Over a period of six months, retail chain Blokker has completely restructured its supply chain from the Far East. Using Yellowstar’s Star Flow Supply Chain, every order is now fully transparent and controllable, from the factory in China to the warehouse in Geldermalsen. As a result, Blokker is much better able to anticipate the demand of Dutch consumers at lower costs.
Retail chain Blokker is working hard to become a healthy, profitable company again. By means of a smart omnichannel strategy. it aims to win back consumers. Instead of procurement-driven Blokker’s operations are now fully demand-driven. One of the main challenges in this respect was a complete restructuring of the retailer’s supply chain from the Far East. A route that comprises many different parties and numerous documents and that until recently fully relied on Excel for all data exchange. Blokker had no insight whatsoever about the location of the goods in the logistics chain. Containers would often ‘unexpectedly’ arrive at the quays in the port. Blokker therefore kept almost a year’s supply of many products in stock at its warehouse.
Fully transparent and controllable
The restructured supply chain is completely different. Yellowstar’s Star Flow Supply Chain now functions as Blokker’s order management system that controls the entire Far East chain. From here, there are link-ups with Slimstock, which takes care of the stock management from the supplier to the store shelf, with Flexport as the logistics service provider for the route from the port of loading to the warehouse in the Netherlands and with the Blokker ERP for data exchange with all relevant Blokker departments. E-mails and Excel sheets have completely become a thing of the past. Via Yellowstar, every link and every department always has the required data available in real-time. All parties are consistently able to take action at the right time. From the factory in China to the warehouse in Geldermalsen, every order for Blokker is truly transparent and controllable. It is exactly clear where each article from the Far East is located in the chain.
Hans Danhof, Director Supply Chain of Blokker: “The new operational approach ensures the timely availability of products for Blokker and structurally saves the company several million euros of working capital. Furthermore, the entire Far East logistics operation is much more scalable. Fewer people are able to do more at a higher quality level. With the implementation of Star Flow Supply Chain, but also Flexport, supply chain management has become something really tangible for Blokker. The six-month implementation was an intensive process, but we are now truly really leading the way in the market.”
Rianne Groffen, Chief Commercial Officer at Yellowstar: “Transparency is the new key to success in logistics. Visibility allows for proactive flow management, thus making supply chains fully predictable. Star Flow Supply Chain gives Blokker control over every order in the Far East. All departments and chain partners have insight at their own level and benefit from proactive alerts. Without the need for them to abandon existing systems.”
The benefits of Star Flow Supply Chain for Blokker
- Full insight into the entire supply chain from manufacturer to warehouse
- Every relevant link and department is in control
- Substantial savings on working capital
- No unnecessary stock build-up
- Improved availability of products in stores
- Scalability for further growth
- Fewer people are able to do more at a higher quality level
- Tariff module provides insight into landed costs
Since opening its first store in Hoorn in 1896 – ‘De Goedkoope IJzer- en Houtwinkel Jb’ (The Cheap Iron and Wood Store), Blokker has been an established name in the shopping streets of the Netherlands. Blokker is a leading retailer for contemporary household goods. It is the omnichannel store for everyone and there is always one in the vicinity.
With relevant shops and a good and reliable range of household and basic products. An additional, supplementary online range of products and omnichannel services in the stores, such as online order points and click & collect, are part of this. Blokker offers products from the segments Food & Dining, Cooking & Baking, Cleaning & Household, Storage & Organisation, Washing & Ironing, Electrical Appliances, Bathing & Sleeping, Inspiring & Surprising, Playing & Experiencing and Living & Atmosphere. Furthermore, Blokker always offers innovative and seasonal products. In the Netherlands, Blokker has 352 own branches and 77 franchise branches and approximately 5,400 employees.