2XL Says YES to Customer Demands with Iptor

2XL has successfully transitioned from a small, family-owned transport company to a leading European ISO14001-certified supplier that moves more than 300 loads daily.

Background

First established in 1999, this family-owned Belgium-based company opened its doors as a transport specialist. From day one, the family Van den Poel had strong convictions around customer service, employee satisfaction, environmental impact, and quality standards.

One such conviction was that “no was not an option.” If a customer had a challenge, he or she could count on 2XL to deliver a solution. This approach worked, and business grew organically and at a steady pace.

However, in 2005, 2XL knew it was going to need to make some substantial changes if it was going to be able to say “yes” to one of its most valued customers. Critical to being able to fulfill the needs of their customers would be the expansion of 2XL from a transport company to a turnkey provider of transport, logistics, and storage.

The Challenge

The customer collaborated with 2XL, based on the DCS (Direct Customer Shipment) concept that lifted the customers’ supply chain from the European mainland to the UK, to a much higher level. Introducing this concept would require an equally sophisticated warehouse and operations management system to service it. Mathias Van den Poel knew that stepping into this project with the customer would irrevocably change the 2XL business model, and he was prepared to do so. One thing was certain: an information technology solution would play a key role. Armed with the customer’s business requirements for the warehouse operations, 2XL immediately began investigating their options for a warehouse management system (WMS).

Meeting the stringent BRC Global Storage and Distribution Standard for the storage of ambient food and consumer products was one of 2XL’s objectives, and many WMS solutions could help Mr. Van den Poel achieve this. In the end, the deciding criterion for 2XL’s choice of WMS solution was Mr. Van den Poel’s faith in both the flexibility of the product and the people behind it.

“Our brand stands as a commitment to our customers to follow through on the promises we make,” said Jean Van Den Poel, 2XL CEO. “Having a WMS provider we could trust was paramount in our decision to use Iptor’s solution.”

In Response

Iptor’s warehouse management solution was chosen by 2XL in September of 2005. The solution would allow 2XL to not only say “yes” to its customer, but to also say “yes” to future customers with needs just as sophisticated.

The highly flexible, embedded rules engine in the product provides 2XL with the ability to customize workflow processes to match customers’ needs, including the ability to integrate value-added services, such as case picking, cross-docking, and returnable packaging. Further, it could integrate seamlessly not only with the different enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms of its customers, but also with the full WMS array represented by 2XL’s suppliers using an integration platform and supplier/vendor portal.

There was also the question of timing: the system needed to go live within seven months of contract award. While 2XL was building its physical warehouses to meet the demand of its customers’ projects, the solution was continually phased in to match each stage in construction.

In March 2006, 2XL went live. From what was once a completely manual system, 2XL has continually worked to transition its operations to automated systems and, eight years later, is still exceeding customers’ expectations.

“Iptor was intimately involved in the initial integration process back in 2006 – and beyond – serving on-site in a hands-on capacity to ensure we met our project goals,” said 2XL Project Manager, Mathias Van Den Poel.

Having a WMS provider we could trust was paramount in our decision to use Iptor’s solution.

Jean Van Den PoelCEO, 2XL

The Outcome

2XL has successfully transitioned from a small, family-owned transport company to a leading European ISO14001-certified supplier that moves more than 300 loads daily. Expansion has been significant and 2XL now operates two rail-connected warehouses with 55,000 m2 of storage capacity.

At each stage of this expansion process, Iptor’s WMS capabilities were also extended to match. And, each time 2XL welcomes a new customer—from Austria’s RedBull to the UK’s Tesco Groceries—the solution is configured to meet that customer’s needs.

2XL’s convictions remain just as strong today as when it was first established in 1999. The company strictly maintains a minimum KPI target of 98% for on-time arrivals, equipment, documentation, communication, and more. To deliver on such high standards, 2XL embraces innovation at each turn. And, whether it’s the automation of material handling or the integration of automated guided vehicles (AGV) in their warehouse, Iptor has been there every step of the way.

“Our Iptor solution has supported the doubling of our warehouse turnover, requiring less staff in the warehouse for a significant savings and bottom-line impact,” said Mr. Van Den Poel.

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2XL Says YES to Customer Demands with Iptor