Marketing

A family business is conquering the direct customer business – eCommerce Magazin

Was looking for its recently launched D2C sales channel Grundl a reliable technology and high-tech logistics partner who takes on the picking for direct customer business. Gründl is now handling the shipping and warehouse logistics of his newly established direct customer business via the Logistics-as-a-Service platform solution and the Europe-wide network of qualified logistics partners from everstox. Gründl benefits from optimized warehouse and logistics processes using the cloud-based software and automated data exchange in real time from all systems involved.

Until now, anyone who wanted to purchase Gründl’s products could only do so through trading partners of the internationally successful family business. That has recently changed, because in the spring of 2021 Gründl set up a new sales channel and now enables end customers to order their goods directly via the company’s new website. “With our own online shop, we have created a solution for end customers that helps us to further expand our distribution and strengthen the brand, as we can design the brand experience ourselves,” explains Sebastian Müller, Junior Managing Director at Gründl. “Our team has very good, established logistics processes for the B2B area. But eCommerce fulfillment, which is new for us, poses completely different challenges, ”Müller continues. Because the end customer business is characterized by single parcel shipping with many individual subtleties that are of central importance for a successful unpacking experience for the end customer.

High-tech logistics
Picture (from left to right): Peter Gründl, Martina Gründl, Sebastian Müller. Image: Gründl

Successful interaction High-tech logistics and the latest technology

The family-run medium-sized company started looking for a suitable partner for the picking of the end customer distribution business and quickly found what it was looking for. “Everstox was able to master our challenges without any problems and made it possible for us to set up the distribution logistics for our new business area perfectly within a few weeks,” says Müller happily. “We were immediately convinced of the solution because, unlike many other providers that we know from previous projects, everstox works completely transparently: We know exactly which partner is suitable for us in the selection process and which activities are being carried out in the warehouses 3PL (Third Party Logistics) in what time. ”Thanks to its own in-house logistics competence from the B2B area, the company can assess very well how well the operational implementation is working and what is important in the steps of distribution logistics. “This transparency and the high level of performance are of key importance to us,” said Müller.

Thanks to the cost and performance data measured in the cloud software, the team knows exactly which 3PL partner from the network fits which customer profile and which product category. In addition, the fast onboarding convinced Gründl very much: “The operational and technical connection worked perfectly. We were accompanied by comprehensive customer support in every step. The everstox team connected our online shop to the platform within a very short time. After a short test phase, we were able to send our inventory to the selected logistics partner and get started with D2C distribution right away, ”remembers Müller.

High-tech logistics: Transparent warehouse and shipping logistics in real time thanks to the latest cloud software

Today Gründl not only benefits from easy access to highly qualified, specialized logistics partners from the Europe-wide everstox network, who are precisely tailored to the needs of the medium-sized family business in terms of picking, storage, packaging and shipping. Another plus point is the cloud solution itself: the powerful software can be used to automate, manage and control all distribution logistics processes. As a result, the family business has all order and warehouse information available in a clear dashboard. In addition, the master data of the entire inventory can be maintained, new products created and orders processed. The automated tracking and tracing of orders and service level agreements is just as possible as the replenishment of stocks or the setting up of automatic warning messages to prevent delivery bottlenecks at the push of a button.

Another feature that Gründl is enthusiastic about is the transparent order processing: The entire picking process can be monitored via the dashboard and customer inquiries regarding order changes or additional information can be responded to quickly – this drastically reduces the return rate due to incorrect delivery addresses or incorrect deliveries. “All in all, we were able to automate a great many manual processes and avoid time-consuming data exchange every day through e-mails, CSV files and calls. If we had to implement all of this technically ourselves, that would have meant a lot more work until we started our direct sales, ”says Müller with certainty.

Looking into the future: expansion with a flexibly scalable logistics network

The family company also sees advantages in working with everstox for Europe-wide expansion. The scalability of the Logistics-as-a-Service platform has proven its worth here in particular: Gründl can seamlessly integrate various high-tech logistics partners for storage and shipping into its logistics process across countries and depending on requirements, and set up a flexibly scalable logistics and distribution network across Europe at the click of a mouse – without additional integration effort.

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