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Digitail’s goal was to implement its e-commerce grocery platform featuring the widest assortment of products available in Italy (over 12,000) and, specifically, featuring the widest range of fresh products (over 3,000) including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products and cold cooked meats. The company also aimed at designing a site that would offer customers the best PC, tablet and smartphone digital experience. The final key goal was to offer customers a delivery service that was punctual, flexible in terms of offering personalised delivery time slots, safe with regard to conserving fresh foods and produce, and secure with regard to payment and the pre-identification of drivers.
The main challenge of this project consisted in the short timeframe until its launch, with less than eight months from the incorporation of Digitail to the launch of the EasyCoop.com service, and consequently, the delivery of the first orders to customers. Reply assigned a highly skilled team to the project, who by adopting a phased approach, were able to deliver all the functionalities required from the SideUp Reply Pick&Pack solution within the available timeframe.
The solution is based on an advanced algorithm for estimating the loading units required for fulfilling orders and for optimising all dark store* activities based on the scheduling of deliveries. The solution also ensures that the loading units are prepared, verified and transferred to the loading bay "just in time" with respect to the departure time of the delivery vehicles, that workforce productivity is high and that the end-to-end cold distribution chain for fresh and frozen products is guaranteed.
The Reply solution, which is fully integrated with the EasyCoop.com e-commerce platform, with back-office systems and with the solution selected by Digitail for delivery scheduling and management, was designed laying out a “master” reference framework so that after the first implementation it could easily be implemented in the client’s other dark stores, thereby also supporting Digitail's future expansion plans.
*What is a dark store?
A dark store is a dedicated e-commerce fulfilment facility, which resembles a supermarket but is not open to the public.
Digitail is the affiliate company of Coop Alleanza 3.0 specialised in innovative solutions in the online retail sector for food and groceries. Coop Alleanza 3.0 is the largest consumer cooperative in Italy, established in early 2016 through the merger of Coop Adriatica, Coop Estense and Coop Consumatori Nordest. Digitail has developed EasyCoop, the most innovative e-commerce service for fresh food and grocery in Italy, thanks to the wide selection of grocery products available for home delivery (over 12,000 products, including 3,000 fresh items, the full range of the Coop private label products and many typical local specialties). It was launched in Rome in late 2016 and extended to the Emilia Romagna and Veneto regions in summer 2017 and early 2018 respectively.
SideUp Reply™ is the innovative cloud computing solution designed to enhance supply chain efficiency and provide real-time visibility of the relevant data and events, leveraging the extended network of collaborations between all the players involved. SideUp Reply™ is a software solution, or more precisely a service-based solution, with a focus on inventory management, warehousing and pre-transport tracking services, as well as efficiency in the distribution of products to consumers or stores. All the services are provided through a centralised cloud infrastructure that can be used via the Internet, leading to a significant reduction in operating costs. No software or server licences are required; the solution simply involves a single (on-demand) monthly fee based on use. Eliminating high upfront investments and ensuring that the system is always up to date, a service-based solution, leads to a reduced risk and a correspondingly flexible costs associated with real benefits. SideUp Reply™ makes it possible to streamline operations, reduce inventory levels and manage the location of goods across the distribution network in real time, from the handling unit level through to final delivery. With SideUp Reply™, the logistics processes are perfectly integrated with the company's information systems and automated through the use of Wi-Fi and 3G devices.