Driving Growth with Descartes Ecommerce WMS

PackAngels, the ecommerce fulfillment unit of German logistics service provider ANCLA Logistik GmbH, manages logistics for small and medium online businesses. In support of its exponential growth and the demands of peak volume surges, ANCLA implemented the automated, scalable Descartes Ecommerce Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) to increase order fulfillment efficiency, ensure order accuracy, and minimize operational expenses.

The Challenge: Peak Order Volumes Impede Efficiency

ANCLA’s PackAngels B2C ecommerce fulfillment business has grown in leaps and bounds since launching in 2014, ramping up from 50-100 shipments per day to an average of 5,000 daily shipments in 2018—with peak surges of up to 10,000 orders per day. Servicing small-to-medium online businesses that often employ influencer marketing tactics to drive sales, ANCLA needed a WMS with the flexibility and scalability to support spikes in volume. At the same time, the company sought to automate and streamline the pick-pack-ship process to reduce error rates, increase productivity, and minimize costs.

"I would definitely recommend Descartes Ecommerce WMS to other service providers and ecommerce businesses for efficient and cost-effective order fulfillment. It’s flexible, scalable, and warehouse-oriented—and we can onboard customers quickly. I haven't found anything else on the market that compares to the expertise of Descartes.” 

-- Christoph Maas, CEO, ANCLA Logistik

The Solution: Automation Transforms the Warehouse

PackAngels stores, picks, packs, and ships its customers’ products, in addition to managing the returns process, to enable online businesses to focus on growth activities instead of worrying about logistics. As PackAngels thrived and order volumes began to accelerate, time-consuming manual processes created a bottleneck of shipments and led to an increase in human error.

By implementing the Descartes Ecommerce WMS, the service provider can manage the entire ecommerce fulfillment lifecycle, including order receipt; pick, pack, and ship; item availability; visibility tracking; and returns management.

“In ecommerce, everyday can be Christmas so we need to be very nimble. Our whole pick process, scanning process, and shipping process is guided through the Descartes system. We’ve reduced our error rate tremendously because we now have every single item scanned and, even if mistakes happen, we can easily identify where the error occurred,” said Christoph Maas, CEO at ANCLA Logistik.

Many of PackAngels’ customers employ ‘influencer marketing’ to boost sales, which can create substantial spikes in orders during social media campaigns. The Descartes solution enables PackAngels to increase productivity and reduce costs—even during frequent peak periods—by automating shipping processes, eliminating order processing errors, and streamlining reverse logistics.

“The major challenge now to our daily business is that every day looks different than the day before. If customers run an influencer campaign that goes viral, daily volumes can increase by up to 5,000 orders. We’ve challenged Descartes with these massive order loads and both service capacity and speed were excellent,” emphasized Maas.

Maas added, “Because we work with small and medium online shops, we want to differentiate ourselves from the larger fulfillment providers who require customers to meet a minimum daily order threshold (e.g., 500 orders per day). Descartes enables us to remain competitive, helping us curtail expenses by minimizing onboarding time and implementation costs.”

The Results

Heightened Order Accuracy
Using barcode-based scanners to receive and pick orders, Descartes Ecommerce WMS eliminates error-prone manual warehouse practices and inhibits costly order processing mistakes—even during sizeable peaks in shipping volumes.

Increased Productivity
By automating warehouse processes to increase order fulfillment and reverse logistics efficiency, the Descartes solution enables ANCLA to boost speed and capacity, handling up to 10,000 shipments per day during peak periods.

Reduced Costs
The Descartes solution optimizes warehouse operations to drive down costs. By automating ecommerce fulfillment, ANCLA can ship more packages per employee to reduce manpower requirements, minimize shipping costs, and curb costly order processing errors.

Scalable Growth
With the flexibility and scalability to support peaks in demand, Descartes Ecommerce WMS accelerated ANCLA’s ecommerce growth. Automated order processing, rapid on-boarding, and minimized implementation costs help to support the company’s global expansion.