Back in 2012, fashion and homeware retailer Joutsen decided to invest more time and resources in their web shop, which they saw as a key sales channel moving forwards.
However, their current method of creating shipments by hand couldn’t support this. They predicted that their parcel volumes would grow to such a high level that it would become unmanageable to book transport manually and use multiple portals to track shipments across their supply chain.
They required a multi carrier shipping platform to automate the process and manage their carrier integrations in one place. After assessing a number of different platforms, Consignor was selected.
Joutsen, the northernmost manufacturer of down products, was born from generations of expertise and a passion for quality. The story of the family company started as early as 1936, when Marius Pedersen came up with a business idea, as he watched his wife, Saima, washing feathers in the sauna.
What started out as a hobby grew into a business and then into a company that quickly employed the whole family. Even back then, Marius realized that expertise, quality, and excellent customer service would be the supporting pillars of the company.
Shift to ecommerce
Back in 2012, Joutsen decided to focus on improving their web shop, as they could see its potential as a growing sales channel.
At the time, there was a low number of website orders, which they managed manually. However, they realized that as their parcel volumes started to grow, there was no way they could continue to manage orders this way.
“It was taking a lot of time for our warehouse workers to create the required paperwork and track shipments via multiple portals,” said Sami Salonen, Logistics and IT Manager at Joutsen.
At the time, the only technology they had in place was their ERP system. However this was limited in what it could offer: “Our ERP system was unable to create consignment notes, track shipments or book transport for pickups. All of this was done manually which limited our ability to scale as parcel volumes continued to increase,” he added.
In order to keep up with the growing shift to ecommerce and reduce the burden of manual admin, Joutsen required a multi carrier shipping platform. After considering a number of different of vendors, Consignor was selected.
The platform was chosen because it was easy to use and could integrate easily with their other key systems. “Consignor has helped us to connect our ERP, web shop and shipping platforms by creating a two-way integration between each one. Without Consignor, we wouldn’t have been able to manage our growing parcel volumes across these three systems,” Sami said.
Better customer service
Joutsen were now able to manage all of their carriers and track shipments in one place. One department that has benefited is their customer services team: “When our customer service get calls and e-mails from our customers, orders are now easy to find.
“Our customers only have to provide one piece of information and we can find their order very quickly. This has allowed us to provide our customers with the best possible service,” he said.
Ambitious growth plans
As an ambitious business looking to expand, Joutsen were pleased to find a partner that could scale with them as they grew. “Consignor is the perfect system for growing retailers.
“The best part of the platform is as we grow and need to make changes, the Consignor has changed with us and has proven it can be relied on. Also, it has such a wide range of features that we don’t need to look at other systems to find the solutions we need,” Sami said.
Joutsen are now looking at other potential ways in which Consignor can help them as they look to scale their business: “At the moment our returns process is one of the areas we are looking to improve as we want to make it as efficient and easy as possible for us and our customers to process them.
“Also, with shops in Finland, we’re looking at ways in which we can implement an omni-channel approach across our online webshop and brick and mortar stores. This includes providing click and collect and ship from store options so we can provide our customers with a seamless shopping experience,” he added.
A clear ROI
Joutsen has seen a clear ROI from using the platform. “Consignor has made our warehouse work much more efficient, and has saved us a lot of money.
“The platform integrated with our ERP & web shop has easily saved us between two to three hours per day because we no longer have to manually print labels, use multiple portals and copy and paste web shop tracking links.
“I believe that this figure will grow rapidly as ecommerce continues to gather pace and our parcel volumes increase,” Sami said.
"Consignor has helped us to connect our ERP, web shop and shipping platforms by creating a two-way integration between each one. Without Consignor, we wouldn’t have been able to manage our growing parcel volumes across these three systems."
Sami Salonen, Logistics and IT Manager at Joutsen.