Smooth Running

Smooth Running

Coolblue, described as the most customer-oriented company in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany thanks to a score of 68 by the ‘Net Promoter’ customer experience metric, offers an integrated online offering, via the website and its in-house app, a delivery and installation service, customer service, and physical stores.

An in-house transport and sorting system has been recently added to the warehouse, with the MHS HC Sorter at its heart.

“Sorting was done manually until 2019,” explains Joost Alewijnse, Manager Warehouse Mechanisation & Applications at Coolblue. “Our growth was so strong we decided to invest in a mechanised transport and sorting solution. Our MHS HC Sorter was installed at the end of that same year, just before the seasonal peak.”

Coolblue started in the Tilburg- based warehouse with three sorting destinations: Netherlands, Belgium, and SameDay. There are now dozens, including Germany. Last year the number of destinations grew to over 50.

Coolblue learned about the potential of the solution because managers were already familiar with VanRiet, the Dutch sorting specialist which became a part of US giant MHS in 2019. “The company and the HC Sorter were very well known in the market and the technology suited our needs well,” adds Joost Alewijnse. “The solid communication and concepts gave us the confidence to continue working together.”

He confirms that without the right automated sorting solution, the peak of 2019 would have been extremely challenging. How did the company therefore start on this important sorting adventure? “In the past, we had the ‘kiss machine’ (a simplified sorting machine) at Coolblue and we wanted to take even more steps,” he recalls. “Quality is one of our main drivers. Our research mainly consisted of clarifying our needs and wishes in our own minds very clearly and assessing which technology best matched them. Eventually, we ended up with two techniques, the shoe sorter, and the cross belt, with the shoe sorter being our preference.”


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