Case: Paul Smits talks about Depalux

“Right away, it worked like a charm”

Thanks to Picqer, Depalux spends much less time on warehouse management at online lighting store. Owner Paul Smits (33) is happy. "All the options we wanted are available in the system.”

Paul Smits (left) and Dennie Clerx of Depalux
Paul Smits (left) and Dennie Clerx of Depalux

When Dennie Clerx's employer, Paul Smits's associate, went bankrupt five years ago, Paul and Dennie saw opportunities. Paul worked in the automotive industry but comes from an entrepreneurial family. He liked the idea of having his own company. Together they decided to take over the webshop with electronic lighting parts.

Because they wanted to grow they took over another bankrupt webshop three years ago. Coincidentally, a major takeover was added a year ago. "I talked to a friend who ran a large online company in our industry during a barbecue. "If I ever sell it, I'll sell it to you," he said, stating an amount. The next morning I called him and asked if he meant what he said the night before. Which he had, he still wanted to sell his company to us. That’s how it all started.”

Stefan fulfills a webshop order Stefan fulfills a webshop order Stefan fulfills a webshop order

Everything in stock

The takeover made Depalux the largest online player in the field of consumer luminaries. They grew into a company with a turnover of millions, and went from two to twelve employees. Paul and his partner were able to live from the webshop before the takeover, but both still worked full-time. "We invested all the profit back into the company because we want everything we sell to be in stock. Consumers want fast delivery after ordering, which is only possible if everything is in stock. That differentiated us from other online stores.” A strong ambition, as it concerns millions of products. "Every quarter we take another step. Now, for example, we have half of Phillips’s product range in stock.”

Stefan picks a Philips garden light
Stefan picks a Philips garden light

Affordable standard package

In the summer of 2016, Paul and Dennie determined that the organization needed to scale-up and be professionalized. "We had nine webshops that all operated on different warehouse management systems. Three people worked in the warehouse, one of them was preparing shipments all day - very inefficient.” With partners of webshop tool Magento and searching on Google, they looked for a better warehouse management system. They soon found Picqer. "We started talking and we hit it right off. They offered what we were looking for and could also integrate the different templates in which we build our websites into one system. This was affordable as it came in a standard package.”

A set of Philips Hue
...and a set of Phillips Hue

Ready to use

Since they started using Picqer at Depalux, they could fulfill tasks in the warehouse with fewer people and only spend half the original time managing their inventory. The implementation was easy. "We only had to adjust our workflow. The webshops were in no-time integrated and immediately ready for use. We did run a pilot, but it was not really necessary - the system ran smoothly.” Integrating PostNL’s ‘Pakje Gemak’, with which consumers can choose where they pick-up their parcel, turned out to be simple.

Buitenlampen inpakken op de paktafel Buitenlampen inpakken op de paktafel Buitenlampen inpakken op de paktafel

Smits liked the fact that Stephan Groen from Picqer came by quickly to see if everything was working properly. "Our feedback to make some efficiency gains were quickly addressed, the areas for improvement that we suggested were already action points on their list. All the features we wanted, are now in the system.” Smits has one more wish: 24-hour telephone accessibility. "I always want to be able to call someone when the system is down.”

Facts & figures of Depalux

Depalux is as a webshop for lighting parts founded in 2012. They took over two other webshops in 2014 and 2015. Depalux represents large and well-known brands in the lighting industry. Depalux includes a physical showroom in Breda and six webshops: lampenwereld.nl, meerdanlicht.nl, tuinlampenwinkel.nl, ventilatorwereld.nl, et48.com en kinderlampenwinkel.nl.

They use various software platforms for the webshops, such as a multi-store Magento system and various Lightspeed eCom stores.

Depalux has been using Picqer since July 2016. This interview took place in May 2017.

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