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Halfords goes to Manhattan for warehouse management overhaul

Will Hadfield

Halfords, the motor accessories retailer, has completed the deployment of a warehouse management package to all three of its national distribution centres.

The implementation of the system, from Manhattan Associates, is part of a total IT overhaul at the retailer, which is one of the largest non-food chains in the UK. The Warehouse Management software integrates with Halfords' My SAP 4.6 enterprise resource planning application, which is deployed in the retailer's head office, linked by a SAP integration platform.

The new warehouse system replaced proprietary legacy systems which were used when Halfords was part of the Boots group, and which had recently become increasingly difficult to support.

Halfords plans to complete the overhaul of its supply chain by implementing new stores systems in the next two years.

"We are about to embark on the third and final phase: the replacement of our store systems.

"Within a five-year period, we will replace all our IT," said the retailer's head of business systems, Brian Scott.

The Warehouse Management system should enable Halfords to improve the efficiency of the two distribution centres that it directly manages and at the third centre, which is managed on its behalf by specialist company Unipart Logistics.

The  product works with a radio-frequency network. Employees have to scan each order they pick with handheld devices.

Each scan is time and date stamped, which enables Halfords' head office to monitor individual employees' efficiency.

The supplier's vice-president of European operations, Allen Scott, said, "That way you start getting some productivity. Over the course of the day, you can see which staff are picking more quickly."

 

Halfords' system

  • IBM P series I6000 server running IBM's AIX Unix
  • Oracle database
  • MySAP ERP
  • Manhattan Associates' Warehouse Management System.

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