Innovative proprietary technology as the means to delivering efficiency
DIA has 45 logistics platforms that take up a surface area stretching over 900,000m2. They are equipped with the most cutting-edge technology. Processes are continually under review. The group is unwavering in its commitment to innovation as the means to delivering efficiency in a chain that starts with the supplier, with whom DIA maintains transparent business relations, and ends with the customer, the be-all and end-all of the business.
DIA’s unique logistics IT system has been implemented in all its operating markets. Within this system, each tool and every phase of the logistics process is conceived of as a function of the next link in the chain, from supplier to store. It can be optimally customised thanks to the fact that the software is developed in-house.
All the systems and programs used in the logistics area are developed in-house by DIA
Unlike other sector players, all the IT systems and software used in the logistics area are designed and developed in-house, enabling swift customisation in response to shifting market demands and configuration to maximise cost-effectiveness in the neighbourhood shopping model being spearheaded by DIA.
Proximity and efficiency
One of DIA’s biggest achievements of recent years is the sustained reduction in logistics costs. Between 2007 and 2012 the group managed to significantly reduce these costs, thanks to the strategy of reducing the average distance between warehouses and stores, among other initiatives. DIA’s network of warehouses enables faster store supply while reducing the distances travelled, which in turn translates into fuel savings and lower carbon emissions. The average distance between the warehouses and stores in the major capitals where DIA operates ranges between 30 and 50 kilometres.
Another crucial factor driving this logistics efficiency is the optimisation of the order preparation process in the warehouses thanks to several upgrades such as the use of a voice-activated stock picking system, the change in layout design based on article turnover rates and the implementation of dynamic shelving. These measures have combined to drive a significant reduction in preparation circuit times, in some cases by as much as 40%. This process streamlining has positive ramifications in terms of productivity and quality. In addition, the development of new high-capacity transport formats, specifically the so-called Red Combi, has resulted in rationalisation and enabled growth in load capacity by format of up to 15%.
The strategic commitment to perishables, a logistics challenge
The company’s strategic commitment to perishables has posed a challenge in the logistics area due to these products’ special storage and transportation requirements.
To respond to these requirements and achieve optimal product conservation, all the warehouses are equipped with temperature-controlled cooling chambers designed to adequately store and prepare frozen foods and fresh produce, including fruit and vegetables. DIA’s trucks are multi-temperature so that the cold chain is not broken when these goods are delivered to the stores.
To illustrate the scale of the effort involved on this front: in 2012 DIA prepared 6.2 million more crates of perishable products than in 2011.
The goal: optimal store service
The ultimate goal of the logistics chain is to supply the stores optimally and efficiently. This pledge translates into daily deliveries of merchandise (response times of less than 24 hours) in order to guarantee product turnover and freshness.
It also implies the design of product packaging that is ready for direct sale, thereby minimising the need for timely handling, while giving products a more attractive appearance. This saves restocking time and reduces waste generation.
DIA World Trade
In line with the spirit of collaboration that marks the company’s ongoing work with its suppliers, at the end of 2011 DIA launched a supplier management platform called DIA World Trade. This platform allows both parties to share information on consumer trends, sales frequency and other relevant data. The overriding goal is to expand and enhance collaboration between DIA and its suppliers. In 2012 DIA signed over 70 suppliers from all over the world up for this project and the launch of the supplier website.