Dutch grocery retailer Jumbo Supermarkten has grown substantially in recent years thanks to various acquisitions, and it is still growing – and so too is its supply chain. Every day, it has an average of 800 trucks on the Dutch roads for distribution purposes. Additionally, ever-more consumers are ordering groceries online for home delivery. At Jumbo, they needed better insight into the execution of their transport activities and also wanted to improve communication with carriers and consumers alike. They chose the Simacan Control Tower as the solution.
Jumbo at a glance
- Second largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands (690 stores).
- 85.000 Employees.
- Deliveries from 5 hubs.
- 457 Grocery pick up points.
- 428 Home delivery service locations.
It was a conscious decision for Jumbo to gain experience with the platform on a small scale first: within home delivery, which is done using Jumbo’s own vans. Moreover, there was a clear need to improve the service level in that area by sending consumers automated messages about the expected delivery times. Jumbo accelerated the implementation of the Control Tower for its home delivery activities in late 2017. However, the Quintiq APS system was not set up for regional deliveries from stores at that time, so Simacan developed an interim solution called Plan to Go – a simple route planner which will be replaced by the APS system in the longer term.
By early 2020, Jumbo had four hubs and approximately 100 stores working with the Control Tower for home delivery and seven stores for store replenishment. All stores are expected to be connected to it by the end of this year. Van Velzen: “This benefits not only consumers, but our employees too. Consumers receive relevant and accurate delivery information sooner than they used to. Staff in our Jumbo Service Center have got more insight into the delivery status, receive fewer calls asking what time deliveries will be arriving, and no longer need to send text messages to customers manually. Last but not least, store managers have greater insight into the delivery activities and better information as the basis for decision-making.”
Martijn Loot, Chief Product Officer at Simacan, is aware of a challenge too: “Jumbo’s decentralized home delivery organization means that lots of different users utilize our product for just a short time. If just one department worked with the system every day, we could provide central training. But in Jumbo’s case there are hundreds of stores and store managers for whom it’s an additional task. So we want to make things as easy as possible for them.” Van Velzen agrees: “Yes, that’s one of the considerations – ensuring that the Control Tower gains broad acceptance as part of our day-to-day processes.”
“Once our truck drivers had left the distribution centre, we literally had no idea where they were. Therefore, we decided to invest in optimizing our planning and gaining maximum supply chain visibility. We use Simacan’s Control Tower to monitor all the trips and also for all the associated communication. Besides that, we use a central advanced planning & scheduling (APS) system from Quintiq. Between them, those two systems give us optimal support – from strategic planning all the way through to the actual trips.”
Shoulder to shoulder
Collaboration is crucial. Van Velzen: “On the one hand we’re sourcing an off-the-shelf product, but at the same time it has to be successfully integrated into the Jumbo environment and workflows. You can only do that by working together. ‘Retail is detail,’ as the saying goes. You have to take a joint approach to implementing it in practice. Our project lead is working shoulder to shoulder with the project lead from Simacan. If we come up against any issues, we solve them together.”
The new platform is currently being rolled out nationwide for home deliveries. The Simacan Control Tower has been in use within the end-to-end supply chain since 2019, and the roll-out to Jumbo’s stores started in March 2020. As for the future, Van Velzen comments: “Logistics networks are becoming increasingly integrated within the sector. A market standard for an entire industry emerges over time, based on proven success, but I definitely see opportunities with Simacan’s Control Tower.”
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