Moving an entire warehouse without customers noticing

Amsterdam-based Yumeko, a young and ambitious manufacturer of sustainable bed and bath linens, approached 4Supplychain to support the company in its search for a larger and more sustainable logistics service provider with which it could realize its European expansion plans and a further professionalization. Paul Hehenkamp and Jens Michaelis guided CFO Simone Lamme and purchasing manager Katinka Davy of Yumeko through the process.

Katinka Davy: “The best part is that our customers noticed practically nothing of the move from the old warehouse to the new location, a physical operation that took a total of three weeks. Only a few received the order a day later, because the stock had already been moved to the new warehouse. But those cases can be counted on one hand.”

The process began in late 2021, when Yumeko celebrated exactly 10 years. The continued growth of the company, which had made sustainability a priority, led to a strategic growth plan that included expansion abroad. A further professionalization of the current logistics process was self-evident. This required a larger warehouse and a flexible partner. For the new location, which had to be twice as big as the current one, the selection process favored a partner that also had sustainability high on its agenda.

Selecting partners
Simone Lamme: “Together with Paul Hehenkamp we started a search for potential locations, or rather partners. Because a location is one thing; how the warehouse deals with sustainability and whether your vision matches theirs is another. For us, sustainability is essential. So, after an orientation and a selection phase, we eventually ended up at Bleckmann in Enschede. 4Supplychain’s knowledge of the logistics market was decisive, I can say.” Bleckmann turned out to be a perfect fit not only in terms of sustainability and expansion possibilities, but also their (financial) offer. Simone Lamme: “And that’s something that also counts.” Using a forecasting tool developed in-house, several relocation scenarios were outlined and selected from with the help of Jens Michaelis.

Enhancing customer experience
The customer remained paramount throughout this process. Customer experience was also improved, explains Katinka Davy. “Sustainability is again leading the way. We now have shipping boxes made of a more sustainable cardboard than before, the packaging method has been improved and our products are delivered to the customer completely without plastic. All this plays a role for the customer to perceive the ordered item as a luxurious gift.” In addition, packing lists and labeling of items in the warehouse has been standardized, which further reduced error margins. The number of customer complaints on returns has now also dropped further, notes Simone Lamme. “That number was already low, but has now been reduced even further.”

“I look back at a pleasant journey,” says Katinka Davy. “We are very satisfied and can really recommend 4Supplychain. It all went smooth. The problems we encountered were energetically picked up and solved in cooperation with 4Supplychain. A pitfall, which we avoided thanks to Jens, is that at some point you want to move too fast, especially if everything is going well. But then you start making mistakes.” Simone Lamme adds, “Just like you have to invest a lot of time in advance in selecting and coordinating with partners. You have to consider things down to the detail, then you automatically filter out any communication risks and can correct them before you start the actual process.”