AutoStockR hits Big W, Dick Smith

Woolworths has implemented its custom in-store inventory management system AutoStockR in the supply chain systems of its Big W and Dick Smith franchises.

Woolworths has implemented its custom in-store inventory management system AutoStockR in the supply chain systems of its Big W and Dick Smith franchises.

While its competitor Coles has shied away from discussing its IT systems, Woolworths has again shone a torch on its investments, with chief executive Michael Luscombe claiming its custom-built AutoStockR system, which was an early milestone in its eight-year Project Refresh campaign, had been successfully deployed at its other businesses.

The automated inventory replenishment system that was rolled out to Woolworths' supermarkets in 2006 is now being turned on its subsidiary businesses, Big W and Dick Smith, Luscombe said today at its full year earnings announcement.

"We're now starting to see fruits of it in Dick Smith and Big W as well," Luscombe said. "Big W is now starting to roll out their version of AutoStockR. It's basically the same product that's been customised for general merchandise," he said. "We're seeing some terrific improvements in stock and working capital metrics from these stores."

Woolworths' liquor businesses, including Beer Wine Spirits and Dan Murphy, had also been delivered the system "right through the business", according to Luscombe.

The retail giant's New Zealand deployment of the same system was also now complete, according to the company's preliminary final report issued to the Australian Stock Exchange today. Woolworths' eight-year mission to improve its supply chain has covered IT systems, transport systems, and developing larger-scale centralised distribution centres.

Other IT systems it has introduced to the business include is distribution centre system, StockSmart, warehouse and transport management systems. Woolworths also laid out $50 million earlier this year to build a new datacentre in Sydney's West.

The next stage of Woolworths' Project Refresh, Project Galaxy, was reported earlier this year by The Australian to be an SAP-led deployment targeting its customer-relationship and point of sale systems.