Heinen’s Grocery Store improves product availability to keep customers smiling

Heinen's logoSUMMARY

Heinen’s Grocery Store serves its area communities by delivering on founder Joe Heinen’s original promise – to provide world-class customer service and the freshest, highest quality foods. They meet these goals through an efficient and unified inventory management system that increases in-stock position in warehouses/stores, lowers on-hand inventory, and reduces man-hours on inventory management, freeing up staff to spend more time where it counts – interacting with customers and stores.


Heinen’s, founded in 1929, is a third-generation, family-owned grocery retailer with 23 neighborhood stores throughout Northeast Ohio and the Greater Chicago area and specializes in providing the highest quality foods. In addition to operating all 23 stores, Heinen’s self-distributes from two distribution centers and has its own manufacturing facility that supplies prepared foods and cut meat.


Heinen’s strategy is founded upon the principles of product leadership, operational excellence and customer intimacy. However, when Maryann Correnti joined Heinen’s as CFO, her greatest frustration was the inability to give executives up-to-date information on operations. Without an integrated inventory management system, the organization struggled to efficiently deliver high levels of product availability.

“The number one driver of customer satisfaction is ‘in-stock.’ People come because they want to buy what’s on their shopping list. For us, it was very frustrating because, when we thought something was in the warehouse or had been ordered, we’d walk through the stores and see empty shelves. Consequently, one of my first strategic goals was to put in an inventory management system.”


As part of its inventory management strategy, Heinen’s selected Symphony RetailAI’s solutions to help more efficiently manage their end-to-end supply chain. The overall goal was to create “one single version of the truth” across all inventory. Louis Penny, CIO of Heinen’s Grocery Store stated, “We’re really focused on efficiencies and where we can drive value inside our operation. We’re focused primarily on the stores. Symphony RetailAI has provided various improvements throughout our entire business.” Heinen’s currently uses the following Symphony RetailAI solutions across its entire supply chain: Demand Forecasting, Store Operations and Mobility, Warehouse Management and Supplier Collaboration.

“We have the product suite installed in our stores, in our central office and in our warehouse. And, a data point on how efficient the product suite is – we added six stores and we did not have to add hours into our distribution.” – Louis Penny

In addition to helping Heinen’s gain greater inventory visibility, the new systems enable the grocery retailer to improve fill-rate performance on both advertised and everyday items. With the ability to order more appropriately and keep shelves stocked, Heinen’s product availability significantly increased, as did customer satisfaction scores.

According to Penny, working together with Symphony RetailAI, “Heinen’s will continue to look at better use of our resources – our people – and make sure that the appropriate tools are in their hands and that they’re able to spend more time facing and interacting with our customers, and our stores, and that those non-value added activities – where technology can be applied – are invested in to improve the overall operation of Heinen’s.”


With Symphony RetailAI, Heinen’s has seen significant improvements, including:

  • Greater efficiency across the entire supply chain
  • Increased in-stock position in the warehouses and stores
  • Lowered on-hand inventory
  • Full visibility into inventory at the warehouses
  • Reduction in man-hours needed to manage inventory
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