The Bargain! Shop

The Bargain! Shop
QLogitek

QLogitek

May 24, 2006 08:00 ET

The Bargain! Shop Retail Chain Realizing Significant Benefits with QLogitek's L'eBIZ Supply Chain Technology

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 24, 2006) - The Bargain! Shop retail chain has announced that it is rolling out a collaborative supply chain management system to streamline and integrate the business processes linking its more than 350 North American and overseas suppliers with its 150 retail stores across Canada.

The system called L'eBIZ, is supplied by Toronto-based QLogitek, a leading provider to the retail industry of hosted supply chain technology. It will automate and seamlessly integrate the entire purchase order, inventory, delivery, and invoicing business processes of a retailer's supply chain.

Approximately 15 suppliers are in various stages of being directly linked to The Bargain! Shop stores. As a second phase, The Bargain! Shop will be linking to other vendors using the traditional EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) transactions.

The Bargain! Shop joins a growing list of other major retailers that are using sophisticated systems to integrate their supply chains to increase overall productivity and reduce costs. While big box retailers started integrating their supply chains years ago, they often spent many millions in technology and resources in the process.

Companies such as The Bargain! Shop can now achieve the same capability and realize the same benefits from an automated supply chain at a fraction of the time and cost. This is because today they can outsource this complex function (as in the case of The Bargain! Shop) to a leading integrator - QLogitek - to provide the appropriate technology and service as a "hosted" supply chain solutions provider to get the job done.

Clinton Wolff, The Bargain! Shop's Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer said the new system is already producing significant benefits for the retail chain by reducing costs at the store level through the elimination of manual paperwork and a reduction in staff training costs.

"Each time we open a new store it is an extremely difficult task for new store personnel to become familiar with the purchase order, receiving and invoicing processes, especially with the significant volume of receipts involved in building a new store's inventory," he said. "The stores sometimes simply have to bundle up the paperwork and sent it to head office for processing."

He pointed out a small example of how the system had helped the company. "We had launched a new in-store milk and bread "convenience program" which had to be slowed largely because of the paperwork problem. However, the L'eBIZ system has removed any process limitations on the program," he said.

Mr. Wolff cited another major benefit of the hosted L'eBIZ system by helping the retailer to pursue an accelerated store-opening program. "Because the paperwork process is no longer a significant drag on our operations, the new system has facilitated the acceleration of our planned timetable for opening new stores," he said. "By the end of this year we expect to have 165 stores in operation, with an additional 15 to 20 per cent new store openings per year after that, doubling our store count in five years. Investments in the right kind of technology model will be a key factor in our ability to smoothly achieve these results," he added.

He said he could see other potential areas in which the retailer could use the technology to make improvements such as in its currently outsourced "pick-and-pack" operations. "This involves partial case delivery of goods with the product repackaged into other cases which creates a billing nightmare for us," he said. "So we see real potential there to streamline, expand and reduce costs by having suppliers pack by store, license-plate the cartons for us and give us the right information ahead of time to substantially automate this cumbersome process for us."

"We are pleased to be a part of The Bargain! Shops growth plans," said Neel Sharma, QLogitek's Vice-President Global Customer Operations Group. "Supply chain integration remains a tough nut to crack for most organizations, whether they are dealing with 20 suppliers or 2,000. Hosted solutions combining technology and services guarantee success when delivered by a proven provider in this area."

The principal beneficiaries of The Bargain! Shop's new supply chain technology will be its customers, says Mr. Wolff. "This major supply chain initiative, plus other measures we have taken to improve our merchandising and information technology systems, will help ensure that The Bargain! Shop can reach its aggressive growth targets while continuing to offer high-quality products with good value to our customers," he said.

About The Bargain! Shop

The Bargain! Shop is a general merchandise retail chain serving people in smaller communities and select urban neighbourhoods across Canada with a wide range of high-quality, low-priced food, family clothing and housewares items, bedding, health and beauty products, stationery, toys and gifts, cameras and electronics and scores of other household and personal items. The Bargain! Shop embarked in 2004 on a major store opening expansion program across the country and now operates 150 stores from Cornerbrook, Newfoundland to Port Alberni, BC, with 50-plus more openings planned over the next two years. The Bargain! Shop is currently installing the state-of-the art L'eBIZ supply chain management system from Toronto-based QLogitek, as well as continuously upgrading its IT and merchandising operations. For more information, visit the company's website at www.thebargainshop.com, or call 905-949-5252

About QLogitek

QLogitek is the leading provider of hosted Supply Chain Integration Services in Canada. Its flagship product, L'eBIZ provides a hosted technology platform for retailers and their suppliers, common carriers, freight forwarders, consolidators and other trading partners to closely integrate business processes with each other. A community-centric common technology platform powered by quick non-intrusive integration allows for unprecedented visibility into the bi-directional flow of supply chain information. L'eBIZ provides a broad footprint within eSupply Chain, with managed B2B applications ranging from EDI/E-Commerce, Order Tracking, New Item Management, Inbound/Outbound Merchandise Management, and others. QLogitek clients include Hudson's Bay Company, Sears, Zellers, HMV North America, Best Buy, The Brick, The Nuance Group, Indigo, Quebecor/Archambault, Chapters, Future Shop, LCBO, Bell Canada, and others. For more information, visit the company's website at www.qlogitek.com, or call 1-800-699-8204.

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