ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- As part of its move toward becoming a self-distributing retailer, Furr's Supermarkets here last month completed an installation of supply-chain software that encompasses buying, billing, warehouse operations and reconciliation functions.
The six-month installation process, completed Oct. 19, took place at the 460,000-square-foot distribution center in El Paso, Texas, that Furr's recently acquired from its former supplier, Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City.
The software systems required an initial investment of $5 million and are projected to provide a return on investment within three years.
"I've never spent that much money at once," said John Granger, vice president of management information systems for Furr's, adding that he is hopeful the systems will provide a quick ROI.
The warehouse-management system will update inventory levels and order status in real time, and the billing and reconciliation systems should help reduce paper and labor costs as well as improve accuracy. The buying system will allow buyers to see all available items, as well as what deals are about to go on or off.
The new software was provided by OMI International, Schaumburg, Ill., and was installed by OMI and Electronic Data Systems, Plano, Texas.
The 68-store chain, which has locations in west Texas and New Mexico, made the move to self-distribute after a split with Fleming last October.