7 September 2021
With the growth of e-commerce comes the unavoidable challenge of efficiently organizing the return process. This year, Inther Group and Coolblue together are taking up the challenge to even further improve this process.
Coolblue is listed as the most customer-oriented company in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany (Net Promoter Score of 68). The online retailer has its own infrastructure offering its own customer service, its own delivery, its own installation, its own repair and its own physical stores. Coolblue develops product journeys from start to finish that make the customer happy, including the return process.
While in most cases Inther’s system solution focusses on the order processing process, in this project the challenge was to realize a solution that could perfectly manage the returns process. Because Inther’s solutions are based on a hybrid model, they are perfectly set up to efficiently handle a rapidly increasing flow of returns. This is often the by-product of the e-commerce market’s rapid and continuous growth.
Products are returned for various reasons and as a result are processed in different ways in the Coolblue returns process. At the end of 2021, all returned products will each be transported separately in a tote over Inther Conveyor Equipment to two specified floors. Depending on the required activities, the tote is sent to the appropriately equipped workstation. To optimize the balance of the workload between these almost 100 stations, the entire process is linked to a shuttle system which acts as a temporary buffer storage for these totes. The returns are then sorted from the shuttle buffer and transported to the correct destination in the warehouse.
This shuttle system is unique because three different tote sizes can be stored in one aisle. This allows Coolblue to process a wide range of returns. With this solution, Inther will provide Coolblue with an integrated system for transport, routing and storage of returns at the beginning of 2022.
Martijn Herder, CEO Inther Group: “Thanks to the holistic approach to the return process, we have developed a unique return concept together with Coolblue. This creates structure, balance and efficiency in a naturally chaotic process.”