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Blog > Automation of largest Kazakh retailer’s Dark Store

Automation of largest Kazakh retailer’s Dark Store

    The e-commerce boom has spurred traditional retailers to reimage customer services, and the pandemic has exacerbated that trend even further. With the change in the consumption model, new and difficult-to-implement services, such as food delivery from the store, are in greater demand.

    MagnumGo is an online supermarket of the largest Kazakh retailer Magnum Cash&Carry. The first retailer’s experience in launching a grocery delivery service showed that it is not easy to achieve a high level of service for online customers with order assembly in brick-and-mortar stores. Products on shelves would often run out before the personnel responsible for order assembly could reach them.

    A more efficient model would be direct shipment from specialized “Dark store” warehouses with address storage and business processes tailored to the operation of an online store. A delivery service capable of handling large volumes of orders requires a high level of process automation. Thus, it is critically important to organize a stable inter-system interaction between the online storefront, warehouse, transport, product range planning, call center, and other business units of the retailer.

    Magento CMS, one of the world’s most popular platforms for organizing omnichannel trading, was chosen to manage the online store. Automation of the dark store business logic is implemented using the Retail Suite industry solutions.

    The RETANO E-commerce industry solution manages the processing of orders. The system automates work with suppliers and the product range of the online store, ensures the integrity of master data/transactions, and also serves as a control system for the MagnumGo online store, WMS, TMS, and SCM solutions.

    Inventory management is a key to provide high-quality and cost-effective service. The supply chain management system RETANO SCM is used to create accurate demand forecasts, and automatically calculate the optimal replenishment level based on them. Auto-order algorithms aim to strike a balance between low levels of lost sales and excess stock.

    After placing an order, RETANO Ecommerce transfers it to the warehouse management system RETANO WMS. The system automatically distributes tasks, telling responsible personnel from which cell to take the required product and where to move it. Expiration dates and conditions of items are monitored. RETANO WMS automates all warehouse business processes – from acceptance and placement in the storage area, to order picking, shipment, inventory, and handling of emergency situations.

    Following WMS guidelines improves picking speed and minimizes errors. The use of data collection terminals makes it possible to record each step of order processing in the warehouse system and transmit data on the assembly status to the call center. If necessary, the call center specialists can call the buyer, discuss the replacement of items or agree on a change in the delivery time. This practice improves interactions between customers and the retailer, even in the event of problems occurring.

    The automated transport management system RETANO TMS is responsible for planning the delivery of items. It receives information about orders from the control system, calculates best routes, distributes orders among vehicles, sends the delivery time and addresses to couriers, and the correct order of item loading into vehicles to RETANO WMS.

    Each delivery leaves it’s digital footprint in RETANO E-commerce. The system reflects what goods the courier has on hand, what was shipped to the client, what items he refused, and what needs to be returned to the warehouse.

    According to research, the online grocery delivery market will grow from 12% of total food sales in 2021 to 21% by 2025. For offline retailers, this means that the opening of dark stores will become a necessity. Without an online store and a fast delivery service, it will be difficult to maintain customer loyalty.

    Retano Digital Ecosystem is a ready-made set of standard interconnected systems that can solve most of the current tasks of retail automation, from basic sales management and organization of omnichannel trade to deep automation of business processes through AI, and decision support based on data.