What is happening recently with Kuehne + Nagel and their future collaboration with Maisons du Monde?
Our news focuses on our three pillars: our customers, optimizing technologies and teams. At the same time, we are seeing stronger demand for necessities from the e-commerce world. Kuehne + Nagel specializes in e-commerce and fashion, offering expertise in multi-client and multi-brand management. Maisons du Monde perfectly illustrates our ability to work with large retail companies. Companies like Maisons du Monde need a certain hybridization, namely a combination of traditional commerce and e-commerce, associating a BtoB and BtoC clientele.
From June 2022, we will be responsible for the e-commerce activities of the home specialist, who is also the fourth furniture seller in France. We will operate from our site near Rouen. This new warehouse with an area of 69,000 m 2 is intended to receive BtoB and BtoC flows of articles from the furniture, decoration and sofa families destined for France, Germany, Benelux, Austria and the United Kingdom. The building will be constructed according to ecologically correct standards. It should be noted that, for Maisons du Monde, this is the first time that it has entrusted the logistics to an external partner. Our expertise in particular in this hybridization of clients (BtoB vs BtoC) played a decisive role in the choice, as we have this experience and this know-how, in particular with our client Orange.
How is your company organized to provide its services?
At an organizational level, for any project start-up, we have a team called “Com Customer Embording” which brings together 45 experts in France (several hundreds worldwide) in Lean Six Sigma. This quality-oriented method aims to reduce the variability of a process to move towards zero defects. However, of these 45 Lean Six Sigma experts, some hold a certification that ranges from Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt. These “Belts” represent certifications in logistics that allow obtaining high levels of knowledge in operational excellence within the scope of Lean Six Sigma. By being certified Black Belt, for example, you can master all the tools and methods to improve the performance and profitability (Lean) of a company while controlling the different processes (Six Sigma). Furthermore, our operations are organized in 45 sites, according to four french regions orchestrated by a team in charge of initiating projects, another team responsible for customer satisfaction, a team responsible for continuous improvement.
How do you manage the unforeseen and specific fluctuations of the logistics business?
The first quality is being flexible. For this, a good knowledge of our customers’ challenges is essential, especially in e-commerce. Concretely, we are connected on social networks to follow the reactions of our customers’ customers to see if they are completely satisfied with the delivery of their products. Thanks to this connection to consumer return issues, we sometimes modify our logistical “processes”. In addition, it is essential to be able to predict spikes in orders. It is therefore a matter of having “back up” reservations for a certain number of people who can join us at any time on the busiest days. As such, we have implemented a flexible social model with our employees and our partner companies for temporary work, in order to deal with these large fluctuations in orders. It is important to remember that the social model defended by Kuehne + Nagel prioritizes quality of life at work. This quality of life is evaluated annually by certifications, including “Top Employers”, a certification that rewards the best companies for their quality of life at work, which we have obtained for 4 years.
What are the cutting edge technologies in the supply chain world?
We evaluate the technologies that we believe are most effective in each situation. Then we provide the answer with the appropriate technology: shuttle, (shuttle process between silos), pocket sorter (air sorting system that depends on bags, bags to store and transport products), conveyor (automated industrial system on rollers), autostore (automatic storage and order picking) or the stacker crane (dynamic device that allows the storage of a large number of pallets, packages or boxes in a small space), etc. In fact, no bias should guide us about the technology to be used. The choice must be justified according to the response that we intend to give to the needs of our customers. It’s up to us to adapt with the right technology, which doesn’t mean we’re not convinced of the merits of a choice. For example, for an auto parts company, our expertise led us to implement an autostore, while a preliminary study led to another choice.
In the specific e-commerce market, how are you doing?
Our ability to personalize our own customers’ customer experience through customizing packages is one of our strengths. In particular, in the warehouse, we can add private and specific messages to certain customers, do embroidery directly, integrate gilding into the products, etc. This order differentiation is a real “plus” in terms of customer relationship. All while respecting the same delivery times, as these additional services are directly integrated into our supply chain logistics.
What is your view of future supply chain challenges?
Like many economic and industrial sectors, we are witnessing an acceleration of all flows and only the best prepared service providers will be able to make the most of the game.
The supply chain of the coming years should be reflected in the ability of players to synchronize with the challenges of their customers.
In other words, can be connected to the heart of their organizations. It’s up to us to provide a supply chain that can respond to increasingly delayed orders, to get them out of warehouses as quickly as possible (in less than two hours, for example). It is also up to us to respond to this hybridization requested by some. We are able to offer an offer that combines construction, mechanization and teams, but also our expertise in the customer’s own infrastructure.