IMI Supply Chain Solutions

ASKO's System Solution Meets Rapid Growth and High Demands with Integrated and Automated Processes

NorgesGruppen ASA

IMI’s solution is our stable and flexible supply engine

NorgesGruppen ASA is Norway’s largest grocery company and the seventh-largest company in the country. The group has more than 40,000 employees, ten grocery chains, and a market share of more than 40 percent. The wholesale, distribution, and logistics company ASKO is also part of NorgesGruppen, and is responsible for the entire group’s distribution, logistics, and warehousing, including the collaboration with 1,200 partners and suppliers. ASKO is organized into 15 regional subsidiaries and has a total warehouse area of ​​425,000 m2 spread across two central warehouses and 13 regional warehouses. With 700 of its own trucks, ASKO is also one of Norway’s largest transport companies. Around the turn of the millennium, NorgesGruppen and IMI Supply Chain Solutions established a close collaboration, which has been developed and deepened over the years.

Handles 190 million order lines

NorgesGruppen’s logistics flow consists of 25,000 different products that are distributed to around 2,140 grocery stores and to 14,000 recipients within food service (i.e. restaurants, cafes, hotels, petrol stations, and similar businesses), but also to public businesses. At the heart of this large and crucial supply process are IMI WMS and IMI AOM from the Swedish software company IMI Supply Chain Solutions. The solution was first implemented at the beginning of the 2000s and has since been continually developed in increasingly close collaboration.

“The solution processes more than 190 million order lines every year, drives our supply process, and is crucial for managing the large flow of goods that are being moved around the clock, seven days a week. The stable operation and the system’s large capacity are two factors that are absolutely decisive, in combination with the fine collaboration we have developed with IMI over the years”, says Tom Puntervoll-Pedersen, who is IT Director for ASKO at NorgesGruppen Data.


A new logistics network and rapid expansion

NorgesGruppen AS was founded in 1994, but the group’s roots can be found in the wholesale business Joh. Johansson, which was formed as early as 1866. Since 1994, NorgesGruppen has experienced rapid expansion, both within traditional retailing and in e-grocery. At the turn of the millennium, the group had grown a lot, both organically and through acquisitions. The goal was to further accelerate growth and establish itself as Norway’s market leader in both wholesale and retail trade.

“Our vision was to expand and develop our logistics network and ensure that a greater proportion of the goods flow went through the central distribution apparatus, to consolidate and bring out synergies and get the right lead time management in all parts of Norway. Together with IMI Supply Chain Solutions, we managed to solve this in a very satisfactory way”, says Are Bakken, who is Operations Director at ASKO.

The solution is flexible enough to support our logistics network with sales, procurement, and distribution through multiple channels, and support our service-oriented business model.
Tom Puntervoll-Pedersen
IT Director for ASKO at NorgesGruppen Data

The Challenges

Multi-channel distribution process

ASKO’s organization is made up of regional companies, each with responsibility for their own results and regional logistics. This has been a successful model that ASKO wanted to preserve. The challenge was to build an IT solution that could handle the entire business, with all its business flows and complexity, and to create Norway’s most powerful and customer-oriented logistics company. In order to succeed with this mission, purchasing had to be consolidated, enabling sales through multiple channels with all orders and invoices visible in all subsidiaries. There was also a need for all goods flowing from suppliers to stores and customers to be managed, with a high degree of control over lead times from central warehouses to regional warehouses, order stop times, and coordination of different flows. From a logistical perspective, it was necessary to implement a multi-level distribution process that could support efficient merge-in-transit and cross-docking during a narrow time window and without bottlenecks occurring.

“To succeed, we needed an intelligent system solution that could coordinate and synchronize supply and demand, and give us the necessary capacity to manage and automate all the different transactions in real-time. At the same time, the solution also had to be built to meet the demands of constant changes and updates”, explains Tom Puntervoll-Pedersen.

IMI GO! the most automated & cost-effective out of the box order fulfillment solution on the Nordic market

The solution

Just works without disturbances or interruptions

ASKO´s software selection was a careful process in which several different comprehensive solutions for resource planning were evaluated. The conclusion was, however, that none of the investigated solutions met the company’s high requirements for capacity, functionality, and flexibility. It was against this background that NorgesGruppen instead decided to invest in IMI Supply Chain’s software suite, with order and inventory management at the very core of the solution.

The capacity of the solution to handle our high volume of transactions in a comprehensive manner was the basis for our choice. The solution is like a highway that goes straight ahead and just works without disturbances or interruptions”, says Are Bakken, adding that the transaction volumes have doubled since the solution was first implemented.

The IMI solution was introduced in phases in 2002 and was fully upgraded across the business in 2007. Since the implementation of the solution, it has been the flexible engine that drives ASKO’s supply process and manages the large flow of goods that are being moved around the clock, every day of the week.

IMI’s solution forms the hub of ASKO’s supply chain, and it is integrated with various subsystems, such as transport systems, basic data systems, and planning systems.

Tom underlines that the solution’s flexibility is a prerequisite for being able to handle ASKO’s complex and dynamic logistics.

“The solution is flexible enough to support our logistics network with sales, procurement, and distribution through multiple channels, and support our service-oriented business model. We are pleased with our systems solution and the great collaboration we have with IMI”, he says.

The result

ASKO has a system solution that has the capacity and flexibility that is necessary to be able to meet both rapid growth and high demands for an efficient, fast, and highly automated supply of goods. By means of a close, trusting collaboration with IMI, the solution is continually developed and improved in order to be able to meet new challenges.

The Benefits

  • A flexible and dynamic solution that can handle rapid and substantial growth and constant changes
  • System stability and capacity
  • Integrated and automated supply chain processes
  • Higher delivery service, precision and lower costs

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Logistics must keep pace and work seamlessly to deliver around the clock.