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Supply Chain

Intermarché Boosts E-Com-Efficiency With Two KNAPP MFCs

By Robert McHugh
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Space-saving storage, productive picking, reliable systems, short training times and low investment. These are the advantages of KNAPPs MFC that convinced French retailer Intermarché.

The turnkey, automated solution allows companies to rapidly enter the e-grocery business at a lower investment volume than other e-commerce solutions. It also reduces expenses in the supermarkets themselves, increases turnover and improves the quality of service.

The compact system design means MFCs are perfect for urban areas, and their proximity to customers significantly reduces costs for the last mile.

“We decided to work with KNAPP back in 2019 because KNAPP is a market leader," says Cédric Lebastard, manager of supply chain automation projects in the e-commerce segment at Intermarché. "They are far ahead of the competition and were the only company to offer an MFC product for food retail.

"Our partnership was strong from the very beginning, and we’ve grown together with our warehouses and solutions. Things are still going strong today because KNAPP takes our needs into account to continue to develop the MFC solution.”

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Combining Efficiency And Customer Proximity

In contrast to classic MFC solutions, Intermarché’s automated warehouses are not attached directly to a supermarket but are instead independent dark stores.

The locations in both Lyon and Paris prepare online orders for multiple nearby supermarkets and then deliver them there. They automatically process 80% of the article range, while the remaining 20%, which includes very specific items and freshly prepared produce such as cheese and meat, is processed in the stores.

Each MFC delivers the online orders to 15 to 20 stores within a 25- kilometre radius.

“The MFC is a system that offers maximum flexibility, productivity and reliability in large cities," says Lebastard. "The increase in productivity allows us to not only achieve a higher economic performance but also increased flexibility in meeting our customers’ requirements.”

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Options For The Last Mile

To provide their customers with the best service possible, Intermarché offers different options for the last mile. At the store of their choice, customers can opt for kerbside pickup or have the order stored in a locker, where they can pick it up at any time of the day or night. Another option is home delivery, where the groceries are delivered directly to their doorstep.

“Our customers have high expectations for delivery times. We have up to four closing times for order acceptance," said Lebastard. "For our customers, it is important that the order is complete and that we deliver the products within two hours. In our industry, these demands pose a real challenge. To overcome this, we are using a system that ensures profitable growth."

24/7-Service Especially For MFCs

MFC networks require a sophisticated service concept. KNAPPs Multi-Site Control Center (MSCC) provides Intermarché with the optimal control system for all their MFC locations. The service solution supports the retailer’s operation around the clock, with continuous system checks that detect any incidents early, before they impact the operation.

In one overview, the MSCC displays all KNAPP systems, various customer systems and all logistical and technical processes. It checks the software as well as the hardware of the system.

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Specially developed index numbers show the MSCC team the system’s status. The MSCC has another huge advantage – the index numbers of several locations can be pooled and analysed together.

“To ensure that the system runs optimally at all times, we have trained our picking personnel on site so that they can carry out first-level maintenance if necessary," says Lebastard. "KNAPP’s Service Desk is also a real bonus. Thanks to their 24/7 support, we can resolve any technical issues and recognise malfunctions in the system early on."

Dive into Intermarché's MFC:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvaSqQ_9dMk

Find out more on KNAPP's blog post.

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