LONDON, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Costa Express, which provides everything retailers need to offer their customers barista-quality coffee on-the go, has selected ToolsGroup's SO99+ software to improve the replenishment of its self-serve coffee bars. The goal is to build a cost-effective system that will calculate much more effective inventory levels than is possible using the current manual approach. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121204/NE22939LOGO ) Costa Express is undertaking this improvement to its supply chain as it achieves unprecedented growth following Whitbread's acquisition of its parent company, Coffee Nation, in March 2011. The company set a goal to put 3000 machines into operation nationwide by 2016 from a starting point of 900 in 2011. It has already reached 2200. However, with high growth comes greater urgency to prevent shrinkage at retail sites, a growing problem which cost British retailers $7.8 billion in 2011 according to the Centre for Retail Research. According to Chris Clowes, Supply Chain Manager, Costa Express, "Our unmanned coffee bars use incredibly modern technology, including integrated telemetry that provides real-time reporting on machine performance and drink sales. Now we need to modernise our planning systems to tap into this wealth of data as we scale our business. This is not only to prevent costly waste and shortages, but to improve service by ensuring that our machines are always stocked with the coffees and drinks that customers demand." ToolsGroup's SO99+ software will forecast demand, optimise inventory and generate the replenishment proposals for distribution and procurement operations. These calculations will be based on advanced on-line demand data supplied from each of the coffee machines. ToolsGroup will host the software for Costa Express and provide it on a subscription basis so that it is cost-effective, easy to deploy and easy to scale in line with the business. Martin Woodward, managing director of ToolsGroup UK commented, "Our customers are increasingly like Costa Express - ambitious, high-growth players in competitive markets that are looking to outsmart their rivals by building better supply chains. This is a sustainable and healthy way to grow market share and profits that we are proud to help support." About Costa Costa is the UKs favourite coffee shop having been awarded " Best Branded Coffee Shop Chain in the UK and Ireland" by Allegra Strategies for two years running ( November 2010 & November 2011). Winner of "Best Branded Coffee Chain in Europe" Allegra Strategies November 2011 Costa was founded by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971. Costa is the nation's favourite coffee shop brand and has grown to become the sector leader within the UK and the second largest international coffee shop operator. At present the company has more than 2,300 stores across the UK, EMEI and Asia. Just 1% of the world's production of coffee is good enough for us to choose from. Only the very best 100% RFA certified coffee available can go into creating the unique taste and aroma of our Mocha Italia blend.