Clas Ohlson required a multi carrier shipping platform to allow them to act quickly when they wanted to add and remove carriers to keep improving their customers’ delivery experience.
They previously used a custom built module in their shared WM (Warehouse Management) and TM (Transport Management) system to manage their carriers which was maintained by their in-house development team.
However, this didn’t integrate with their other key systems, it restricted their opportunities to innovate and it posed a big risk to the business if one of their internal experts left.
After considering a number of different suppliers, Consignor was selected.
With continued growth since 1918, Clas Ohlson has always been a dynamic and expanding organization.
They have stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and the UK. They work continuously to develop their various sales channels in order to offer as flexible and inspiring a shopping experience to their customers as possible.
Custom built solution
Clas Ohlson were previously using their own custom built TMS (Transport Management System) to ship and track their orders.
However this proved to be a far from ideal solution: “We were reliant on a few people who had know-how in-house, to prepare the EDI files and manage our carriers,” explains Daniel Thyberg, Transport Process Developer at Clas Ohlson.
“This was highly risky, because there was only a small team maintaining it and they could leave the business with their knowledge of our systems at any time,” he added.
The outdated technology also posed a problem for the business: “The way the technology worked, you were unable to integrate and exchange data in real time with our other key systems which meant it was impossible to make dynamic business decisions.
“Also, it didn’t match our future needs, in terms of architecture and technology as we embarked on a large IT investment program which included upgrading our financial, warehouse, ERP and shipping systems,” Daniel said.
Met their requirements
Clas Ohlson were looking for a multi carrier shipping platform that could integrate with their other key systems and didn’t restrict their ambitious plans to continuingly improve their customers’ delivery experience.
After shortlisting a number of different platforms, Consignor was selected.
Amongst the key reasons for their decision was having access to the world’s largest carrier library and being able to add new functionality as required rather than being forced to spend more on features unnecessarily.
Adding new and maintaining existing carriers is also much simpler now: “With our previous setup, there was always a question of, “Is this worth the development effort?”
“Consignor has removed the burden of building and maintaining the integrations ourselves. It has also given us the freedom to easily test and add even more niche carrier options than we could before,” Daniel said.
A new way of working
This initiated a significant change to Clas Ohlson’s way of working: “Before we only considered implementing a new delivery option once it reached a specific number of orders per day.
“But with the help of Consignor, we can use some of our stores to ship to customers within the same region. It allows us to start on a really small scale and if it’s a hit we can roll it out quickly to other areas of the business,” he added.
Another example of this innovation is when they decided to expand their delivery options to include Click and Collect: “It was easy to set this up in Consignor, as we could use existing system integrations to print labels and create new shipping routines in the warehouse.
Industry leading innovation
The innovation didn’t stop there. In order to make their Click and Collect service even more convenient for their customers, they decided to install parcel lockers in their stores.
This was an industry first integration between a retailer, delivery management system and parcel locker vendor, (Quadient.)
“The parcel lockers streamline the handing over process in store, as staff don’t have to spend time locating customers’ parcels,” explains Richard Lindeen, Head of eCommerce Fulfilment at Clas Ohlson.
“This is also more convenient and Covid-19 compliant for the customer, as they don’t have to wait in line and can avoid physical contact,” he added.
From a technical point of view, the integration was simple to test out: “Because Consignor already has the customer data and can easily be integrated with, we didn’t have to move the data to another external system. This also greatly reduced the amount of development work required in-house,” said Daniel.
Clas Ohlson is looking to innovate further: “Moving forward, we will continue to look at how we can improve our supply chain network.
“It’s great to have options instead of being stuck with legacy systems that are completely inflexible. Implementing these innovations wouldn’t have been possible without having Consignor in place,” Daniel said.
For these reasons, Consignor will continue to play a key role in Clas Ohlson’s business strategy: “Consignor’s ability to adapt to changes in the market and what our customers are requesting is crucial. It’s an important enabler for fast and cost effective innovation.”
"It's great to have options instead of being stuck with legacy systems that are completely inflexible. Implementing these innovations wouldn't have been possible without having Consignor in place. Consignor’s ability to adapt to changes in the market and what our customers are requesting is crucial. It's an important enabler for fast and cost effective innovation."
Daniel Thyberg, Transport Process Developer