Heilig-Meyers is responsible for both the strategic direction and the overall management of the merchandise, marketing and logistics functions for the Ellerine Group. The responsibilities of the departments which they oversee include the procurement of merchandise and generation of marketing initiatives.

The marketing department is keenly aware of the need for brand differentiation and of aligning the marketing and merchandise strategies with operations in order to develop and grow the brands in each of their specific market segments. The various brands have been divided into four
divisions namely, Traditional Brands, Universal Brands, Value Brands and Decorating Brands in order to capitalise on their strategic development and provide protection of brand individuality while taking the competition to the opposition in order to maximise on overall market share.

The primary responsibility of the merchandise department is procuring product ranges in line with the specific market sectors for the different brands according to each brand’s competitive edge merchandise category. The focus is placed on developing hero-products that deliver high sales volume. Strategic alliances are formed with suppliers, ensuring an ongoing supply chain and sound relationships based on fair value for both parties.

This relationship based on loyalty to our suppliers secures continuity and availability of merchandise and facilitates the ongoing growth in turnover levels. An integral part of this is ensuring that optimal margins are maintained through competitive sourcing in terms of the best products at the best prices, making full use of the economies of scale given the quantities which the Group is able to purchase. There has also been a notable increase in the import of merchandise to provide diversification in the product line and access to up to date products thus providing a competitive edge over the opposition in terms of pricing, style, and perceived value to the customers. Stringent stock management and planning systems have been established to ensure maximum return on working capital through the maximising of stock turns.

The logistics component has been an area of intense focus on all aspects which include the distribution centres/ warehouses, delivery to customers and the supply chains integration into the stock planning processes. These processes, including cost synergy exercises, are in place and are constantly being developed as an ongoing initiative to improve efficiencies and develop pro. t opportunities throughout the Group. As part of the logistical operations function, the Transport Department is overseen and all facets of the transport fleet which has in excess of 2 700 vehicles, are monitored and directed. The procurement of vehicles, the provision of statistical data on the fleet and the provision of technical services all form part of ongoing integrated logistical processes undertaken to meet the operational requirements of the Group.

The integration process following the Relyant/Ellerine merger regarding marketing, merchandise and logistics is reaching finalisation with high focus placed on the streamlining of processes. A system to implement the best practice synergies in the most cost efficient manner has been introduced throughout the organisation, ensuring all procurement for the greater Group, far in excess of R3 billion, is constantly monitored to provide further profit opportunities. With the integration of these functions throughout the Group substantially complete, the Group is on target to achieve the anticipated synergistic benefits.