Passing the Parcel in Retail Logistics

The rise of one-click ordering and conversion rate optimisation has been kind to the consumer, but it has also placed insurmountable pressure on retailers. As a result, the likes of Amazon and Walmart have invested significantly in revamping their supply chain and warehousing logistics to keep up. It’s become big business, but not all companies have a million square foot warehouse and £105 billion to play with. 

This is where companies such as GIG’s Provider, Weengs, come in. As a company that are looking to, parcel by parcel, change the way the world works, Weengs help businesses by collecting their products/items, packing them in bespoke, ethical packaging and sending them to their destination using the most economical method. It’s a simple solution that cuts the financial burden and rising inefficiencies associated with delivering goods around the world. 

We sat down with Weengs’ Operations Director, Sebastian Burt, to find out why retail logistics is such a challenging terrain, why its customer’s business fluctuations play a huge role and how a flexible working strategy has helped them get ahead.

Tell us a bit more about Weengs and how it got started

Weengs is a company started by two Greek friends who found a gap in the market for small online sellers that needed help fulfilling their orders and getting them to the buyer.  The first couple of shipments were collected by a guy on a bicycle with an oversize backpack and fulfilled from the founders' living room.  Now, 3 years later, the company is made up of around 60 employees and a fleet of 12 vans collecting up to 2k shipments a day. 

Through the years we moved from a living room to warehouse in North London, purchased a box-cutting machine and grew the operations team from 3 to up to 40 at peak times.  Constantly growing the number of customers, shipments and teammates we are on the beginning of what could be the runway to a very big adventure.

What are some of the typical business challenges you working in a fast-paced retail and logistics space?

The challenges we face as a fulfilment company are many and diverse.  I would say the biggest one is finding a way to adjust the service offered to each customer's needs while staying efficient.  This challenge spreads out into staffing, service times, product quality, and after-sales.  The one we deal with the most is the ever-going challenge of appropriately staffing the operations team to adjust to the peaks and troughs of demand throughout the week, month, or year.

What challenges were you facing staffing wise and why was there a need for on-demand staff?

The operations team is the most susceptible to rise and fall in demand and therefore must be ready to adapt to the changing environment.  Where through most of the year the full-time warehouse team is made up of 6 people daily, during the peak months of November and December we can easily get up to 30+ people daily. 

This is where on-demand staffing fits perfectly to suffice the need for more personnel on a short notice.  The flexibility that we get with on-demand staff is extremely helpful when planning the personnel rotation to keep the operation running effectively and efficiently 

What attracted you to using GIG specifically?

Quality of service is what attracted us to GIG since the start and has led to us preferring to use GIG instead of other on-demand agencies we have used previously.  Since the beginning we have been helped by GIG’s accounts team and we are very happy with the quality of service we have been receiving. All the requests are handled timely and the gig team are very proactive with notifications if things come up. 

After using GIG for a couple of months, we feel the people screening process is also better than the rest.  Most of the on-demand staff we receive from GIG is very capable, can pick up the work quickly and easily, and most importantly fit in seamlessly with the rest of the warehouse crew.

What are the plans for Weengs in the future?

The future plan for Weengs is to grow into a large-scale fulfilment operation for small- to medium-businesses, servicing multiple cities within the UK and later on around Europe.  The e-commerce and logistics sector is growing incredibly fast and our intention is to help our current and future customers be able to ride the wave of growth and demand we are all going to experience.

 

Interested in finding out how a flexible employment strategy could help your business? Get in touch with us at sales@gigtogig.co.uk