Case Study 99 Cents Only Stores: IT Infrastructure on a Budget
99 Cents Only Stores is one of the leading retailers in the deep-discount sales industry. The first 99 Cents Only Store opened in 1982, and the company now operates 194 retail locations, including 150 in California, 19 in Texas, 15 in Arizona, and 10 in Nevada. The stores carry mostly name-brand general merchandise, including food and beverages, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, house wares, hardware, stationery, toys, gifts, pet products, and clothing. The chain makes purchases from over a thousand suppliers, including such notables as General Electric, Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Nabisco, and Unilever.
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Adams already knew that his own system would have to be replaced in California to keep up with the company’s aggressive growth plans, so he set about finding a warehouse management system that allowed for the degree and ease of customization that his company would require. In addition to carrying close-out merchandise that only goes through inventory once, 99 Cents Only Stores sometimes receives shipments of products that aren’t exactly what the company ordered. However, as Adams says, “We have to accept it, get it to our stores, and turn it fast.” A system that would lock out such shipments because of inflexible rules would be a hindrance to the business. Adams found the flexibility he needed in HighJump Software’s Supply Chain Advantage software. The HighJump package addressed all of the major concerns related to the operation of the new distribution center: quick implementation, high functionality (particularly in regard to receiving), adaptability, and interoperability with the advanced automation technology of the new distribution center. One of the most attractive aspects of the package was that it didn’t force 99 Cents Only Stores to change its business processes to conform to