SUCCESS STORY
Wholesale & Retail

Denner

The approximately 840 Denner shops are supplied with goods from 5 distribution centres. After great success in Schmitten, Denner decided to roll out TradeLink to all locations.

70%

shorter waiting times for trucks

95%

Reduction of delivery peaks

2000

FTE hours saved

EUR 3.6 bn
Net sales 2021
850
Locations
6078
employees
117.6 m
Customers 2021

Congestion of goods at Switzerland's largest discounter

When people say discounter in Switzerland, they mean Denner. In 2021, over 117 million customers stocked up on goods for their daily needs in the branches of Switzerland's largest food discounter. The Denner assortment consists of about 3000 products, which are delivered to the 840 branches from five regional distribution centres. One of these centres is located in Schmitten. At the 15 ramps in the goods receiving area, around 400 trucks from the forwarding companies commissioned by the suppliers are dispatched with non-refrigerated goods every week.  

Notification of deliveries was rare - with the result that it was sometimes difficult to keep track of which supplier would arrive when with which goods. In combination with the lack of shunting space on the west side of the warehouse, which was built in 1982, there were regular, avoidable delivery peaks and long traffic jams at the ramps, especially in the afternoon.

 

The Denner distribution centre in Schmitten.

Together with TradeLink, the goal was to bring order to the logistics processes in the Schmitten distribution centre: to smooth out delivery peaks and better distribute deliveries throughout the day, to give employees a better forecast of deliveries and to eliminate the need for email coordination with suppliers and carriers.

"Shortly after the introduction at the first location, our suppliers already wanted us to quickly introduce TradeLink at all other locations as well. It's simply a win-win for everyone. TradeLink is therefore now going live as standard at all sites."
Patrick Spiegel
Project Manager Logistics

An open ear for customer wishes

Before working with TradeLink, Patrick Spiegel, the project manager at Denner, had tested and compared various software solutions in his search for a digital notification system - including TradeLink. It was not only the software that convinced him, but also the team behind it. While other software providers seemed to be happy to ignore customer requests and feedback or put them on the back burner, Denner was quickly impressed by TradeLink: It was not only the close support that stood out positively, but also how quickly the platform was continuously developed .  

Successful kick-off meeting in Switzerland: Daniel Kappler, Anne Listemann and Frederic Krahforst from TradeLink meet Maria Simoes, Patrick Spiegel and Roman Ulrich from Denner (in red, each from left to right).

In order to understand the complex logistics processes at Denner in detail, TradeLink CEO Frederic Krahforst, together with Roll-Out Manager Anne Listemann and Product Manager Daniel Kappler, even travelled to Denner in Switzerland. The message got through to Denner: TradeLink is really interested in its customers' logistics processes and understands their problems!

After the first meeting, things already started moving: Three selected suppliers and their forwarding agents were invited, and as early as April, not only was a flyer with yard rules and a presentation of the new "Priority Lane" distributed, but the first notifications of incoming goods were also processed via the TradeLink platform.  

When project manager Patrick Spiegel 's concerns that suppliers would not accept the platform were allayed after a short time, other suppliers and their forwarders came on board. During this time and afterwards, the TradeLink team supported all processes and reacted proactively and quickly to feedback from Denner. For example, Roman Ulrich, head of incoming goods , was particularly pleased with the list view of the notification information, which was developed according to his feedback: "My compliments, it's really great, that's how I always imagined it.  

In the meantime, all notification processes in incoming goods are handled via the platform, and most of the external delivery partners also already book their appointments via TradeLink. TradeLink was so well received everywhere that Denner employees as well as suppliers and their forwarders frequently wanted to know when TradeLink would be rolled out to the other Denner distribution centres!

The assortment that goes in and out of the distribution centre in Schmitten consists exclusively of non-refrigerated products.

TradeLink creates measurable efficiency

The fact that TradeLink is the opposite of paperwork is also shown by the measurable successes: thanks to the platform, delivery peaks have been reduced by 95 per cent, as deliveries are now evenly distributed throughout the day and the week. The waiting times of the trucks in the yard have been reduced by about 70 per cent, each truck waits on average only three minutes for unloading.  

The accuracy of the time window to the actual arrival time has improved by 84 percent to seven minutes. Overtime is now more or less a thing of the past at the Schmitten distribution center, as the optimally timed processes mean that around 2,000 fewer FTE hours are required per year. In the end, even Denner's IT department was pleasantly surprised that no additional IT resources had to be taken up for the project!

Soon all distribution centres will be on board!

Wherever the previously analogue supply chain management is digitised, there are initially concerns as to whether all employees and suppliers will follow suit and accept the software tools. This was also the case at Denner, but after the first tests with our intuitive platform, the initial scepticism quickly turned into enthusiasm.  

By the way, it was not only the employees in Schmitten who liked it: The suppliers also found TradeLink so convincing that they wanted to know when it would be rolled out to the remaining locations.  

Asked, done: TradeLink was implemented in the incoming goods department at the Denner distribution centres in Frauenfeld, Dietlikon, Lyss and Mägenwil. The distribution centres in Frauenfeld and Dietlikon are already connected to the platform, and the distribution centres in Lyss and Mägenwil are in the middle of the rollout process.  

Thanks to the experience gained in Schmitten, the TradeLink implementation went faster and faster from site to site, although the setup and tasks were quite different in each case.  

The medium-term goal of the cooperation between TradeLink and Denner is to further develop the platform together. For example, all logistics processes from incoming goods to outgoing goods are to be brought onto the platform in order to map complete information flows . In addition, direct communication with the drivers via TradeLink should be possible in the future.

Challenge

One of Denner AG's five distribution centres is located in Schmitten. Since 1982, the 3000 products in the range have been distributed from here throughout western Switzerland. Unclear information on delivery dates led to delivery peaks as well as long standing and waiting times, especially at the goods receiving ramps on the west side.

Solution

  • Initially, forwarders and incoming goods were networked via TradeLink
  • All deliveries are now evenly distributed throughout the week
  • Involvement of suppliers

Key figures

  • Waiting times for trucks have been reduced to about three minutes
  • Delivery peaks have been reduced by 95
  • There is hardly any overtime any more

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EUR 3.6 bn
Net sales 2021
850
Locations
6078
employees
117.6 m
Customers 2021

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