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Direct Wines predicts its way to growth

By Retail Technology | Tuesday December 3 2013

Online wine retailer successfully deploys cloud-based planning, promotion, forecasting and fulfilment applications to help break down silos and drive international growth

Direct Wines, the world’s largest online wine retailer, has successfully deployed cloud-based planning, promotion, forecasting and fulfilment applications from retail predictive analytics provider Predictix

The applications went live last month and will support the current operation and future growth strategy of Direct Wines' international, omnichannel business. 
Direct Wines Ltd. is the world’s largest online wine merchant, selling more than 40 million bottles a year to over 750,000 customers. Based in the UK, it is a fast-growing, global company that serves customers in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Germany and via licensed retail and wholesale partners in the US. Direct Wines is an omnichannel business, selling via catalogue, online and through an estate of retail stores under the Laithwaites brand. It also provides wine clubs to customers of The Wall Street Journal, Zagat, Virgin and the Sunday Times. 
Unique business model requirements

Prior to selecting Predictix, Direct Wines had a number of operational and business challenges in its supply chain that were becoming an obstacle to the company's rapid growth. The company generates high sales volumes for products that are often produced in limited quantities by brand or vintage, and then sold individually or in a multitude of mixed cases. This, together with dynamic and sophisticated direct marketing, created the need for a particularly flexible system that could enable the its supply chain to respond in real time to changes in actual and anticipated demand.
Direct Wines sought a cohesive system that would let buyers and merchandisers plan, generate promotions, forecast and source products in a coordinated way. It needed an end-to-end demand and supply planning solution, with in-day promotion and fulfilment decisions and the ability to plan promotions and offers in near-real time to deal with daily demand changes. 
Traditional software products were unable to handle its complex model and so it turned to Predictix for a suite of cloud-based applications that were tailored to its specific requirements in creating and managing mixed wine offers and merchandise financial planning, as well as promotion, offer and demand planning. The centralised applications will also help break down silos between marketing, merchandising and the supply chain.

Enhancing total business proposition

With Predictix, Direct Wines now has better alignment between its marketing, planning, merchandising and supply chain operations, with a structured approach to range planning and the ability to plan offers that will meet revenue targets in the overall marketing plan. It also has greater visibility into forecasted demand and projected stock requirements across all channels. This will help drive greater inventory efficiency and reduce the need for case and stock-keeping unit (SKU) substitution by ensuring that Direct Wines' buyers are able to purchase the right wine in the required quantities at the right time on a global basis.
“Predictix has helped us start to break down the walls and eliminate the silos between marketing, merchandising and supply chain,” said Simon McMurtrie, chief executive of Direct Wines. “For the first time, we have an end-to-end solution that fits our unique business model. We set a number of ambitious goals for this initiative and it has been a great team effort between Direct Wines and Predictix. We are excited about the impact this will have on our business and in helping Direct Wines provide even higher levels of customer satisfaction for wine enthusiasts around the world.”