De Vrij Logistics: “With Simply Deliver’s software, we are completely ready for e-commerce”

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Home » De Vrij Logistics: “With Simply Deliver’s software, we are completely ready for e-commerce”

Logistics service provider De Vrij is excelling e-commerce. Now that clients are expecting us to deliver directly to the consumers on a more frequent basis, the amount of orders is also increasing steadily. Which means that the demand is becoming more erratic and processing times must be shorter. “This created a huge pressure on the organization,” says CEO Dennis de Vrij. The manual order entry data became a huge bottleneck in the process, but then the company came into contact with Simply Deliver. “They offered the exact solution that we needed at that time.”

De Vrij Logistics once started as a transport company, almost a hundred years ago, but has now grown into an all-round logistics service provider. From its headquarters in Benthuizen, where it also has 20,000 square meters of warehouse space, it offers a wide range of logistics services such as forwarding, warehousing, distribution and the handling of customs formalities. “We have our own trucks but for many transport activities we now work with charters,” says Dennis de Vrij who heads the company founded by his grandfather.

Impact on e-commerce

De Vrij has many customers in the non-food wholesale sector for whom it keeps products in stock and provides distribution to the retail sector. “This sector has changed considerably in recent years due to e-commerce,” he observes. “Consumers no longer buy in stores but have their goods delivered to their homes, and this is increasingly done directly from the wholesaler. For us as a logistics party, that has a huge impact. Just think about it: where we’re used to deliver mainly in bulk to retail DCs or stores, we now also have to pick orders at item level and have them delivered to the consumer’s home address by parties like PostNL or DHL.”

Order-entry became bottleneck

The transition to e-commerce is changing the dynamics of the company considerably and the CEO has to pull out all the stops to adjust his organization accordingly. “Consumers have high demands on delivery time so we have to move faster. But the fragmentation in orders actually increases the workload. For example, you have to enter a new delivery address for each order. Meanwhile, the demand is also becoming more unpredictable. Where on average you place 50 orders for a customer on one day, this can suddenly rise to 250 due to a promotional campaign. The picking itself is not such a problem, we have enough experience with that, but the bottleneck was in the administrative part of the order processing: entering data.”

A Typo is easily made

The logistics service provider receives most orders by e-mail in the form of a PDF file. These then all had to be put into the warehouse management system (WMS) by hand. “This was clearly our Achilles’ heel,” says Dennis de Vrij. “I could put extra staff there to handle the peaks, but they would then have virtually nothing to do the rest of the time. A manual process is not scalable and is also prone to errors. Customers use their own article codes which often consist of a whole series of characters. A typing error is easily made, which adds to the delay of the whole process and makes it necessary to correct the error.

A Solution for the problem

Then Dennis de Vrij contacted Simply Deliver. “I already knew them a bit but thought they were mainly in the transport management corner. Then I found out that they also had an application that could possibly solve my problem: the Automatic Order Entry  solution. This is an order entry tool that allows you to automatically transfer unstructured order files to whatever system you want. In our case, that would be the WMS. I could cheer of happiness, this was exactly the solution I needed! Because it’s a true cloud solution, you pay based on usage; so I didn’t even have to make a big investment for it.”

Peace and Harmony in a organization

Just two weeks after he signed on, Simply Deliver had the converter ready to convert orders for its first customer. “The tool is easy to use and after 15 minutes our people had mastered it. It really works perfectly. You just drag an incoming order to the converter and a few seconds later it is in the WMS as a warehouse order. Without any errors! We now use the converter for the group of customers who do approximately 90% of all the ordering. This has brought tremendous peace of mind to our organization, even at peak times, because of course it doesn’t matter to the system whether you’re running 10 or 1,000 orders through it at once.”

Rescuing during Corona

In retrospect, he is also very happy with the timing of the project. Because of Corona, a number of his people were forced to work from home while the demand in e-commerce peaked again. Dennis de Vrij: “The Automatic Order Entry runs from the cloud so our people could also work with it from home. I dare say now that if we started with it six months later; we would not have been able to cope with the workload. So it’s nice that the people at Simply Deliver were able to assists so quickly and that you need virtually no implementation time for their software.”

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