Lidl Suomi has expanded from a ten-store chain, opened in 2002, into a major grocery retailer. Strong growth, international and domestic purchasing, and a 24-hour operating environment require high-end data connections. Cinia successfully met the challenge.
With 10,800 stores worldwide operating in 29 countries, Lidl is an influential player in international grocery retailing. Due to their major impact on the smooth running and success of Lidl’s business, its centralized purchases and effective logistics require well-functioning data connections. Connections within Finland are also essential because Lidl Finland operates from over 180 stores and three distribution centers up and down the country.
Jukka-Pekka Luhanko, CIO of Lidl Finland, describes the data connections challenge as follows:
- Our data connections in Finland are in good shape, but those with our parent company in Germany could be slow and unstable. This was partly because our connections with Central Europe were routed through Swedish and Danish hubs.
The challenge of internationality and 24/7 operations
As a grocery business, Lidl’s operational cornerstones are its fast-pace, international and domestic purchasing, and large numbers of customers. A special feature is fruit and vegetables, which are ordered daily and delivered overnight.
- The large number of products and their limited shelf life also pose challenges, which we must meet in our daily operations, Luhanko explains.
The result was at least a doubling of the connection speed
When the green light was shown in both Finland and Germany, Cinia got down to work. Lidl was provided with guaranteed bandwidth and a high-availability data transmission service linking the Finnish and German headquarters.
- Our customer-focused connectivity solution for Lidl not only supports streamlining business processes, but also enables the simultaneous use of multiple business applications. Lidl has experienced that activities such as inventory rotation optimization, work-hour planning and cash register system updates are now smoother than before, explains Eeva Liljanto, Director, International Sales at Cinia.
Jukka-Pekka Luhanko is delighted with the result.
- In practice, our new connections are faster than those originally promised by Cinia. The connection speed has at least doubled, with some connections being up to four times faster than before. This has had a major impact on our business, in which every millisecond counts, he says.
He has highly positive memories of his cooperation with Cinia.
- If I were to use one word to describe Cinia, it would be ‘reliable’. The project was slightly nerve-wracking at first, because we had no previous experience of such cooperation. We worked towards a common goal based on open and very straightforward cooperation. In the end, we got more than we were originally promised, which further enhanced our overall impression of Cinia. This forms an excellent basis for further cooperation, says Luhanko.