Manhattan Associates Delivers for British Land in The ARC at Meadowhall

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Manhattan Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ: MANH), the global leader in supply chain execution and optimisation solutions, today announced that British Land has implemented Manhattan Associates Warehouse Management for Windows solution to run its Accelerated Response Centre (ARC) at Meadowhall Shopping Centre, Sheffield in Northern England.

The ARC at Meadowhall was launched in 2002 by British Land as a unique off-site fulfilment facility to serve retailers operating stores within Meadowhall. It is located within walking distance of the shopping centre and offers unlimited storage space, along with pre-retail services such as de-shrouding, hanging and security tagging, to the Meadowhall retailers. The ARC at Meadowhall occupies 24,000 square feet of warehousing space, and has served in excess of seventy retailers. The sophisticated stock control and distribution system offers unparalleled visibility of stock to the retailers as well as flexibility of rapid replenishment, allowing retailers to make maximum use of their store space.

British Land, Meadowhalls parent company, took the decision to install a warehouse management system in May 2004 following consultation with the retailers operating at the Meadowhall site. The ARC had been running on a largely manual system, although some retailers used their own stock control systems. Once we had decided to implement a solution for the warehouse as a whole, we moved very fast, explained Vanessa Hope, Business Development Manager at British Land. We sent out an invitation to tender and had selected our preferred solution a month later.

The Manhattan Associates Warehouse Management solution, operating on Microsofts Windows platform, was selected from a shortlist of four vendors and was chosen for a number of reasons. There were several factors behind our decision to go with Manhattan Associates, said Hope. The solution was extremely scalable so we could be confident that it would grow with our clients demands. It was also the only one to provide genuine real-time visibility of stock and orders. One or two of the other solutions had new features claiming to offer this, but Manhattan Associates was able to demonstrate it working in practice. Warehouse Management for Windows eXchange module, leveraging Microsoft .NETs Web services architecture, allows data within the warehouse management system to be shared with external parties. This means that not only the retailers at Meadowhall, but also their head offices, can see at a glance how the stock levels are doing at The ARC.

Every one of our customers is offered a tailor-made service, so another key attribute of Manhattan Associates Warehouse Management solution for Windows is that it can support an entirely separate set of business requirements for each retailer. It can also be linked easily into the different host systems operated by the retailers; we offer everyone the option of integration with their electronic sales system. To achieve all of this, Manhattan Associates also offered an excellent team the people are skilled and available.

Like any retail-focused operation, the ARC at Meadowhall needs to be able to adapt quickly to seasonal changes and levels of employees flex dependent on the time of year. Ease of training was therefore another key factor in Manhattan Associates favour. The ARC at Meadowhall also offers high quality service level agreements (SLAs) to its retail customers, so the performance of warehouse personnel is crucial. The warehouse management solution includes extremely accurate labour management and productivity monitoring, added Hope. We can track how long its taking us to complete a particular task, which is essential to maintaining our SLAs for our retailers.

The ARC has transformed the stock control process for retailers at Meadowhall. Deliveries have been reduced drastically as retailers can take advantage of the proximity of their storage space, receiving perhaps one large delivery a week to the ARC itself, then replenishing the stores on a daily, in some cases even hourly, basis. This brings the obvious ecological advantage of fewer lorries; a benefit augmented by British Lands recycling of all dry waste.

The ARC at Meadowhall is a great example of how retailers can benefit from an integrated warehouse management solution, comments Jeff Baum, senior vice president of international operations at Manhattan Associates. The Meadowhall retailers are enjoying an unprecedented ability to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. Were delighted to have been chosen to be at the heart of such a textbook project.

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