Ordered today, delivered yesterday? If only that were possible… At bol.com we do everything in our power to approach that ideal. Today, tomorrow and in the future. With more than 13 million customers, 36 million items for sale and 51,000 partners, this is a complex and logistical matter. We have to come up with smart plans, take action quickly and keep on innovating.
Logistics at bol.com can be divided into three unique challenges. 1: Fulfilling our primary customer promise. Together with external partners, we ensure that customers receive their packages on time and we coordinate the lightning-fast logistics processes. 2: Continuous innovation. We renew and improve the daily process to support the growth of bol.com and serve our partners. 3: Shaping the future. The complexity lies in scalability. How do we respond to market trends and customer needs? What experiments can we try? Which parts can we mechanise? In other words: how do we stay ahead as a retail tech platform?
The final sprint for the customer journey: an extremely complex logistical puzzle
It may sound simple: with a few clicks on the site or in the app you order something and the next day it’s on your doorstep. But behind this, there is a gigantic organisation. A large, complex machine with many different cogs that turn together. This involves intelligent walking routes for the operators in our 5 warehouses. And algorithms for the stock management for our sales partners and us. Not to mention the challenging peak times with up to 1,500 ordered items per minute.
Of course, we work closely with various logistics partners for the packing and shipping of orders. But the coordination and monitoring of the logistic processes is something we do ourselves. You can contribute to this fantastic logistic challenge!
Logistiek in numbers
The impact of continuous innovation
We work in cross-functional teams together with colleagues from the whole organisation. Business analysts, product owners, engineers, data scientists and other professionals; together we work continuously on innovations to optimise our daily business. Which process can we make more efficient? Where can we improve quality or save costs? With an ever-growing number of products for sale (currently 41 million) and increasingly more orders daily, you can imagine the opportunities. We’re constantly developing and testing. Because every metre and every second of profit has a direct impact on daily operations.
Safak Tuna, Manager in the heart of bol.com logistics, talks about his experiences: “A lot of the logistics at bol.com we do ourselves. We have our own machines, our own warehouses and our own IT systems. Together with our logistic partners, we control everything. Thousands of people work here every day to keep goods flowing, and we manage that together. We all complement each other and that makes the job fantastic.”
We have our own machines, our own warehouses and our own IT systems.
Experiment and build the future of logistics
As the largest retail tech platform in the Netherlands and Belgium, we send out 500,000 packages every day. In the future, this will only increase. How will logistics keep pace with the expansion of bol.com? And how do we scale our processes? Bol.com is ahead of the game, thus we have to pioneer. And that is what we are doing. By conducting research and experimenting, we have learned what customers consider important in terms of our logistics.
We build new, scalable warehouses. We develop smart forecasting tools and experiment with robotisation, mechanisation and automation. We initiate and direct smart innovations and we work on the future of deliveries and on major game-changers in the Dutch logistics world. We are prepared for the future. Even better: we actually shape the future.
The sustainable challenge: more sustainable shopping at bol.com
Logistics play a major role in our efforts to achieve more sustainable shopping at bol.com. Our warehouses run on 100% Dutch solar and wind energy, including one of the largest solar roofs in the Netherlands with 100,000 m² of solar panels.
To further reduce our carbon footprint, we aim to reduce CO2 emissions to 0 grams per delivery by 2025. In this same year, all packaging will be reusable or made of 100% recyclable or renewable material. And, of course, we will use as little padding material as possible.
Heads together, making brains tick
Within logistics, there are plenty of opportunities and possibilities that you can seize. Entrepreneurship and flexibility are important. We work together with many internal and external parties. That’s why it’s important to be able to adapt to their wishes. Together, we make our brains tick, have fun at work and get the best out of each other.