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Canadian Retailer MEC Launches StoreMobile to Improve Day-to-Day Inventory Management

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) a retail co-operative, and Canada's leading supplier of clothing and gear for outdoor recreation, recently launched a corporate wide Omni Channel Strategy to streamline its store inventory systems through the use of RTC's StoreMobile solution on IOS devices.

MEC is well known for selling high quality well-designed products that offer great value to its more than 3.5 million members. "At MEC , an integral part of our strategy is focused on enhancing our members' shopping experiences by ensuring the products they need are in stock and easy to locate. We selected RTC's StoreMobile App because it was the only solution that allowed us to better manage our JDA MMS operations directly from mobile devices to provide our members with an authentic and accessible customer experience," says Ingrid Bester, Software Development Manager for MEC.

MEC has deployed StoreMobile on Apple iPod devices in all 17 of their store locations in 6 provinces. RTC's consulting team led by Fabian Rosario, helped MEC integrate the solution into their store processes and train their store staff.

"When we began looking for an inventory management solution for our JDA MMS merchandising system, we set out to find a more efficient and effective restocking tool that offered better visibility to where products were located in the store," says MEC Project Manager Harry Henderson. "StoreMobile helped us address our major pain points and streamline stock room management, restocking and inventory accuracy processes. Restocking has gone from a fully manual, ineffective process to an automated process that keeps the retail floor fully stocked with lower labor cost, reducing labor by half and improved on floor availability by 5%."

RTC VP Special Projects Fabian Rosario, implemented the solution in MEC's QA environment and helped set up the configuration with key MEC support staff. Fabian also facilitated a "Train the trainer" conference in addition to supporting two pilot implementations before final rollout chainwide. RTC rolled out StoreMobile on iPod Touches. MEC was already using IOS devices as part of their Omni Channel Strategy, so this deployment was perfect. "Since our employees were already familiar with Apple devices, training was faster than we anticipated. Staff can now easily find product in the backrooms and floor staff now make fewer trips to the backroom to pull items to go on the retail floor because the floor is better stocked," added MEC's Henderson. In March 2014, MEC agreed to integrate RTC Warehouse Optimization RF solution to expand the benefits of mobile technology to their warehouse.

This cost effective MMS "bolt on" will increase productivity in MEC's warehouse at a price that ensures ROI is measured in months, not years. Warehouse Optimization provides a suite of corporate applications accessed by hand-held devices and focused on streamlining warehouse processes and reducing staff requirements, leading to increased accuracy and improved productivity.

"The name of the game today more than ever is "customer service". Tight, efficient inventory management has to be a "no brainer" or it is a mathematical certainty that your customer service levels will drop dramatically. Your staff cannot spend all its time chasing inventory only to find it's not there. Whether that's the store or the warehouse, bad things happen when inventory is managed poorly. MEC is now reaping the benefits of store and warehouse mobility through our MMSxTend mobile applications."