“We have many different products. You quickly overlook things and order too many or too few products.”

Rogier de Veer – Owner of DealDonkey
Homepage visual DealDonkey Customer Success Case

DealDonkey – you can read this in this case:

  • DealDonkey has been active as an online discount platform since 2011
  • Optiply uses Picqer’s WMS system as its source system
  • Purchasing with exports was exchanged for Optiply’s data-driven method
  • DealDonkey works with a small and close-knit team for the Dutch-speaking market

One deal per day. That is the formula that DealDonkey started with in 2011. Now, thirteen years later, the website of Rogier de Veer, founder and owner of DealDonkey, and his team has grown into a collection of special, useful and original products that make life more fun and easier.

Rogier talks about the start of DealDonkey. “I was employed as a purchaser for a similar company as DealDonkey but decided to quit my permanent job in 2011 to start my own platform. I found two investors, hired an intern and started DealDonkey on January 1, 2011. Our website was launched on May 28 that year and we offered one ‘deal’ per day for a very competitive price.”

Rogier explains that he and his intern did everything themselves. “When the bidding block closed after eleven o’clock, we purchased the products so that we could process and ship them the next day. We also staffed customer service and placed the deals online for the next day.”

We have around 1,300 different SKUs in the warehouse and our logistics team processes around 400 orders per day.

Rogier de Veer

Owner, DealDonkey

From ‘daily deal’ to fixed range

“After a while, we saw that it was often a lot cheaper to purchase a pallet rather than 30 pieces of a product. The inventory in our warehouse gradually grew. We then converted the ‘daily deal’ website into a website with more than 500 products.” Rogier saw that customers often bought not one, but several products. “They came in for the toothbrushes, but also took a toaster, for example. That worked very well.”

During that period, Rogier rented two desks and a warehouse scaffold. He soon realised they needed more space. Via an intermediate stop, they moved to their current building in Nieuw-Vennep seven years ago. “At our current location, we are not short of space. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we installed additional scaffolds twice and, including the scaffolds that were installed last year, we can now store 650 pallets. We have approximately 1,300 different SKUs in the warehouse and our logistics team processes approximately 400 orders per day.”

Rogier emphasises that DealDonkey has grown quite naturally as a company. “Ok, during the pandemic we did go ‘times two’, but those were exceptional circumstances. I do not pursue rapid and extreme growth as an entrepreneur. Stable growth suits us better.”

From bed linen to LED lamps

Despite the growth of the company and the range, a ‘deal of the day’ still opens DealDonkey’s homepage. Rogier emphasises that in most cases these products were already part of DealDonkey’s inventory and will remain so – including the competitive price.

DealDonkey’s range is wide, from kitchen supplies to electronic gadgets and from bed linen to LED lamps. Rogier purchases the products himself. “I speak to my regular group of suppliers every day and am therefore offered many products. I also search for products that could be interesting for our range.”

3 things
DealDonkey

abandoned

  1. Purchasing based on exports and gut feeling
  2. Responding to trends and seasons based on feeling
  3. Working with an uncategorised inventory
“Every Thursday, our team meets to discuss new quotes. We assess the products by looking at things such as: which supplier offers it, the return sensitivity and how the product is priced.”

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DealDonkey’s purchasing process

Rogier explains that DealDonkey’s purchasing process was originally as clear as their ‘daily deal’ formula. “When we had an offer per day, we sent out a mailing in the morning so that we knew when the bidding block ended what had been sold. We could then immediately inform the supplier how many products needed to be delivered. That was super easy and clear purchasing. At that time we hardly received any returns – customers were a lot less critical.”

“The moment we started working with a larger range, our purchasing approach changed, but it remained guesswork. We looked at sales and then estimated how much needed to be purchased. Initially, we didn’t work with stock locations either – products were scattered in the warehouse. We didn’t count inventory either. When you look back on it, it was ludicrous, but it worked for us at the time.”

The first step for DealDonkey towards structured inventory management was starting with Picqer as a WMS system. The data from Picqer was initially also used for purchasing. “Every week we made an export from Picqer to see what we had sold per supplier. This is how we determined our purchases.”

I had to chew on it for a while. I found the tool very pricey. We were then able to test Optiply for about three to six months. That made all the difference.

Rogier de Veer

Owner, DealDonkey

A diverse range is a strength and an obstacle

The diverse range is DealDonkey’s strength, but it also turned out to be an obstacle for accurate purchasing. “We have many different products and sometimes we order twenty different items in a purchase order. That is very difficult to manage manually. And, if you make forecasts via an export, you can quickly overlook things. Then you order too many or too few products.”

“In Picqer we quickly saw the option to link with Optiply.” Rogier emphasises that he hesitated for a long time about working with Optiply because of the price. “I had to chew on it for a while. I found the tool very pricey. We were then able to test the app for about three to six months. That made all the difference.”

Order everything in just four clicks

“The integration was ‘easy’. Optiply was a perfect fit for Picqer. Fortunately, I quickly discovered that working with Optiply would save me a lot of time. I was suddenly able to bring all my purchases together and literally order everything in just four clicks.”

“We now order everything on time and can look a lot further ahead. We have much better insight into trends and seasonality. In addition, we are less vulnerable if products are temporarily sold out at a supplier. These parameters can be adjusted in Optiply and the purchasing advice is also updated immediately.”

In addition to the time savings, it is also important for Rogier that he no longer has to remember everything himself. “I don’t have to think as much about purchasing tasks and when I purchase I can do it within fifteen minutes.” Rogier purchases twice a week, but checks the Optiply dashboard daily. “If Optiply suddenly gives advice that I did not expect, I want to be able to respond to it in time. Because we send out an email every day, it can happen that products suddenly pop out.”

3 reasons why
DealDonkey

is happy with Optiply

  1. Purchasing takes less time
  2. The inventory is more balanced
  3. A better understanding trends and seasonalities

Finding a good balance

When Rogier is asked about his favourite Optiply function, he is very adamant: “actual purchasing.” He adds: “Of course, we also look at the ABC dots with which Optiply categorises products.” Optiply’s ABC analysis is also an important indicator for DealDonkey when organising its inventory. “Certainly the A-products are very important to us when we work towards busy periods such as Christmas. However, I must honestly admit that the space in the warehouse also plays a part. Despite the recent expansion, it is again quite crowded. For that reason, we check with our Optiply customer success manager whether we can reduce products in the B and C categories slightly. We have to find a good balance.”

Rogier clarifies that because of his purchasing role he is well-informed about product performance. “I know how products perform, but now that I work with Optiply I am one step ahead when ordering. I can now prevent us from selling out on a certain product. Manually or via export, I never had such a clear insight into when I should stock up on soup pots or duvet covers, for example. We simply overlook less.”

Opportunities for everyone

Rogier looks to the future with positivity and praises his team. “We are a young team and our employees stay with us for a long time. The first intern I hired still works for DealDonkey and three warehouse employees have now moved on to office positions. I think team spirit is very important. There are opportunities for everyone within DealDonkey.”

What remains crucial for Rogier and his team is their offer, that systems work well and colleagues are in the right place within the company. “These three points are crucial for us to continue building DealDonkey.”

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Less inventory

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