Contract awarded: 2001.
Location: iForce site in Redditch.
Services deployed: iForce Gateway.
Scope: Storage, pick and pack for e-commerce orders and orders for Collection in Store.
Background: iForce Gateway was selected to provide the software and operational capability to support the launch of John Lewis online. Originally operating out of the iForce site in Bromford Gate the online offer was so successful that it outstripped the capability of the site and was moved to a much larger site in Redditch as well as being supplemented as the years progressed by additional operations run by John Lewis themselves and using their own software capability.
Solution: Today iForce continues to handle over 40% of the John Lewis online orders at the peak trading time of Christmas. When the business began in 2001 iForce Gateway was handling around 2000 orders per day at peak trading. This year it is expected that our software and operations will be handling 25,000 orders, and 60,000 items per day.Peak Week orders in 2015 are forecast to be the same number of orders despatched throughout the whole of 2002.
In real terms a workforce of approximately 200 people has to be supplemented by nearly 800 agency workers in the Christmas period, a significant challenge to operational scaling both for the software as well as for training and management. Over the course of 14 years, working alongside one of Europe’s largest online retailers, the Gateway software has been developed to keep pace with the need to adapt to later customer cut off times and to supporting pioneering initiatives, such as the launch of the click and collect in store service provided across 200 John Lewis stores.