Less Out of Stock for category A articles
Saved internal emails / month
With 34 shops in Germany and a successful online shop, Sportscheck is the leading sporting goods retailer in Germany. The company has around 400 suppliers for its ~35000 articles from over 500 different brands. The logistics of the 2 million deliveries to end customers per year and the supply of all 34 branches is completely outsourced to the 3PL service provider Fiege .
This triangular relationship presented Sportscheck and Fiege with some operational and strategic challenges. Departments such as purchasing or sales at SportScheck only had access to current inbound transports via an Excel spreadsheet, which was only updated once a day.
This makes accurate planning of the availability of important articles for the omni-channel retailer Sportscheck very complex or even impossible. Strategic key figures such as tracking delivery reliability are of critical importance for SportScheck.
On the other hand, for Fiege this meant that they had no information whatsoever as to when trucks were arriving, no delivery notes were available as this information was only exchanged between SportScheck and their suppliers via the ERP system, but not with the contract logistics provider Fiege.
But there was also great potential hidden in the operative business. Prior to the implementation of TradeLink, SportScheck's suppliers sent their requests directly to Fiege in order to receive a time slotfor their deliveries, mostly by e-mail or telephone. These were then finalised in an "email ping-pong", depending on whether the proposed time slot was feasible for the supplier or not.
Sportscheck and TradeLink have been working together successfully since March 2021. Within the first 3 months, the 20 largest customers were connected to the platform . After that, SportScheck implemented TradeLink with approx. 200 suppliers.
Of course, it would be too time-consuming to call all suppliers and explain the platform over the phone. It was therefore decided to create an onboarding email together with the dedicated TradeLink customer manager Anne Listemann. In this email, critical questions like "How do I get an invitation link?" were explained with short videos.
Thanks to the onboarding email and the intuitive use of the tool, Sportscheck had already successfully connected 200 suppliers to the platform by mid-September, over 90% of them without even making a single phone call.
Through the successful implementation of the TradeLink software, SportScheck and Fiege were already able to realise measurable successes within a few weeks .
For example, the out-of-stock rate for category A items has been noticeably reduced. This is primarily due to the significantly improved communication with the purchasing department, which can now check for itself in TradeLink at any time via view-only accounts whether a critical delivery has already arrived. Previously, this was only possible upon manual request to Fiege.
Furthermore, the evaluation of delivery reliability and quality becomes reliably measurable, as data points that are recorded on delivery at the ramp (punctuality, completeness & quality) are now linked to the order data in purchasing.
Furthermore, the independent booking of time slots by suppliers saves operational logistics at Fiege around 15 hours of a full-time position each week, which allows these employees to work strategically instead of dealing with endless email loops.
All in all, the saved emails for delivery coordination amount to more than 100 per month, which noticeably relieves the operational logistics at Fiege and SportScheck in particular, but also at the suppliers themselves.
Sportscheck is clearly on a growth course and wants to master the resulting challenges in its logistics together with TradeLink. As an essential growth driver, the assortment is also to be expanded, which entails an increase in the number of suppliers. SportScheck and TradeLink will work on a solution to automatically connect these new suppliers to the platform.
Another goal to gain efficiencies is the better connection of internal partners. This includes, above all, the connections to the internal ERP and WMS systems in order to exchange data with TradeLink even more easily. Furthermore, SportScheck wants to include instructions for packaging and shipping in the warehouse requirements.
Due to the setup with a 3PL, Sportscheck as an omni-channel retailer does not have the necessary information about upcoming inbound transports in every department at all times.
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