The all-in-one solution for inbound logistics planning – the story of Swiss Sense
With its extensive range of beds, mattresses, bedlinen and accessories, sleep specialist Swiss Sense offers everything you need for a good night’s sleep. The Dutch family business has grown into a prominent player with more than 100 shops and an online store in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria. As such, Swiss Sense also has extensive inbound logistics planning capacities. Up to a few years ago, this was managed manually in an in-house ERP system. But Swiss Sense grew rapidly. Planning became more and more complex and time-consuming, partly due to the ever-changing arrival data of sea containers. More simplicity and efficiency was needed to offer better service to customers and to facilitate growth. Supply Chain Management platform TRACOS offered a solution. Sermed Gheidan, Key User at Swiss Sense, and Rob van der Velden, Order Support Officer at Swiss Sense, talk about the results they achieved with Ritra Cargo’s TRACOS.
Challenge: Planning is complex and time-consuming
Swiss Sense receives dozens of containers from several shipping companies and forwarders every week. A clear and faultless logistics planning is essential here. Until a few years ago, intensive contact with these shipping companies and forwarders was a daily task. All the information required was then manually registered in their own ERP system and an Excel file. However, Swiss Sense grew rapidly and the logistics planning was fit to burst. Keeping an eye on possible delays and inbound containers became more and more difficult.
Sermed: “We were looking for a solution that could replace our relatively complex system. Several departments depended on this system. The growth of our organisation also meant our logistics processes increased. For example, we spent a lot of time on daily contact with shipping companies, suppliers, and transporters. We also wanted to inform our customers better, about the delivery time of their new bed or mattress, for example.”
Swiss Sense had worked with Ritra Cargo in the past, so contacting the right person was quick and easy. Together, we looked at the wishes and requirements Swiss Sense expressed. It soon became clear that Ritra Cargo’s Supply Chain Management platform TRACOS was a good match.
Expectations: the right information at the ready, in manageable segments
Among other things, Swiss Sense needed better insight into the flow of inbound containers. Swiss Sense also wanted a more efficient structure for contact with suppliers, shipping companies and transporters, and was looking for a solution for the administrative burden of ensuring arrival data was accurate at all times.
As such, TRACOS was mostly tasked with helping Swiss Sense to become even faster and more efficient and reliable. Now, but also in case of future increases in volume. Was it possible for a single platform to meet these specific requirements?
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Approach: client-specific online communication platform
How does Swiss Sense’s inbound planning process operate? And what are the needs of the logistics planners? The answers to these questions showed us how to structure TRACOS for Swiss Sense.
Sermed: “Ritra Cargo showed us a flow chart where the way Swiss Sense operates was fully integrated into TRACOS. Not a standard system, but a solution that was tailored to our wishes and needs. What’s more, Ritra Cargo proactively engaged with us to achieve the best results.”
The basis for the TRACOS configuration was the purchase order numbers and customer order numbers used by Swiss Sense. We then linked all required information, such as B/Ls, purchase invoices, certificates and customs documentation. The ETDs, ETAs, and any delays were also linked to this customer-specific data.
Finally, the Ritra Cargo team took on an important supporting role in TRACOS.
Rob: “Previously, we were informed about possible delays relatively late. It means you’re less able to adapt the delivery capacity accordingly.”
Team Ritra Cargo constantly tracks the containers en route and automatically updates the ETDs, ETAs and delays in TRACOS.
Result – a schedule to trust and rely on
Swiss Sense has now been using TRACOS for quite some time. What are the main results Swiss Sense has achieved with TRACOS?
|Planning using in-house ERP system and Excel||Planning using TRACOS||Result|
|All documents and updates are sent manually to keep the schedule up to date||All parties involved work in TRACOS and share real-time documents and updates||In the know much faster, less prone to error|
|Suppliers e-mail documents to Swiss Sense||Suppliers upload all required documentation for corresponding consignment(s) in TRACOS||All information in one place, concise and on time|
|Shipping companies send updates on ETAs and delays too late||Real-time updates in TRACOS for delays and ETAs|
available to view only a few days after departure
|Optimised use of delivery capacity and early insight into correct hangar planning|
|Delivery to distribution centre can be aligned with individual transporters||Transporter shares schedule for delivery to distribution centre in TRACOS||Big time savings for planners|
TRACOS provides Swiss Sense with logistics planning designed for growth. No more duplicating data: the in-house ERP system is continuously updated via EDI, allowing planners to clearly see which containers will arrive when. These are also cleared automatically. What’s more, the input by team Ritra Cargo means that Swiss Sense can trust that this information is always up to date and reliable.
Sermed: “Thanks so Ritra’s Operations team, any delays can be traced very quickly in TRACOS so we can act quickly too.”
Conclusion: all-in-one solution thanks to customisation
TRACOS has made Swiss Sense’s expectations come true. The tailor-made customisation meant that the Supply Chain Platform became the all-in-one solution the logistics planners needed.
Sermed: “Every company is unique and nobody works in identical ways. The bespoke solution Ritra Cargo provides is completely aligned with our wishes and needs. TRACOS has tackled an important chunk of work. Ritra is also there for us if we have any questions or problems.”