Black Friday madness at Bleckmann
The Friday after Thanksgiving is the start of a sales period featuring prices that hit rock bottom. For Bleckmann, everybody has to chip in to send around two million parcels in twelve days. We provide the temporary workers needed to pull this off.
The global market leader in supply chain management, Bleckmann stores and ships clothing ordered online for JBC and Superdry, among other brands. In the summer of 2018, Gymshark, a top British brand of fitness clothing, was added. During Black Friday sales in November 2018, a period which lasted 12 days at Bleckmann, approximately 2 million garments had to be shipped from Grobbendonk. This required a lot of manpower: about 1,000 extra people.
No effort was spared
“Bleckmann had already given us a heads-up that it was going to be particularly tough last year because of the addition of newcomer Gymshark to its portfolio. It was a challenge we were happy to take on! At the end of August, we started with the screening. In order to fully deploy 1,000 temporary workers, we knew a pool of at least 1,250 candidates was required. To achieve this, we called and screened over 18,200 people. In addition, we set up the career site at https://werkenbijbleckmann.be and distributed this video:
We also used the video internally to recruit extra hands. After all, we needed a lot of support to keep all the extra shifts in a continuous system on the right track. Our call for aid did not fall on deaf ears with our colleagues: in total, we were able to gather 48.5 FTEs – even from abroad – to help with the reception and supervision of our additional temporary staff.”
“We could deliver because everyone was aiming at the same goal. There was no us and them, only us.”
– Katrien Sneppe, Operations Director at SD Worx Staffing Solutions
Besides upstaffing our internal team, we also launched some important initiatives to facilitate the recruitment of temporary staff. One of these initiatives was to offer buses from Liège, Antwerp and Turnhout, among other locations, to ensure that everyone was always able to get to Grobbendonk on time – even at night. We also transferred as many employees as possible from the Bleckmann branch in Desteldonk to Grobbendonk without undermining the staffing of these other branches.
Ready for it!
By taking all these measures, we succeeded in bringing this whole daring feat to a successful conclusion. Bleckmann expects even more orders next year, and we are ready! In the meantime, we are already working on automating the inflow of potential candidates through our dedicated Bleckmann platform.