The UK-based John Lewis Partnership owns the John Lewis chain of department stores and the Waitrose supermarket brand. Its 90,000 staff are all partners in the business and share the profits.
John Lewis’s click and collect service enables customers to order goods online and collect them the following day from a local John Lewis or Waitrose store. John Lewis approached Zebra Technologies’ partner M-Netics for a solution that would enable staff to use storage space more efficiently when an order with multiple parcels arrived and to help find parcels more quickly when customers came to collect them.
M-Netics installed its IM2 Retail solution in 327 Waitrose branches, along with Zebra MC55A mobile computers, which also have integrated scanning capability. When parcels come in to a shop as part of a multiple order, a partner scans the barcode of each item. The mobile computer displays details of the full order, including where the previous item in the order has been stored. This means that, if the new item is a similar size, it can be stored with the previous item – an efficient use of space. The partner places the item in a storage unit and scans the barcode on the unit to record where it has been stored. This information is relayed via a Zebra wireless network to the IM2 database. When a customer comes to collect their parcel, the partner enters the order number into the scanner and the storage unit location is displayed, making it easy to find all the parcels in the order.
The combination of M-Netics software and Zebra handheld scanners has enabled John Lewis to expand its click and collect capacity by 30%. At Christmas last year orders were dealt with smoothly and efficiently in all Waitrose stores. Partners found the new MC55A mobile computers robust, reliable and easy to use, with large clear screens and a comfortable grip.