Food retailer Waitrose has selected the Quintiq Advanced Planning and Scheduling Suite for its TOPS project (Transport Optimisation Planning System). This project is aimed at implementing one centralised solution for all transport planning, dispatch and yard management across the four distribution centres and 183 branches of Waitrose.


Waitrose is one of the largest food retailers in the UK. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop. Waitrose takes special pride in the freshness and quality of its food. Fresh produce arrives daily at its branches.


To support business growth and improve the efficiency of its store delivery operation, Waitrose started a selection process for implementing a state-of-the-art centralised transport planning solution. Until now the company has been using a mix of manual planning, spreadsheet and planning software.


This approach was no longer able to support the increasingly complex puzzle of delivering a variety of products to its branches, including many perishable goods, which have to be delivered as early as possible.


Having spent some time looking for potential suppliers Waitrose selected five software solutions. Two vendors were then asked to prepare a proof of concept to ensure that they really met the requirements. Quintiq demonstrated that its software could capture any business rule and was really capable of allowing Waitrose to plan in the way they wanted to, claims the firm. Quintiq was also able to show that Waitrose could reduce costs through the implementation of an Advanced Planning Solution.


Waitrose will use the Quintiq planning system to create a tactical plan based on expected volumes.  This plan will then be used as the basis for the daily load plan, which is made for the following day. The Quintiq system will then also deal with daily exceptions as they occur.


In addition it offers a site management solution for the movement of trailers between a number of warehouses at the Bracknell and Aylesford RDCs. The solution will go live in early 2008.


“The key reason why we chose Quintiq was the ability of the project team to work with us and to show us a perfect-fit solution for all our long and short-term planning challenges,” says Helen Heighes, manager, distribution projects, from Waitrose. “To organise and plan multiple fleets from one central location gives visibility and flexibility throughout the entire planning process.”


“For companies like Waitrose that offer a variety of fresh products, effective planning is key in delivering on its quality promise. Quintiq is proud to be able to contribute to this by providing its state-of-the-art planning solution. Based on our wide experience in the transport sector, we are convinced that our solution will help Waitrose boost its efficiency and improve customer satisfaction,” says Arjen Heeres, COO at Quintiq.