Blokker: containers from the Far East no longer arriving ‘unexpectedly’


Over the past six months, Dutch retail chain Blokker has completely redesigned its supply chain from the Far East. Thanks to Yellowstar’s Star Flow Supply Chain solution, every order is now fully transparent and traceable, from the factory in China to the warehouse in Geldermalsen. Blokker can now respond much better to Dutch consumer demand at lower costs.

Blokker is working hard to become a healthy, profitable business again and hopes to win back consumers with its new smart omni-channel strategy. From now on, instead of being purchasing-driven, the retail chain will be fully demand-driven. This required a redesign of the retailer’s supply chain from the Far East. The chain is very complex, with a large number of suppliers and endless paperwork, but until recently all information exchange took place via Excel. Blokker had no insight whatsoever into where goods were in the supply chain, with containers often turning up at ports ‘unexpectedly’. Blokker therefore kept almost a year’s worth of stock of many products.

Each Blokker order fully transparent and traceable

This has all changed in the redesigned supply chain. Blokker is now using Yellowstar’s Star Flow Supply Chain solution as an order management system that oversees the entire Far Eastern supply chain. It is also connected to Slimstock, which takes care of stock control from supplier to store, to Flexport as the logistics service provider for the route from the port of loading to the warehouse in the Netherlands, and to Blokker’s ERP for information exchange with all relevant departments. E-mails and Excel sheets have been completely eliminated. Every link in the chain and every department now has access to the necessary data in real time via Yellowstar. Blokker has full visibility and traceability for every order and can clearly see where each item from the Far East is located in the chain, from the factory in China to the warehouse in Geldermalsen.

Control over every order in the Far East

“This new way of working safeguards the timely availability of products for Blokker and structurally saves us several million euros in working capital,” reports Hans Danhof, Director Supply Chain at Blokker. “The entire Far Eastern logistics operation is now also much more scalable. We can do more, and better, with fewer people. By implementing Star Flow Supply Chain and also Flexport, we have really professionalized Blokker’s supply chain management. The six-month implementation period was an intensive process, but we are now really leading the market.” According to Rianne Groffen, Yellowstar’s Chief Commercial Officer, Star Flow Supply Chain gives Blokker control over every order in the Far East. “Each department and chain partner has insight at their own level and benefits from proactive alerts, while still being able to use their existing systems.”