takes only 30 minutes to configure each store.”

Semi-automatic Stock Replenishment

The right products on-shelf for strong in-store sales

Delhaize provides semi-automatic replenishment for a selected number of stores based on their daily sales figures and stock levels. Order proposals are automatically generated for the stores based on what has been sold during the day, current promotions, and environmental factors, such as the weather. These automatic proposals recommend what items stores should re-order.

“If we don’t receive data about what has been sold in a store, we can’t provide automatic replenishment. When this happens, replenishment has to be done manually, which is much more time consuming. Even more important than speed of replenishment, however, is replenishment accuracy – if the data is not correct, the results would be inadequate insight into customer sales and service, which directly impacts both store execution and the customer experience. With Axway MFT, we ensure inventory accuracy, on-time delivery and on-shelf point of sales,” Baeyens concluded.

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