Ruohonjuuri is a specialized chain of stores selling eco and organic products that was founded in 1982. The company has six stores, four of which are located in Helsinki, one in Tampere and one in Turku. Additionally, the company maintains and develops a webshop. The goal of Ruohonjuuri’s operations is to engage in sustainable and profitable retail.
In the starting situation, Ruohonjuuri wanted to develop supplier and selection management and automate ordering. The practical challenge was the amount of manual work while operations grew and stock selection continuously changed. There was a need for a tool for automating ordering, making store selection management more efficient and guiding warehouses. The amount of routine work done for these took most of the product management, purchasing and store managers’ time. Ruohonjuuri was using the LS Retail NAV ERP.
” Stock turnover has improved by more than two units.”
Topias Nieminen, Head of Finance, Ruohonjuuri Oy
Ruohonjuuri chose Expak’s solution as it best suited its needs and was the most cost-effective of the options. Expak’s program automated the control calculations for alarm limits and stock levels into the LS Retail NAV system, offered an easy-to-use desktop for managing selections and reporting. Using the program, information was easy to share internally with management and in stores with suppliers.
The use of Expak’s software has brought Ruohonjuuri significant benefits:
In the beginning, Ruohonjuuri’s stock turnover was less than ten. Right now, stock turnover is twelve. The results were achieved by more accurate order, supplier and selection management.
Expak’s program has significantly decreased the amount of manual work both in management and in the stores. For example, the planning of selections and orders took one day per week of store manager’s work time before the implementation of Expak. Currently, the same processes are done in stores in 1 to 2 hours with the support of the program.
Before, the operative system didn’t produce reports well enough. This is why purchasing had to be made on gut feeling. Using Expak’s program, the user can directly, easily and in real time filter development within a supplier by brand, product group and product. The easy availability of information has made the choices for new, outgoing and campaign products more accurate. As information has also been easy to share with the suppliers, there have been fewer availability problems. This has improved the efficiency of the entire supply chain.
The use of the program has made operational models more clear and concise. When the different levels of an organization can share information effortlessly at all times, it is easier to justify why something is done. Results are easily displayed as numbers.
“All delivery goals have been achieved – even exceeded.”
Topias Nieminen, Head of Finance, Ruohonjuuri Oy
“The Expak project has been a positive exception to all the other IT projects – all goals that were set for it have been achieved – even exceeded,” summarizes Nieminen.
“Expak’s solution is incredibly helpful in store work.”
Johanna Koskinen, Head of Purchasing, Ruohonjuuri Oy
“Things were much more difficult before Expak. It’s incredibly helpful in store work, because it quickly creates a sensible basis for orders. Additionally, information is easy to share,” says Head of Purchasing Koskinen.
Expak’s delivery was implemented in stages.
“In the beginning there was a lot of work in inputting products to the automatic purchasing system. We started with one store, and its control values were experimented with a lot. Once they were in order, the solution was expanded to other stores. The product managers of the Kamppi store were in a very integral role for the success of the project. They had a great attitude towards the project and could see the benefits right from the beginning. The stores see Expak as a gift from above for their work,” says Koskinen about the project.
Expak’s solution has brought clarity and efficiency for everyday work in stores and in management.
“One of the great things mentally is that clarity and rhythm have been achieved in day-to-day work. It’s good that you can numerically show and justify why something is done, why something is in selection or in a campaign. I can justify matters, and decisions can easily be supported by the information in Expak. The feeling of inadequacy has decreased significantly. Using Expak, we can concentrate on things that are relevant, both in management and in the stores. There has been piece of mind on many levels,” says Koskinen.
The numbers speak clearly for the success of Expak’s delivery – sales, availability and stock turnover have improved. At the same time, the floor area per shop has decreased.
“Development and professional growth has happened in many of our areas. We wouldn’t be able to manage if things were done as they were three years ago. The centralization of supplier management and the automatic order model that were created using Expak are an integral competitive factor for us now and in the future. Along with the project, the purchasers have grown a lot professionally. Now we can’t manage without Expak,” summarizes Nieminen.