As a world leader of their industry, Somfy, based in France, runs a global business with thousands of deliveries every year. Consignor enabled Somfy to manage their deliveries efficiently, while reducing the time used internally for administration and providing freedom to choose the carriers offering the best services at the best prices.
Founded in France, Somfy is the world leader within motors for automated control of openings and closures, e.g. blinds and awnings, in private homes as well as commercial buildings. The company operates globally with subsidiaries and offices across 5 continents and following has a complex logistics flow with 4 main logistics centers, as well as smaller local warehouses. Altogether, the logistics centers handle close to 400,000 shipments annually with Consignor.
Cedric Poupon, Logistics IT Project Manager at Somfy, says: “Our history with Consignor dates back to 2011, when our warehouse in Sweden started using the software to manage their deliveries”. Later on, the company consolidated a number of warehouses in the Netherlands and Consignor was implemented there as well.
Cédric continues: “Before Consignor, we sent EDI-data to our carriers directly through our ERP system Baan. We developed the integration ourselves and it worked fine, but it was hard to maintain, as every small changes at the carriers, for instance new products, meant that we had to adapt the integration. It also meant that switching carriers or adding new ones enquired a lot of work from our side. Therefore, we were on the lookout for a more flexible way to manage our shipments.”
Branching out all over Europe
Later on, Consignor has been implemented at Somfy warehouses and logistics centers in Poland, Italy and Germany. “In Poland, we opened a warehouse in connection with our factory for dispatch in Eastern Europe. The two carriers we use there was already in Consignor’s carrier library, so that was easy.” Says Cédric Poupon. When order data is entered into Somfy’s ERP, it is validated, transferred to Consignor and shipping labels are printed automatically. “With Consignor, we made sure that the new warehouse was able to manage deliveries fast and easy, while the internal processes were efficient.”
Somfy’s Italian warehouse is a part of a relatively small business unit with simple needs, but had been run manually to a large extent until the spring of 2016 when Consignor was rolled out there as well. Carl-Henrik Hällöf, Country Manager and responsible for the Somfy account at Consignor adds: “We developed integrations towards new carriers in the Netherlands and Italy based on Somfy’s preferences and thus moving across borders along with them, while expanding our global carrier library.”
In Germany, the process and needs was not quite as simple, as this location operate semi-autonomously and have very specific demands for response time for label printing. Cédric elaborates: “We have saved many man-hours at our location in Italy, as they went from a manual process to a fully automated one. This was not quite the case at our German warehouse, but now they are able to change carriers much easier and faster than before”.
Recently, Somfy started delivering to B2C customers, who have other demands for delivery than their regular B2B customers, e.g. very fast delivery and delivery on Saturdays. Cédric says: “We use Consignor to easily connect with new carriers that offer the delivery products our customers demand and it is also easy to send notifications to customers about their packages.”
Quick and intuitive management
Easy management of carriers was a key issue for Somfy, when choosing Delivery Management system Cédric explains. “First and foremost, Consignor ensures easy management of our deliveries. However, another crucial point for us, was the ease of changing carriers and implementing new ones. With Consignor’s huge carrier library, it is as easy as flicking a light switch”, and continues: “Working with Consignor is very easy. I can manage to activate new functionalities myself, which is a huge advantage”.
As a company, Somfy places a great deal of emphasis on innovation, both with regards to products and constantly improving operations, including logistics. About the future the Project Manager says: “With Consignor, we have gained good experience in implementing Delivery Management Systems. Implementing a DMS at our warehouse on the home market in France is not on the map at the moment, as our own carrier integrations fulfill our needs, but Consignor will for sure be a part of our considerations for future warehouse locations.”
"First and foremost, Consignor ensures easy management of our deliveries. However, another crucial point for us, was the ease of changing carriers and implementing new ones. With Consignor’s huge carrier library, it is as easy as flicking a light switch."
Cedric Poupon , Logistics IT Project Manager at Somfy