Success Story | E-Commerce | Fulfillment Solutions | Returns | Digital Processes
The family-run Siemes Group from Mönchengladbach with its approximately 5,000 employees is considered one of the largest German shoe retailers. The group can look back on more than 80 years of company history. Under the motto "Big Brands - Small Prices", the group offers an extensive range of brand-name shoes for the whole family.
In addition to the 183 stores, the company's e-shop has become an important sales channel. When it comes to e-commerce, Siemes has been relying on the fulfillment expertise of PVS Europe since 2010. The logistics professionals take care of orders, fulfillment and returns for the online store www.schuhcenter.de. In addition to warehousing and shipping, they also support the shoe retailer with customer care and finance services.
If an expert for brand-name shoes wants to prevail in e-commerce against big players like Amazon, Zalando, or Otto, it must offer its customers fast deliveries and perfect end-customer service. Since Siemes wanted to further perfect its service and at the same time more closely integrate its stationary trade with its online store schuhcenter.de, the Group launched a tender. With PVS Europe, Siemes found a fulfillment partner that meets the high service requirements and at the same time is able to flexibly scale its capacities several times a year for cross-channel marketing campaigns such as brochure mailings.
PVS Europe now processes up to 50,000 orders a month for schuhcenter.de. Numerous sales and marketing campaigns ensure high sales figures. In addition to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas, Siemes sends out its online newsletter with special offers and up to ten times a year leaflets to several million households nationwide. Although the latter primarily promote store sales, exclusive online articles are also an integral part of these brochures.
"Through multi-shift operations, weekend work, and additional warehouse capacity, PVS Europe ensures that we can guarantee same-day shipping for campaigns," explains Robert Flanz, Head of E-Commerce at Siemes. The increased workload for returns processing as well as mail and telephone traffic during this time is also planned for so that the agreed service levels are maintained throughout.
"Whether it's taking orders by phone, questions about the product or complaints - with the Customer Care package, PVS Europe offers its customers a high level of accessibility by phone or mail. This ensures that inquiries about orders, returns, payments, or complaints are handled promptly," says Christian Paechter, CSO of PVS Europe. "Through fast response times, Siemes provides its online customers with a sustainably positive shopping experience," adds Tobias Derek, Managing Director of PVS eCommerce Services in Meckenheim.
Fast and error-free deliveries and uncomplicated returns are an essential part of the customer experience. Shipments ordered by 2 p.m. are sent out the same day. In addition to the impressions in the store front end, it is above all the service after the click on "order" that shapes customer engagement. Only those who do everything right here will achieve a high level of customer loyalty and be rewarded with follow-up orders.
When it comes to returns, customers want their money back as soon as possible. That's why speedy returns processing directly pays off in terms of customer satisfaction. PVS Europe processes around 50,000 orders for Siemes every year. Returned goods are examined by trained personnel on the same day and booked directly online. "Returns management is one of the success factors of schuhcenter.de. However, PVS Europe's employees also thwart customers' attempts at fraud by carrying out a professional returns check. For example, when they want to return counterfeit brand-name shoes," says Robert Flanz.
PVS Europe also handles accounts receivable accounting for the e-shop. Thanks to the connection to Siemes financial accounting, the sub-ledger accounting flows directly into the general ledger accounting at the end of the month. Payment processing including various payment methods is also handled by the fulfillment experts.
"PVS Europe has continuously developed both warehouse capacity and detailed processes and technology, dynamically adapting them to our requirements and key figures," says Tobias Derek. All processes are handled digitally using modern information technologies. Thanks to an intelligent ERP system, detailed processes can also be changed flexibly at peak times to ensure prompt dispatch.
Over the past twelve years, schuhcenter.de has grown continuously, and with it the need for storage space. Today, PVS Europe stocks an average of 180,000 shoes in a 6,000 square meter multi-client center according to the principle of chaotic warehousing. With this dynamic process, items do not have a fixed storage location, but are stored where something is currently free. In this way, the warehouse can be stocked more quickly and empty spaces are avoided. The location of the goods is noted in PVS's own merchandise management system.
Thanks to real-time data transfer, online orders are immediately available in the fulfillment software. Here, customer orders are shipped via an upstream two-stage picking process. The merchandise management system determines the position of the ordered goods and creates route-optimized digital picking lists for the staff. To keep work routes as short as possible, employees work in permanently assigned zones.
When a warehouse worker picks an item from the shelf, he scans the storage compartment barcode attached to the compartment as well as the barcode of the shoe box and places the picked items in corresponding tubs. Once he has collected all the items of his picking order, the tubs are conveyed to an order sorter. In a second step, the picked items are assigned to specific individual orders at the designated order sorter using a "put-to-light" methodology. This procedure guarantees fast processing and prevents possible picking errors.
With this high level of automation, PVS Siemes offers real-time access to inventories, return rates, customer care inquiries, and accounts receivable. The shoe specialists can thus fine-tune their sales and marketing campaigns at any time or react quickly in case of problems.
"With PVS Europe, we have found the right partner for our fulfillment processes, who always supports us flexibly. Whether it's price tags or additional storage options for our stores - we know that the PVS team will find suitable solutions for us," explains Robert Flanz. "Especially late deliveries, broken goods or sending the wrong items can ruin years of work building up an e-shop. After all, the best store front end is useless without perfect logistics service. Together with PVS Europe, we can offer our customers a positive customer experience from purchase to delivery."
PVS Europe has accompanied schuhcenter.de on its path to success in recent years. With its technical infrastructure and specialist staff, the fulfillment expert is well equipped for further expansion.