Two furniture retailers — Singapore-based e-tailer Castlery and Japan’s largest home furnishing chain, Nitori Holdings Group — have initiated partnerships with a technology provider and logistics solutions provider, respectively, in order to meet their own fulfilment needs and to create potential to grow their customers.
Castlery builds e-commerce fulfilment platform with partner
Supply chain and omni-channel commerce solutions provider Manhattan Associates, Inc has worked with Castlery, the Singapore-based online furniture retailer, in its business transformation recently. Manhattan Associates’ solution, Manhattan SCALE, was a key component of Castlery’s business transformation programme to build a world-class order fulfilment capability that will ensure a seamless service experience for Castlery customers and that will drive ongoing business growth.
Launched in 2013 with a mission to make designer furniture accessible to everyone, Castlery has quickly established itself as a leading furniture and homewares designer in South-east Asia. In order to meet its target of more than 100% year-on-year growth, Castlery says it recognised the need to invest in order fulfilment technology that would scale in line with its business growth, ensure service-level improvements for customers and drive future sales and margin expansion.
Castlery explains that the company selected Manhattan SCALE for its ability to handle the “unique” logistical challenges associated with furniture retailing and distribution, and its proven track record in supporting e-commerce and omnichannel operations around the world. With a pressing need to be set up before the peak sale season, Castlery needed the Manhattan fulfilment platform to be live and ready for one of its busiest times of the year.
Working closely with the Manhattan team, Castlery successfully completed the solution deployment at its Mapletree Logistics Hub in Toh Guan, Singapore, in under three months — remarkable fast for a first implementation. “As the leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and with many companies we admire already using Manhattan SCALE, Manhattan ticked many boxes. Their experience with solving problems like ours, their high calibre teams as well as flexible solutions made picking Manhattan as our partner an easy decision,” says Zhou Zhiwei, chief technology officer at Castlery.
According to Travers Tan, chief operating officer at Castlery, process execution has improved across its entire distribution operation since the deployment of Manhattan SCALE.
“We’ve hit 99.99% inventory accuracy and seen a 23% month-onmonth increase in order transactions. We now have a complete view of inventory across the distribution network while our order-to-delivery cycle times are compressed significantly,” says Tan.
He adds that the solution is fully integrated with Castlery’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, giving Castlery a ‘live’ picture of available inventory for sale and enabling accurate lead times to be reflected on its website.
“Because the system can support multiple distribution channels, it is perfectly suited to our future plans for expansion into overseas markets. The Manhattan solution’s capabilities support our vision to become the leading furniture e-retailer globally,” he says.
Richard Wright, managing director, South-east Asia, at Manhattan Associates, states that Manhattan provides the expertise and technology to help clients to deliver on their brand promise.
“We’re delighted to see Manhattan SCALE already driving order volume growth for Castlery and we’re confident that Castlery will continue reaping the rewards from our constantly-evolving solutions, for many years to come,” says Wright.
Japan’s largest furniture retailer adopts GreyOrange robots
GreyOrange and Ground Inc, the exclusive provider of GreyOrange Butler in Japan, have been awarded the contract to supply robotics solutions to the Nitori Holdings Group, Japan’s largest furniture and home furnishing chain with more than 400 stores.
The robotics system will be deployed at Home Logistics, a logistics subsidiary of Nitori Holdings, operating 34 distribution bases and an efficient logistics network for product delivery to stores and e-commerce customers across the country.
GreyOrange is a multinational technology company headquartered in Singapore that designs, manufactures and deploys advanced robotics systems for automation at warehouses, distribution and fulfilment centres. According to the company, it is recognised as one of the world’s top 50 robotics companies and top 10 for industrial robotics in warehouses.
Manabu Matsuura, corporate officer of Nitori Holdings and CEO of Home Logistics, says: “We were impressed to find that the GreyOrange Butler is an entirely new robotics concept for warehouse automation unlike automated storage and retrieval systems.”
“Also, Butler satisfies our corporate philosophy — we always pursue ideal workplaces for everyone. For example, we have been an early adopter of technology solutions and were the first user in Japan to leverage robotic storage systems in our warehouses last year,” he adds.
Hiratomo Miyata, CEO of Ground Inc, says: “We are really happy to announce that Home Logistics has become the first user of the Butler in Japan. They have evaluated several options and are glad to use the Butler as they believe the Butler goods-toperson technology will be a driving force in their strategy to increase productivity in their warehouse operations through robotics.”
The GreyOrange Butler system will be installed at Home Logistics’ Osaka distribution centre to handle automated inventory storage (put-away) and picking. According to GreyOrange, the Butler software adapts in real time to changing inventory profiles and order fulfilment patterns, resulting in high productivity and accuracy. This system, says the company, will thus be capable of delivering a far higher throughput.
Nalin Advani, CEO – APAC, GreyOrange, says: “Japan has one of the world’s most mature distribution infrastructures and is the fourth largest e-commerce market. More than 75% of consumers regularly shop online and e-commerce has been forecast to grow to US$200 billion by 2020. The Nitori Group is far-sighted in anticipating the challenges of warehouse operations and addressing it with robotics.”