E-commerce retailer Le Vapoteur Discount insources its logistics operations
Le Vapoteur Discount can manage the preparation of 4,500 orders a day with Easy WMS.
E-commerce electronic cigarette retailer Le Vapoteur Discount has insourced its logistics operations in a new warehouse with Easy WMS from Mecalux. The software monitors the company's 27,000 SKUs in real time: inhalers, liquids, and accessories for e-cigarette smokers.
Le Vapoteur Discount: online e-cigarette shop
Up and running since 2014, Le Vapoteur Discount is a French e-commerce retailer that sells e-cigarettes via its online store. The company’s aim is to promote the use of inhalers among smokers as a tool to fight tobacco addiction. The e-commerce retailer bases its entire commercial policy on good customer service, offering delivery within 24 hours and the possibility to return items within 14 days.
- Founded in: 2014
- No. of employees: 21
- Brands: 150 from France, the UK and Malaysia
- E-cigarette flavours: 2,577
- E-cigarette vaporisers: 123
The history of Le Vapoteur Discount, an e-commerce company specializing in electronic cigarettes, is characterized by transformation and continuous improvement. In recent months, logistics has become a basic business pillar as a result of its impact on the ultimate satisfaction of online shoppers.
“We used to outsource our logistics operations. A third-party logistics provider was responsible for storing our products and distributing orders. This way, our team could focus on the development of the online store and on our product offering,” says Morgan Vieville, President and Founder of Le Vapoteur Discount. But as its business volume grew, the company wanted more hands-on control of its logistics operations with a clear objective in mind: to provide excellent customer service.
To employ this logistics in-housing strategy effectively, the retailer knew it had to have enough space to optimize processes: “We needed a warehouse to store our products and, especially, to maximize efficiency in order picking and dispatch,” says Vieville.
With over 27,000 SKUs in its portfolio, Le Vapoteur Discount was looking for a storage system that would facilitate the management of items of different sizes and characteristics while streamlining storage tasks and the preparation of online orders.
In the town of Saint-Geours-de-Maremne, France, Le Vapoteur Discount has opened a 5,920 ft² warehouse where it distributes orders to customers around the globe. The company has equipped its logistics facility with picking shelves and a mezzanine from Mecalux to house its vaping products, mainly inhalers, liquids, and accessories such as chargers and batteries.
Le Vapoteur Discount also wanted to implement a warehouse management system (WMS) that would organize operations and control goods in real time. “Our business requires an efficient order picking method to support us in dispatching up to 4,500 online orders a day,” says Vieville.
Advantages of digitized logistics
Le Vapoteur Discount was in the market for an advanced, sophisticated software program capable of boosting operational productivity in its facility. After comparing several options, the company chose Easy WMS warehouse management software from Mecalux. This WMS organizes the work of the operators and monitors products, from goods receipt to dispatch.
“Easy WMS is an intuitive, user-friendly software program. Our employees know perfectly well how to use it and can move through the facility completely autonomously, performing their tasks as quickly as possible,” says Vieville.
Operators use RF scanners to communicate with Easy WMS and receive instructions from it. The software shows them, for example, exactly where to slot the products and where to locate the SKUs they need to put together the orders.
With Easy WMS, Le Vapoteur Discount has ramped up speed and productivity in all its warehouse operations:
- Goods receipt. When the products arrive, the operators merely have to read the barcode on each item; Easy WMS immediately identifies it and enters it in the database. Taking into account variables such as SKU and demand level, the software assigns a location to each good. “Technology allows us to track product SKUs, batches and serial numbers in real time,” says Vieville.
- Product storage. The operators move the goods to the corresponding locations. The software designs optimal pick paths through the facility to ensure that the operators travel the shortest possible distances. “Proper organization of the goods leads to much simpler management of the other processes and to a more orderly warehouse,” says Vieville.
- Order preparation. Easy WMS organizes the preparation and distribution of 1,500 orders every day, with peaks that can reach 4,500. To do this, operators pick orders by grouping; that is, “they can prepare up to 30 orders simultaneously in just 15 minutes,” says Vieville.
- Order consolidation and dispatch. Once the operators have picked all the items they need to put the orders together, Easy WMS directs the goods to be moved to the consolidation and dispatch area. There, the products are packed and grouped by destination.
Advanced, future-forward logistics
Since bringing its logistics operations in-house, Le Vapoteur Discount has boosted its online business and can efficiently serve all its customers. Mecalux’s Easy WMS has meant a huge change for the supply chain of this e-cigarette e-commerce retailer: it has optimized processes while speeding up order preparation and distribution.
Easy WMS is a key tool for enabling an e-commerce company like Le Vapoteur Discount to carry out its logistics operations smoothly. The software accurately monitors the 27,000 SKUs and organizes all tasks, from goods receipt to dispatch. With instructions from the software, operators do their work quickly and without making mistakes.
“We wanted to start small, with a 5,920 ft² warehouse, although we plan to expand the surface area to be able to perform our business operations more easily,” says Vieville.
The company’s future prospects are promising, with turnover set to increase steadily in the coming years. Easy WMS is a flexible, scalable software program that will accompany the business throughout its expansion.
What we most like about Easy WMS is that it’s so easy to use. It’s an extremely intuitive tool, and our operators have learned how to use it perfectly. We’re also really happy with the technical support from Mecalux.