Home » Asda Case Study

Sigma and Asda have been working in partnership since 1994. Born into providing GNFR warehouse management services. Today our role for ASDA has grown, seeing us take full responsibility for demand management, control, logistics management and installation of all store GNFR fixtures, as well as construction and mechanical & electrical works.


Sigma & Asda

Managing all of Asda’s GNFR equipment from multiple providers across their entire estate, we plan requirements on a project-by-project basis. Our 24/7 expertise ensures that the right equipment is procured in the right volume, stored securely and despatched to site exactly when it is required.

With a dedicated equipment centre, Asda has entrusted Sigma to manage their in-store fixtures, as well as supplying a dedicated logistics service, to help refurbish, recycle and reuse their instore fixtures avoiding unnecessary spend and to help generate ‘free to use’ stock for re-use in store.

The ACC, Asda Consolidation Centre undertook a detailed analysis project on the volume of fixtures and fittings that were being returned to the centre, it identified an unusually low trend of items being received, thus resulting in lower equipment to be reused and issued to Asda stores. In order to better understand the root cause, Sigma looked at the process involved and how to manage it going forward. With a new approach, we can now more-effectively manage items returned through a change to process and education to Asda stores. These options have helped create financial savings for our client in the region of £4million per annum.

Adding additional value for Asda

Thorough root cause analysis was undertaken around returns volumes and this confirmed that an overly complicated process with various paths for returns of unused items and the burden of responsibility on the General Store Managers to complete it amongst all their other responsibilities meant it had become a low priority for stores.

To address this, the ACC adopted a new policy stating that all equipment returns, whether reusable or redundant, should be processed via the ACC Sigma facility so that they could be properly assessed and dealt with appropriately. To enable this, a single route path of return was established making it less onerous on individual store managers to have to arrange through multiple return points.

Also, as part of the Root Cause Analysis another issue was noted, one of the many remits of the ACC is ensuring that any equipment ordered as part of a new store, refurbishment or refresh that are not used due to profile changes etc are returned so that they can be processed appropriately.

A concern had been raised that not as many items were being returned as one would normally expect, meaning that equipment was likely being kept within individuals stores rather than the correct returns process being followed. This meant that potentially valuable fixtures and fittings were being poorly stored in the stores yard areas and storerooms rather than being returned to the ACC and re-used by a store that needed them, some of whom were in turn ordering brand new but seemingly unnecessary stock of the same items.

In addition to above single path return policy, we undertook an educational store visit campaign across Asda stores to explain the new process and show the benefits of following the new process and what the ACC can do to support stores.


The Challenge

The ACC quickly recognised that we could provide this as an additional service to our client, Asda, meaning they could achieve the desired outcomes without needing to divert specialist inhouse resource to achieving them. We quickly assembled dedicated teams comprising fixture and operational experts and began working through the options for maximising returns whilst minimising the effort needed at a local store level. This included splitting the estate up into regions and visiting Asda stores on rolling schedule basis which gave us valuable insight in understanding first-hand some of the issues that the General Managers were facing, as well as identifying volumes of fixtures and fittings that were not needed by the store.

We worked closely with the store’s department Managers to identify those items that could be returned and reused by another store and those that could be recycled, creating an increased revenue stream through our metal rebate. We supported this with the availability of labour that could help sort through the surplus of stock and to segregate ready for return, as well as sending in vehicles to collect and return them back to the ACC.

As part of the store visits, we also highlighted and refreshed store management on the role of the ACC and the additional services available to them. We established an easy to use process for contacting the ACC for future supply of equipment to them, relinquishing the need of them to hold on to fixtures and fittings ‘just in case’ they needed them, as well as confirming the new process for returning all items.

This whole project was then supported with an information campaign which was distributed to all stores along with some additional ACC marketing merchandise. Based on our work visiting and surveying stores, we were able to target this campaign at those stores where there has been a decline in overall communication regarding returning fixtures and fittings; subsequent monitoring of this campaign has shown that 12 out of 15 stores in one region have since been in touch within weeks of receiving the information pack, several of which have now been in regular contact as they de-clutter their stores.


The Solution

Our initial analysis is based on 54 ASDA stores. Already, we have been able to work with these stores to identify and collect over 300 pallets of fixtures and fittings, of these, 30% were refurbished and returned to the ACC ready for distribution to stores requiring new fittings, generating over £20K in potential equipment savings. The remaining 70% was put through our established recycling process resulting in a metal rebate of over £14K. Based on this initial analysis, the new process has saved Asda over £34K that would have otherwise been spent on new equipment orders.

Scaled up across the Asda store estate and considering the number of refurbishments and store refreshes undertaken, this will ensure our client, Asda gains a considerable financial cost saving.

Potential Cost Saving Model to Asda using the Sigma Consolidation Centre


“I’m very pleased to have been involved with team on the success of the store visits and the results of our challenge to increase ACC throughput, I’m very enthusiastic to continue with both ensuring Asda continue to receive the best possible service and maximum efficiencies.”

Martin Smith - ACC General Manager


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