Winddle for Atlas for men : a better supplier collaboration for an increased customer satisfaction
In its overall digital transformation approach, outdoor clothing specialist Atlas for Men quickly became interested in optimizing its supply chain. With several goals: to eliminate tedious manual tasks, better anticipate delays, improve stock management, and always be able to offer more accurate information to customers. The choice of Winddle made it possible to make this change step by step, without altering the link with suppliers.
Specialized in the direct sale of outdoor clothing for men, Atlas for Men has experienced steady growth since its creation in 1999. The brand recorded a turnover of more than 210 million euros in 2019 and more than 3 million customers distributed in 11 European countries, who buy online or by catalog.
The secrets of such success in this extremely competitive market of direct selling? The quality of the products, but also the quality of the supplies. "The role of the Purchasing team is crucial. By being responsible for monitoring supplier orders until they are delivered to the warehouse, the team is directly responsible for ensuring that products are available, that requested delivery dates are respected and that potential delays are anticipated, so that we can inform our customers in time," explains Bruno Multrier, the brand's Supply Chain Director.
Automating a complex order tracking
In total, no less than 151 factories work for the group. "For a long time, we followed with simple Excel spreadsheets the information from our suppliers, our carriers, and even that of the customs authorities. We entered the information as it came in by email or phone," recalls Christine Plesanu, Purchasing Manager and Winddle prIn total, no less than 151 factories work for the group. "For a long time, we used simple Excel spreadsheets to track data from our suppliers, carriers and even customs authorities. We entered the data we received by e-mail or telephone as we went along," recalls Christine Plesanu, Procurement Manager and Winddle project leader. In total, more than a dozen people were involved in this follow-up.
But this system ended up becoming burdensome, requiring nearly two hours per day per employee, often just to confirm that there were no delays! Not to mention the numerous calls, which interrupted work, hindered concentration, and were ultimately a real pollution for the department. How to get out of it? We decided to automate all the follow-up. After a review of the offers available on the market, we chose the Winddle platform, which appeared to us from the start to be the best suited to our practices and to win the support of our suppliers," explains Bruno Multrier.
Better control of flows for better customer satisfaction
In concrete terms, the collaboration on Winddle starts as soon as the order is created in the SAP ERP, which is connected to the platform. Different stakeholders with different rights can access it, validate information, report on progress, share key documents, etc. Atlas For Men thus has visibility over all stages of its order flow:
- The order confirmation from each supplier,
- The organization of quality inspections, with tracking of reports and validation by Atlas for Men's quality service
- The transport booking and delivery of products to the carrier,
- ... up to the receipt of products in the brand's warehouses.
The procurement team has become more productive, but also more able to anticipate delays. As the current tracking is automated, "we can focus on alerts and devote our energy to finding solutions if customer satisfaction is at stake - for example by switching to other modes of transport."
"Thanks to the very active support of the Winddle team during the implementation of the solution and the flexibility offered in the platform configuration, we were able to easily model our specific processes and have a platform that meets our needs," says Christine Plesanu. One of the most difficult cases was recurrent partial deliveries.
Until now, when a supplier delivered an important order in several stages, the information was well tracked by the procurement team, but it was not detailed in the ERP. This caused operational difficulties, both in terms of real availability for the end customer and in terms of stock management.
Beyond simplifying the daily tracking for the supply chain, transport, and quality teams, the implementation of Winddle has greatly helped effectively disseminate supply chain information throughout the organization and optimize communication with customers. Now, when a potential delay is announced through Winddle, the information is automatically sent to Atlas for Men's CRM. This results in more transparency and improved ability to anticipate issues, leading to satisfied customers.
Engaged suppliers in the approach
Using Winddle internally is one thing, but in order to benefit from its full collaborative dimension, you have to know how to distribute it among the company's partners. "We chose to proceed in stages, by groups of suppliers who were gradually discovering the solution. This allowed us to provide them with effective support: to answer their questions without being overwhelmed by their number," says Christine Plesanu.
This "gentle" approach, with partners for the most part historical, bore fruit. "Winddle has streamlined exchanges with all the players in our supply chain," summarizes Marc Delamarre, CEO of Atlas For Men. The solution has allowed us to gain reliability in tracking our supplies and improve our operational performance. With Winddle, our teams and our Supply Chain partners are equipped to support the growth of the company."
"The solution invites us to go further in our thinking and actions to optimize our activity, it opens new perspectives and is truly a support for transformation," concludes Christine. And the subjects are not lacking: simplify collaboration with accounting on supplier invoices, make better use of Winddle KPIs to identify leverage points for improving performance and results of our action plans... The adventure continues!