Case study: Flink
Fueling Sustainable and Efficient Hyper-Growth with RELEX Solutions

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Enhanced

operational efficiency

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Reduced

significantly in waste

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Improvements

in inventory optimization

Accelerating Growth: Flink’s Journey from Startup to Scaleup

Founded in late 2020, Flink, a Berlin-based quick commerce startup, is shaking-up grocery delivery through their Flink app, offering rapid e-bike courier services. Specializing in a wide range of fresh products and ready-to-make meals, Flink experienced rapid growth, driven by consumer demand for speed and convenience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, this expansion exposed challenges in their supply chain management, primarily in scaling their self-developed planning solution to a growing network of >100 hubs where they saw 10-15 new dark stores opening weekly.

In search of a solution to these expanding supply chain challenges, Flink turned to RELEX Solutions, a leading provider of unified supply chain and retail planning solutions. The RELEX machine learning capabilities and flexible, scalable system offered a significant advantage, particularly given Flink’s limited sales history as a startup.

Project Implementation Amidst Rapid Growth and Pandemic Challenges

In 2021, amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Flink embarked on a strategic project with RELEX to bolster their growth and operational efficiency. Flink chose to implement the RELEX advanced forecasting and replenishment solutions, crucial for managing the surge in demand and the complexities of their dynamic supply chain.

The implementation process was notably swift, taking approximately three months. This rapid deployment was particularly challenging given Flink’s limited historical sales data, a factor critical in forecasting and demand planning. The implementation focused on optimizing end-to-end supply chain planning, including demand forecasting, replenishment, and shelf space optimization, across key markets and distribution centers. Central to Flink’s objectives were reducing spoilage, especially for fresh products, streamlining ordering processes, and improving product availability to enhance sales and improve inventory turnover.

RELEX, known for rapid and flexible system implementations, was a perfect match for Flink’s need to swiftly adapt in a shifting market environment. One of Flink’s key objectives was to automate the ordering processes in order to streamline operations. This implementation marked one of the fastest in RELEX history, underlining their ability to rapidly respond to the needs of fast-scaling companies like Flink during a critical period.

Driving Sustainable Growth and Operational Excellence: The RELEX Impact on Flink

The strategic implementation of the RELEX solutions has not only streamlined Flink’s operations but also significantly improved several key areas of their business, showcasing the power of an integrated supply chain approach.

A key advantage of the RELEX system was its customization capabilities and user-friendly interface. The flexibility to tailor business rules and adapt the product to Flink’s specific needs played a crucial role in the successful integration of RELEX into Flink’s operations.

The automation of critical processes via RELEX has significantly enhanced operational efficiency, allowing Flink’s team to focus on strategic growth initiatives, crucial for managing the complexities of rapid expansion. At the same time, the configurability of the solution has brought agility and precision to Flink’s promotional activities. This has enabled Flink to efficiently manage promotions and respond dynamically to market demands, aligning their strategies seamlessly with consumer needs.

A major achievement for Flink was a significant reduction in waste, particularly in managing perishable inventory. For example  the spoilage rates of fruits and vegetables have been reduced while  maintaining high availability.

Further, Flink has made remarkable strides in inventory optimization, in particular making the most efficient use of restricted space in inner city locations. The use of RELEX machine learning-driven forecasting tools has been pivotal in enhancing Flink’s operational decision-making. This accuracy in forecasting has allowed Flink to concentrate more on building robust supplier relationships and other strategic aspects of their business with a very lean team managing the day-to-day operations.

A key element in this success has been found in the solution’s advanced machine learning forecasting capabilities, which have delivered exceptional accuracy, greatly contributing to Flink’s satisfaction with the results. Additionally, the flexibility of the RELEX platform empowers the Flink team to independently adjust and steer the system effectively in response to changing market conditions.

This partnership has been beneficial for both companies: it has reinforced RELEX as a provider of scalable, sustainable supply chain solutions, especially for rapidly growing companies, and has been a key factor in Flink’s ongoing success. The journey of Flink, buoyed by the technological support and insights from RELEX, exemplifies how strategic technology implementations can effectively drive sustainable business growth.