More and more retailers today are using both their stores and also own online stores to offer their products. MyMuesli started as a pure Online-Shop but has successfully opened their own stores also. In this EuroCIS interview, Store Expansion Manager Alexander Schulte-Stemmerk explains what logistical challenges a company must face when making sure that both channels are operated well.
Mr. Schulte-Stemmerk, mymuesli has grown immensely over the past few years. How did you adjust your logistics to the new demands?
You always grow with your challenges. That is to say, we were able to evolve and prepare gradually; two things were primarily important though: there was our move into a new factory in Passau in 2011 on the one hand, which opened up brand-new options thanks to the larger areas. On the other hand, we were able to install our first mymuesli machine, which makes it possible to produce more than 566 quadrillion different mueslis and cereals on-demand.
What challenges do the different areas of online and in-store sales entail?
It isn’t always so easy to link the channels. We have reached our goal, only when the customer is able to switch between the different channels, virtually without noticing it and all of the processes run perfectly. Since we opened up our first mymuesli store in 2009, we were able to gain a lot of experience and continuously improve our processes. However, nobody is perfect. You can always improve the "user experience" and we are working on that.
Do you have your own logistics or do you follow an established concept?
We had to develop many aspects on our own, because our product did not have a role model we could have learned from. Yet we also utilize established concepts. Within the scope of a coaching event by the German Entrepreneur Award (“Deutscher Gründerpreis“) by Porsche Consulting, we recently introduced a kanban system, which works well with the mass customization strategies by mymuesli. However, it is a long road to perfection and we are always happy to get tips and advice from experts. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.
You are not just selling your products in Germany, but also internationally. Did you have to adjust your distribution channels based on the individual country?
Muesli or cereal is a very global product, but every market has its own special characteristics of course. So far, we are only shipping to five countries, of which the Netherlands and the U.K. are non-German speaking countries. This also means we need to continue gathering experience, but we are confident that we will be able to also expand internationally.
Interview: Simone Ernst; EuroShop First publication at iXtenso.com