At BR8 we quickly found out that furniture logistics is not only about delivery. Furniture businesses typically outsource their warehousing as well. This makes good sense: furniture is very fragile, you want to minimise the amount of movements to prevent damages. That’s why many specialised furniture delivery companies offer warehousing and delivery in one package.
In practice, this means we don’t cross dock ready-to-go shipments, but we receive bulk shipments from the manufacturer and have to link individual items to the right orders. Because customers usually order a table and chairs, mostly from different manufacturers, BR8 has to monitor when an order is 100% fulfilled in the warehouse and is ready to be shipped to the customer. In the meantime, furniture is safely stored with us.
Despite our best efforts, our excel-sheets quickly gave up managing this for multiple clients, so this summer we set out to find and integrate a Warehouse Management System (WMS). It took a couple of months of searching and another couple of months to integrate it with our delivery tool.
One of the must-have features for this WMS: easy integration with e-commerce platforms.
Finally, yesterday our biggest client connected into the API of our WMS, and we now receive all of their orders automatically. Usually this sort of integration takes a full 1 or 2 weeks of coding and a €10k invoice. This integration set-up took us about 10 mins.
This sort of integration is great, not only because it saves everyone loads of time and reduces human error, it also creates switching cost and locks the client into BR8 for longer period of time. It's frickin' awesome, Mr. Bigglesworth.
Bigger warehouse… done.
BR8 1.0 is finally complete. After two years of ‘building the foundations’ it’s now time to find loads and loads of new customers.