How the leading Finnish variety discount retailer found a trusted partner in Maersk, working collaboratively to meet demand and ease their supply chain complexities.
For retailers dealing in the fast movement of goods across the world, visibility over every aspect of logistics and seamless communication with vendors and carriers, are of paramount importance. However, without robust systems in place to track progress and overcome obstacles, certain challenges can arise.
Understanding the challenges
Despite being the largest discount store chain in Finland importing large quantities of goods predominantly from Far East Asia, the Tokmanni Group was dealing with issues surrounding visibility and control within their supply chain.
With no clear oversight of their processes and delivery timescales for cargo in transit, the retailer was struggling to effectively manage their operations and meet the requirements of their vendors.
These pain points were all driven by issues concerning communication between Tokmanni and their vendors as well as their internal teams. With little information on multiple purchase orders’ status, delays owing to communication challenges between buyers and the replenishment team and products that weren’t coming into the country being marketed, Tokmanni had no overall view of their logistics. This made it difficult for them to plan efficiently.
Tokmanni had already been a Maersk Ocean customer for many years, but the retailer required a more comprehensive, end-to-end solution to solve their visibility issues and achieve a seamless supply chain process.
It was critical that we as Maersk looked to understand Tokmanni’s business, supply chain strategy and pain points before offering a solution that fit them. Our several discussions and workshops with the team from Tokmanni managed to achieve exactly that, a deep understanding and value-adding solution.
Providing the solution
To provide their customers with total control over all elements of their supply chains, Maersk’s online platform, MyMaerskSupplychain, allows for transparency--housing all supply chain data on one accessible portal.
This supply chain management platform was the ideal product for Tokmanni, whose primary pain points were the manual management of its operations and its lack of real-time data insights. Maersk implemented this SCM product in 2020, providing the customer with a one-stop shop in which all information was centralised to enhance Tokmanni’s ability to communicate and plan effectively.
Vendor and PO management was provided to the customer through MyMaersk, with the platform accessible to all parties, including vendors and carriers. POs were immediately visible on the platform, allowing the Maersk team to monitor their status, as well as keep on top of estimated departure dates.
Maersk also handled all shipments, organising vessel bookings on the customer’s behalf, allowing for a clear, overall view of shipment planning. Once shipments were in transit from origin countries, Tokmanni could track progress and be alerted of any changes in estimated arrival, allowing buyers and warehouse replenishment teams to react quickly and respond to potential delays.
For Tokmanni’s internal forwarding department, using MyMaersk allowed them to seamlessly organise customs clearance procedures, ensuring all relevant documentation was in place ahead of a container’s arrival at its destination. Alongside this, daily reports were generated by Maersk and made available on the platform, providing details on key milestones reached.
To ensure that Tokmanni's internal teams and their vendors were able to adjust to working with a new platform, Maersk provided pre-training before the go-live date and continues to organise deep-dive workshops to onboard new team members, with a particular focus on the reporting tools and data insight interpretation.
Automation has made supply chain management simpler and more straightforward for Tokmanni, facilitated by the existing infrastructure that Maersk had in place through its SCM product.
Working with Maersk has allowed Tokmanni to take the burden off their shoulders, leaning on our expertise in managing supply chains in a controlled way. Our relationship with the customer has evolved into a true partnership, with Maersk acting as an extension of their own team, working together to find common solutions to shared problems.
Measuring the results
When Maersk implemented Tokmanni’s supply chain management solution, the benefits were almost immediate. Now, with all data available within one centralised platform and a clear overview of their logistics, visibility has improved, and in turn, so has communication between the customer and their vendors.
Since Tokmanni began working with Maersk in this capacity, the company has seen a 7% growth in turnover; 97% of its shipments were loaded as booked during 2021; and its POs doubled within a year, due in part to the efficiency of the automations in place.
These impressive results were made possible not only by the sophistication of Maersk’s supply chain product, but through the company’s global footprint and its position as a leading provider of integrated logistics.
With Tokmanni’s biggest origin countries in Far East Asia, Maersk’s strong footprint in those regions was beneficial to the customer. With SCM already in place in those countries, it was straightforward to map procedures with Tokmanni and set up processes with Maersk’s knowledge of best practices.
One of the best results of the supply chain management contract between Maersk and Tokmanni is the development of a close partnership, which has been of immense benefit to both parties. As a logistics provider with a global presence and control over its own vessels and containers, the support of Maersk has proven to be a great advantage to Tokmanni, steering the company to regain control over its own supply chain and meet the increasing demand of its vendors and customers.
It’s wonderful that we have been able to build interfaces between Maersk and Tokmanni’s IT solution. Our shipment count has doubled in two years, and we couldn’t have handled them with the same FTE count without the automation between Maersk and Tokmanni’s systems.
Driving the partnership forwards
Since this supply chain management deal with Tokmanni commenced in 2020, the retailer’s partnership with Maersk has continued to evolve and now encompasses newly provided services to support the seamless movement of its cargo.
Previously, Tokmanni used multiple carriers to transport goods from origin countries into Finland, but the success of this SCM partnership has resulted in Maersk acquiring:
- Tokmanni’s inland haulages in Finland, from port to distribution centre
- 100% SOW of Tokmanni’s FCL shipments
- 100% SOW of Tokmanni’s LCL shipments
- The management of all Far East Asia and Indian subcontinent POs
Alongside this, Maersk is now providing Tokmanni with added value through its consolidation service. The retailer used to ship many light load containers, which proved expensive for them. They required a cost-effective solution to ease the strain on their supply chain.
Maersk stepped in and now consolidates Tokmanni’s low-volume POs, shipping the cargo in one container. This has supported the retailer in streamlining the management of their supply chain. Since this service was offered, container utilisation has improved by over 50%.
The triumph of this evolving partnership has not gone unnoticed, with several Finnish retailers noting that the cooperation between Maersk and Tokmanni has been one of the key factors in the retailer’s success.
Tokmanni is no longer weathering the same obstacles as its competitors, and has, with the determined support of Maersk, streamlined its operations, achieved greater control and visibility, and connected the dots to build a future-proof supply chain.
We are very pleased with the results achieved by the MyMaersk solution. It gives us a real-time view of our shipments and improves our efficiency. Our strong cooperation with Maersk offers us a solid base for future development of SCM digitalisation.