In spite of the volume of goods handled and the number of outlets in the distribution chain, the group has been able to run its supply chain management in the country like a well-oiled machine.
Lulu Hypermarket already operates one of the largest supply chains in the region with more than 100,000 SKUs in each store, but it has its sights set much higher, as Namitha Madhu reports…
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Catering to a wide variety of expat communities in the UAE, stocks at Lulu stores in the country comprise over 100,000 SKUs. “It is certainly one of the largest in the region,” says Manoj L R, operations manager of Lulu Logistics, Dubai. “The sheer volume of goods we handle makes ours’ one of the largest supply chains in the region.”
Lulu is also one of the UAE’s fastest growing brands at present. What began as a small supermarket in Abu Dhabi in 1995 is now one of the largest retail chains in the Middle East. With the parent company EMKE Group headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Lulu Hypermarket has over 120 outlets worldwide, of which 50 are in the UAE.
In spite of the volume of goods handled and the number of outlets in the distribution chain, the group has been able to run its supply chain management in the country like a well-oiled machine, and most of it comes down to a well-thought out distribution channel and warehouse management system.
For ease of operations, Lulu group has divided the UAE region into three parts: Dubai and Northern Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Manoj, who takes care of the logistic operations in Dubai and Northern Emirates, takes us through the group’s supply chain process: Lulu has four warehouses in the UAE, the one in Abu Dhabi being the largest with 1mn sq ft, followed by the warehouse in Dubai Investments Park with 400,000 sq ft.
At the warehouses, goods are managed with the help of a warehouse management system. “Ordering from store to warehouse is completely automated. We practice computerised reordering of products for the store everyday depending on sales data from point of sale, seasonal changes, actual inventory levels, product receipts and acceptable safety stock levels. Inventory data integrity is maintained by cycle-counting,” says Manoj.
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