ST. ETIENNE, France -- French retailing giant Groupe Casino, based here, expects to roll out by next year a centralized supply chain system to ensure the efficient control and optimization of logistics operations, thus eliminating errors and exceptions.
The system, GOLD, from Aldata Solution, Helsinki, Finland, will replace decentralized product management procedures, according to Philippe Marxgut, who joined Groupe Casino as customer care director in 2000.
"We will achieve the entire deployment of GOLD at full speed," said Marxgut. "While the final implementation has been set for 2005, we will keep upgrading the IT infrastructure and expand the model abroad."
Speaking last month at the Global Retail Technology Forum in Barcelona, Marxgut described Groupe Casino's GOLD rollout in the context of its aggressive three-year IT plan, designed with a best-of-breed approach. The Forum was organized by Retail Systems Alert Group, Newton Upper Falls, Mass.
Already a $27.4 billion retail giant with 8,600 stores operating in 11 countries, including Smart & Final in the United States, Groupe Casino is not resting on its laurels under Jean-Charles Naouri, who became chairman last September. "We are working to become a major-league global player within five years," stated Marxgut.
As part of that mission, the company underwent a worldwide group reorganization in January, resulting in the IT division becoming a subsidiary of CIT (Casino Information Technology).
Aldata is one of many application partners that reflect Groupe Casino's best-of-breed approach. Others include TempoSoft, Hyperion, Sybase, Mood Media, JDA Software and SAP, which were integrated into Aldata's network to produce one Web-based solution, said Marxgut.
As a result, SAP finance is widely used to interface with Groupe Casino's central accounting, while TempoSoft's workforce management solution is currently running in the whole supermarket and hypermarket operations.
In using GOLD, Groupe Casino, which runs 260 hypermarkets and around 2,400 supermarkets, decided to begin with locations accounting for 80% of overall hypermarket activity.
After implementing GOLD in 26 out of 30 warehouses, 10 out of 260 hypermarkets, and one out of 4,250 convenience stores, the retailer has enhanced product information accessibility, decreased exceptions and errors, and increased overall revenue, said Marxgut.