Morrisons will begin its rollout of sales-based ordering on a category by category basis in the next few months, starting with frozen food.

Group commercial director Casper Meijer told suppliers at the retailer’s National Kick Off meeting in Liverpool last week that the whole process would take 18 months to complete.

The move to sales-based ordering is part of the retailer’s ongoing £10m Evolve systems upgrade programme. Morrisons is the only one of the big four not to use sales-based ordering. Until July 2013, when it introduced hand-held ordering tablets, Morrisons staff continued to use pen and paper for ordering.

Meijer also said it had started using a new promo optimisation tool to improve deal compliance. This is an internal IT tool to help Morrisons traders manage their promotions more effectively.

At store level, the retailer is currently instigating a new management structure by stripping out layers of management.

However, Meijer said Morrisons would put more staff back into stores. A spokesman for the retailer said this directive had come down from chairman Andrew Higginson but details were still being confirmed. However, he said the availability champions scheme introduced in the run up to Christmas was still going ahead, and Morrisons was in the process of rolling it out to more stores.

In convenience and online, Meijer said he wanted to listen to suppliers more as they had more experience than Morrisons in these areas.