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Wincanton and Virtualstock partner to provide advanced supplier to customer service

Wincanton and Virtualstock partner to provide advanced supplier to customer service

Wincanton, the largest British logistics company, and Virtualstock, a UK-based Software as a Service (SaaS) digital supply chain technology provider, have announced the details of a new strategic partnership. This move is just one element of Wincanton’s recently announced market-leading eFulfilment service, which includes partnerships with a number of innovative British technology companies.

Virtualstock provides a range of digital supply chain and marketplace solutions, enabling retailers to easily and cost-effectively expand their online product range without the need to carry additional stock.

Virtualstock’s platform delivers integrated “Supplier to Consumer” (S2C) fulfilment functionality, allowing one retailer to sell another retailer or supplier’s goods without ever having to stock or deliver them, driving significant opportunities for revenue growth, while protecting margins by mitigating the impact on operating costs. When allied with Wincanton’s collaborative logistics capability, the two companies are able to rapidly transform a retailer’s ability to quickly respond to an ever-changing market.

Paul Durkin, Director for Home and eCommerce at Wincanton, said: “Rapid growth in online sales, coupled with new players in the technology market, is fundamentally changing the end customer experience for the better. This is putting retailers under real pressure to improve their customer service levels and, critically, to increase the breadth of their offer.

“This new partnership with Virtualstock helps Wincanton’s retail customers to respond to this challenge. By integrating Wincanton’s recently announced eFulfilment service with the Virtualstock platform, we’re able to expand retailers’ portfolios, without them having to hold stock. Instead, Wincanton takes care of all the logistics, in a seamless and integrated way.”

Andrew Mills, Executive Chair and CEO of Virtualstock, said: “We are delighted to be working with Wincanton to develop a remarkable new service for British retailers. The combined scale of Wincanton’s logistics capability with Virtualstock’s proven platform, really will transform a retailer’s business in a very short time. By using Virtualstock’s The Edge, Wincanton’s customers can avoid lengthy redesigns of legacy systems leading to reduced time to market, compelling cost savings and, when combined with Wincanton’s logistics capability, rapid improvements in customer experience.”

eFulfilment offering

Wincanton, the largest British logistics company, has announced the addition of several significant advanced services as part of the Group’s successful eFulfilment proposition. Signalling its ambition to lead in the consumer-centric supply chain, Wincanton’s additional services will enable retailers to rapidly react to changing market demands and deliver to their consumers a seamless, end-to-end, digital shopping experience.

Based on Wincanton’s scalable logistics resources, the service now includes additional, proven, cloud-based solutions. These services complement the Group’s existing eFulfilment proposition, which is already used by some of the UK’s most forward-thinking eCommerce retailers, such as Screwfix, Argos and M&S.

Wincanton’s eFulfilment proposition now consists of six core services:

Advanced eFulfilment management – Complete end-to-end order and customer service management, with full product traceability and the ability to rapidly scale-up to accommodate peaks in demand, this service offers a choice of delivery options for the consumer
Flexible collaborative warehousing – Wincanton’s proven, flexible, storage network features services such as pick-pack-despatch, which all help retailers to grow quickly without investing heavily in fixed costs
Trusted carrier management –  The company’s dependable and cost-effective carrier network partners are all focused on customer communication, flexibility and ultimately the best possible customer experience
Best-in-class two-man home delivery – Wincanton’s widely respected two-man delivery, assembly and packaging removal service
Integrated “Supplier to Customer” (S2C) functionality – An innovative, integrated service which means that retailers can extend their range or diversify their portfolio without actually having to take stock into their own shops or warehouses
Efficient and effective returns – Giving the consumer a choice on how and when they return products, swiftly refunding and recycling stock while helping the consumer to purchase alternative goods from the same retailer

Liam McElroy, Managing Director of Retail & Consumer at Wincanton, explained: “It’s clear that the rapidly changing world of online sales is putting retailers under increasing pressure. They must adapt their portfolio quickly and at the lowest possible cost, while providing an outstanding customer experience across both delivery and returns, and at the same time keep the consumer focused on their next purchase.”

“Our position as the largest British logistics company means that we can call on a wealth of internal and external expertise to help our retail customers respond to these challenges. We are constantly evaluating new technologies and partners who can combine their resource with ours, to deliver a compelling new service to address situations such as this. These additions to our eFulfilment offering demonstrate our ability to do just that.

“This also means that we are the complete, end-to-end, service provider in eFulfilment.”

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