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Retailoring the logistics for Perfectly Basics

December 11, 2023 1053 Views

An interview with Kris Aldenkamp, Facility & Warehouse Manager at Perfectly Basics

Online fashion retailer Perfectly Basics was at risk of becoming the victim of its own success when it outgrew its capacity. Groenewout analyzed the existing activities and recommended improvements to future-proof both the warehouse and the logistics processes.

 

The rise of Perfectly Basics (PB) is like something out of a young boy’s – or rather young girl’s – storybook. What started as a small attic-based operation rapidly grew into a professional web shop run for – and mostly by – women. PB was a Dutch e-commerce fashion pioneer, having sold its first items online back in 2006. “And we’ve focused on the online channel only ever since,” says Facility & Warehouse Manager Kris Aldenkamp. Today, the portfolio includes around 160 premium brands, and approximately 2,500 orders per week are shipped from the company’s facility in the Dutch city of Haarlem to customers worldwide. PB focuses on ‘slow fashion’: timeless fashion essentials supporting a more sustainable approach. Besides clothing, accessories and shoes, the company is selling more and more beauty products and homeware. The personal touch has resulted in an ever-growing group of satisfied and loyal customers.

 

Capacity limits

However, there was a downside to all this success: PB started to outgrow the limits of its warehouse capacity. The company was already on a steep growth path when the COVID-19 pandemic triggered an additional sales boost. Nevertheless, up until recently, PB had managed to keep pace with that growth and the ever-expanding product range by making a number of adaptations to improve storage efficiency. Aldenkamp: “We replaced the pallet racking with shelf racking, and then in late 2021 we installed a mezzanine floor. But to be honest it was already full before it was even finished.” So in early 2023, when the neighbor asked whether PB would be interested in renting the adjacent building too, the chance came at precisely the right time. “It would allow us to immediately add an extra 850m2 to our existing 1,000m2 warehouse, so we didn’t have to think about it for long. We decided to rent the property for a five-year period,” Aldenkamp says.

 

Analysis and advice

The company also seized the opportunity to take another close look at its logistics operation to identify possible improvements – but this time with help from a logistics specialist. “We asked Groenewout to analyze our processes and advise us on how to maximize our efficiency, both in the existing warehouse and the extra space that we added in the spring, also bearing our growth ambitions in mind,” Aldenkamp explains. “Their expertise definitely helped us. Thanks to their data analysis, we have much better insight into our warehouse processes.” The analysis resulted in a dynamic Power BI model, which supports real-time data monitoring. Groenewout then suggested improvements to further optimize PB’s processes, equipment usage and storage strategies. Groenwout also estimated the required CAPEX and potential OPEX savings, and drew up a roadmap for implementing the chosen plan.

 

Potential improvements

In particular, PB could achieve quick wins by optimizing the use of space. “For example, by turning the racking in our existing warehouse by 90 degrees, we could fit an extra 30 racks into the same space; that’s a gain of almost ten percent,” states Aldenkamp. Furthermore, Groenewout’s advice created more calm and clarity in the warehouse, she adds: “Thanks to the proposed workflows and routing designs, we can work more efficiently with the same number of people and improve productivity.”

Not all of the proposed improvements have been implemented. For example, the choice of scanners, screens and/or computers depends on which warehouse management system is selected, and that will be decided by the end of 2023. “But Groenewout has helped us by providing a detailed description of the process to purchase and implement a WMS,” Aldenkamp comments. Therefore, the manager is confident about the future. “I know I’ve gained a competent sparring partner that I can always turn to. In fact, we’ve already discussed various growth scenarios and possible solutions together. Everything about Groenewout radiates that they have the right expertise, and they are a joy to work with. That gives me great peace of mind,” she concludes.

 

More information

If you would like more information about this project, please contact Tim van Lohuizen vanlohuizen@groenewout.com or via tel. +31 76 533 04 40. For more information about Perfectly Basics: https://www.perfectlybasics.com/.

About the author

Mark Dohmen has been working as a journalist in the logistics sector for 25 years. After studying Logistics Management, he worked as an editor at the trade publications Transport+Opslag, Logistiek and Logistiek.nl and was editor-in-chief of Logistiek Totaal and Warehouse Totaal. He is currently working as a freelancer and produces articles and videos for logisticsinside.nl and logisticsinside.eu.

Impression Perfectly Basics

Kris Aldenkamp, Facility & Warehouse Manager at Perfectly Basics: “I know I’ve gained a competent sparring partner that I can always turn to. That gives me great peace of mind.”

Perfectly Basics (PB) rapidly grew into a professional web shop run for – and largely by – women, with a focus on slow fashion and a personal touch.

Turning the warehouse racking by 90 degrees allowed an extra 30 racks to fit into the same space: a gain of almost ten percent.

In spring 2023, PB significantly expanded its storage capacity by renting the adjacent building. The online retailer asked Groenewout for help and advice to maximize efficiency.

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