De Smaakspecialist develops, but also distributes durable nutrition! Somewhere in our enormous distribution centre (DC) in Waalwijk on top of a pallet a little jar of Smaakt peanut butter is patiently waiting to make its way to the supermarket. This centre is the logistical heart where over 1000 different products (own and not our own brand) get distributed through retail channels.
Week after week processing all the supermarkets orders, you be in their shoes. Dimitri from De Smaakspecialist and Daniel from Kivits head the team of Kivits (logistics service) co-workers, making sure the logistics process goes nice and easy; of course in co-operation with the logistics department at the office. How does that actually work at Dimitri’s work?
The distribution process follows a generally steady pattern. On Monday supermarkets can place their orders until 10:00 (every week there are about 850 outlets with orders!). When the orders come in they get checked and an order list gets printed with the products that the distribution centre has in stock, the so-called pre-pick orders. From about 12 in the afternoon ’til 9 in the evening the employees are hard at work to get all the orders ready. With a fork lift truck the jar of peanut butter is lifted with its pallet and put on a trolley; several other pallets stacked beneath him.
Supermarkets also often order products that aren’t in stock, for example Ethiquable chocolate. These orders are called pick-to-zero orders. The chocolate has to be ordered and the supplier has 24 hours to transport it to our distribution centre. The employees can start processing the pick-to zero orders as soon as all the missing products are in. The jar of peanut butter is accompanied by a delicious bar of peanut butter on one of the 600-700 trolleys, ready to roll out into the wide world and finally your supermarket. It’s a race against time, because every order has to be ready at Wednesday 11:00 to be picked up by the trucks. Once the trucks drive away it’s time to wave goodbye to (with much enthusiasm) the jar of peanut butter and bar of chocolate, on to Jumbo or Plus. On Thursdays and Fridays the new supply arrives and DC can be restocked and readied for the next week.
That has been the logistical journey of a jar of peanut butter! It’s a world full of short deadlines working hands on. For short, a very elaborate process that needs to happen in a short period of time. It’s challenging, but also fun. Of course we want nothing less than a shelf filled with peanut butter jars, so they can follow their consumer .. to the sandwich!