Kuehne + Nagel supports supply chain reorganisation programme of Italian retailer Agorà

Agorà Network Srl has awarded Kuehne + Nagel a six-year contract to centrally manage ambient foods warehousing operations for the retailer’s network of owned and affiliated stores across northern Italy which includes brands such as Iperal-Comservice, Poli, Tigros and Sogegross.

At the Kuehne + Nagel shared-user distribution centre in Brignano Gera d’Adda, east of Milan, 35,000 sqm of warehouse space are dedicated to Agorà. By early 2008, the retailer’s network of 350 points of sale across northern Italy will be supplied with a range of 12,000 different grocery items from the facility; this represents over 36 million cases annually received, stored, picked and loaded by Kuehne + Nagel.

Warehouse operations are supported by radio frequency technology and a pick-to-voice order preparation system, thereby ensuring highest levels of picking accuracy and productivity.

”Outsourcing our warehousing activities to Kuehne + Nagel represents a decisive milestone in the integration of our operations to better meet the needs of the business and face the market leaders. In 2006, we engaged in a comprehensive redesign and simplification of our supply chain organisation, from purchasing to sales administration and stock management,” commented Antonio Tirelli, CEO of Agorà Network Srl. ”The ultimate goal is to provide our affiliates with a more responsive service and consistently high quality levels.”

In the past, Agorà managed its stocks at separate warehouses across the region. The centralisation of logistics operations at Kuehne + Nagel’s Brignano Gera d’Adda facility under the new agreement significantly enhances overall stock management and allows for efficient and detailed monitoring of flows. Supplier stock periods are expected to be reduced by more than 15 per cent. The introduction of new items into the Agorà network will be significantly easier and quicker. Another advantage is that Agorà’s suppliers now have a single point of delivery, which facilitates operational savings and increased delivery frequencies at no additional costs.

Ruggero Poli, Managing Director of Kuehne + Nagel Italy, is delighted with Agorà’s decision in favour of Kuehne + Nagel: “We are very proud to be supporting Agorà’s expansion programme. We have the added bonus of long-standing relationships with leading retailers, and proven experience in the design and operation of logistics solutions specific to the retail market. By supporting Agorà to maximise its supply chain efficiency, we foresee the opportunity for our customer to enter a new phase of its development.