Marketing

How Gründl successfully built up a D2C sales channel – eCommerce Magazin

Gründl is a supplier of hand knitting yarns as well as woolen and haberdashery. The medium-sized company has continued to develop since it was founded in the 1920s. Today the Bavarian family business is considered a modern international player, which with over 100 employees is one of the top specialists in the textile industry. For the recently started direct sales of its goods, Gründl was looking for a reliable technology and logistics partner who would take over the picking for the direct customer business.

The dispatch and warehouse logistics of the newly established direct customer business are now being carried out at Grundl via the platform solution Logistics-as-a-Service. This contains a Europe-wide network of qualified logistics partners from everstox away. Gründl benefits from optimized warehouse and logistics processes using the cloud-based software and automated data exchange in real time from all systems involved.

Direct sales via its own online shop

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 with direct sales. This enables consumers to order the goods directly via the company’s website, which is also new. “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 e-commerce fulfillment, which is new for us, poses completely different challenges, ”continued Müller. Because direct sales to end customers are characterized by individual parcel shipping with many individual subtleties that are of central importance for a successful unpacking experience for the end customer.

Direct sales Gründl
Run the family business together: Peter Gründl, Martina Gründl and Sebastian Müller. (Image: Gründl)

Successful interaction between the logistics network and 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 direct sales 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. ”

Because 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 central 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 quick onboarding convinced Gründl, as Müller recalls: “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 start immediately with D2C distribution. ”

Direct sales Everstox
Gründl uses Everstox’s Logistics-as-a-Service platform for direct sales. (Image: Everstox)

Transparent warehouse and shipping logistics in real time for direct sales

Today Gründl benefits from easy access to highly qualified, specialized logistics partners from everstox’s Europe-wide network. These are precisely tailored to the needs of the medium-sized family business in terms of picking, storage, packaging and shipping. Another advantage 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. It also includes setting up automatic warning messages to prevent delivery bottlenecks at the push of a button.

Transparent order processing via a dashboard

Another feature that Gründl is enthusiastic about is the transparent order processing in direct sales. The entire picking process can be monitored via the dashboard and customer inquiries about order changes or additional information can be responded to quickly. This drastically reduces the return rate due to incorrect delivery addresses or incorrect deliveries. “Overall, we were able to automate a lot of 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.

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. In this way, Gründl can seamlessly integrate various logistics partners for storage and shipping into the logistics process across countries and depending on requirements, and build a flexibly scalable logistics and distribution network across Europe at the click of a mouse – without additional integration effort.

Also read: Cloud-based logistics platform: everstox starts Logistics as a Service for retail