'For the customer it is an end-to-end process', says Mihai Paduraru, Head of product Fulfillment and Transport solutions at METRO Digital. 'This has to be taken into account when we are working on the tools that have to function behind the scenes of an FSD depot.' Those independent depots are one of 3 operational models of the delivery services – besides the out-of-store model, where the customer is supplied from the stock of a METRO wholesale store, and those depots that are located within the location of a wholesale store, but form a separate unit in terms of stock management. The independent FSD depots, on the other hand, are pure warehouses and transshipment centres with no connection to a METRO store.
Inventories can be accurately recordedThe functionalities ‘behind the scenes’ are also available for depots that are connected to a store. However, there is an essential factor which distinguishes pure FSD depots from markets: 'The main difference is that in a pure FSD depot there are no end customers', says Paduraru. Which is an advantage – from an IT perspective – as inventories can be recorded with data and numbers that are exact and comparatively reliable, as no customers wander through the aisles and remove items unpredictably. This makes the processes in the FSD depot more controllable.
What is FSD?
As a multichannel provider, METRO combines a network of modern wholesale stores with a comprehensive delivery service, called Food Service Distribution (FSD): customers order items online or by telephone and receive them at the agreed time. This type of purchasing has become increasingly important in recent years – and continues to grow in importance. The delivery business includes ‘METRO Lieferservice’ and the delivery specialists Classic Fine Foods, Pro à Pro and Rungis Express. Classic Fine Foods supplies premium customers in Asia and the Middle East with delicatessen and a wide range of products. Pro à Pro supplies commercial customers throughout France, in particular company and system gastronomy and canteens. Rungis Express is a German premium food supplier specialising in hotels, restaurants and catering companies (HoReCa). In 10 of the total 34 METRO countries, the supply business is the core business.
More about the 6 strategic subject areas in the Annual Report 2019/20.