Danish furniture and home accessories online store Unoliving.com has been developing rapidly since it was founded around 5 years ago. However, in order to maintain the growth rate, it was necessary to automate handling of deliveries, while at the same time reducing freight costs. This was attained in cooperation with Consignor.
The online store specializes in selling furniture in a wide range of prices and qualities directly from the producers to consumers in Denmark and Norway. The concept was well-received and the small business quickly grew larger and today, the assortment includes more than 10,000 different products from app. 60 different suppliers.
The rapid growth meant that the business suddenly had a huge amount of deliveries to be handled. Commercial Director Rasmus Krath says: ”Before, we used to send long lists of orders to our suppliers, who would then pack all the ordered pieces of furniture on a pallet and send it to Denmark. In Denmark, the pallets would be repacked for each individual customer by a warehouse employee, get a freight label and be sent off to the customer.”
As a result, the company experienced an increasing amount of errors, e.g. with products consisting of multiple boxes, such as shelving systems, and in addition, an increased risk of transport damage, due to the complex handling process. Rasmus Krath adds: “Handling of freight related issues demanded resources of us that could have been used to develop the business instead.”
Also, it was an extra challenge for Unoliving that some of their suppliers around the world are small family-run businesses with no access to digital systems for handling of orders and deliveries.
Consignor automates delivery management
Therefore, Unoliving wanted to implement a Delivery Management System and chose to partner up with Consignor, which now handles the company’s deliveries in a unique set-up.
Unoliving uses Consignor On-Premises, which is fully integrated with their proprietary order system. When an order enters the system, all necessary freight data is automatically sent to the supplier, who has his own Consignor platform in the shape of the web based Ticket solution. From here, the supplier chooses to get freight labels printed automatically or receive order data in PDF format or via email and print themselves as needed. The system is a plug-and-play solution, which works for both small and large suppliers. In addition, it is easy to connect new suppliers to the system.
Rasmus Krath explains that this solution has made it possible to fine-tune Unoliving’s assortment and make it even more unique, as the can now take in products from very small suppliers and craftsmen that were previously not available on the Danish market.
Investing in future growth
”Consignor has been an investment for us and it has taken a great deal of time and effort for us, and Consignor as well, to find the right setup. Now, however, we have a solution that is 100% adapted to our needs and that is integrated with all systems, which makes it possible for us to grow, while costs for delivery management are kept at a reasonable level,” Rasmus Krath explains and continues: “Without Consignor, it would have been significantly harder and more expensive for us to continue our growth and expand to new markets.”
To this date, Unoliving have setup 13 of 60 suppliers with Consignor and they are planning to convert another 30. The rest have own systems for delivery management.
”The system is very reliable. It reduces the risk of human errors in the delivery process. If a freight label goes missing, the supplier can find the shipment in their Consignor solution and print a new one themselves,” says Rasmus Krath.
Reduction of errors and fast delivery with Consignor
He also says that Consignor has enabled Unoliving to perform better customer service while reducing costs at the same time. ”I estimate that the error rate on deliveries has dropped to 1/10 of what it was before and at the same time delivery times are markedly shorter. All-in-all, we have saved 10-15% on costs for delivery management”.
The company have grand plans for the future and the Commercial Director concludes by explaining: ”The next step for Unoliving.com is to expand to new markets – with Consignor and their huge carrier library the management of deliveries is already in place.”
"Without Consignor, it would have been significantly harder and more expensive for us to continue our growth and expand to new markets. "
Rasmus Krath, Commercial Director at Unoliving