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Environment, sustainability, logistics, personal data. A question of theory, but a matter of practic

A question of theory, but a matter of practice.

Also available as PDF-document

Linda

In our daily handling with our customers, besides specific technical enquiries regarding vehicles, we are also being questioned, frequently about the aspects mentioned in the title. 

Rest assured that themes, like environment, sustainability, logistics and personal data protection is a very important topic in our daily work. The following interview will help you having an overview in the "backstage scenes" of our day-to-day business. 
Question:
Is Der Franzose environmentally conscious in his day-to-day business or does he merely sell parts for old stinking vehicles equipped with combustion engines, most of which do not even have a catalyst?

Der Franzose : 
Romance and wishful thinking meet reality here. We all want more sustainability, ecologically responsible action and climate-neutral shipping. And that is why "Der Franzose" is very active in this field. 
Besides the catalytic converters, which we, ourselves developed  for Renault and Citroen 2-cylinder boxer engines, we have integrated quite a lot in terms of ecology, sustainability and the environment. For example, since years we have not used plastic bags for shipping,but recycled paper-bags. The same applies to packaging: we do not use plastics, polystyrene chips or granulates as upholstery, even if it would be easier to handle. Instead, we use  cardboard boxes, from the incoming department, which we ourselves shred in a special machine station.

This process is quite tedious, but ecologically flawless. We, only uses bubble wrap, exceptionally for padding glasses and chrome parts. In the incoming goods department, foil, paper, wood etc. are being sorted accordingly and disposed in provided containers (unfortunately also chargeable). In addition, we have been a member of the Dual System Germany (Green Dot) for years. This may not be the cheapest way for entrepreneurs, but the system ensures that packaging materials are sensibly recycled. For this reason, we use cartons that are most certified as far as possible, for shipping. Small parcels are sealed with paper-based wet adhesive tapes. 
Der Franzose has been operating a combined heat and power unit in his building, for almost 15 years now, with which we cover our heating and electricity needs. The surplus electricity generated is fed into the grid, and the colleagues in the warehouse are happy with the nice tempetature. The small side effect is that, the more than 1 million parts, stored in our warehouse, are not exposed to large temperature fluctuations. Thus, they do not "age" due to a poor indoor climate.

Question:
Why does Der Franzose dispatch the smallest screw ordered in a big cardboard box instead of sending it in an envelope? That's environmentally not very friendly, is it?
Der Franzose:
Neither do we have a MOQ (minimum order value) nor do we calculate a minimum quantity supplement. But Der Franzose dispatch all parts, carefully packed via registered, insured and trackable parcels.

From a commercial point of view, every order below a value of 40 euros, is a pure customer service, considering the necessary handling processes,i.e issueing the invoice, printing, picking of goods from the warehouse, packing and dispatching. If that order were now to be dispatched via envelopes, this would mean that the normal, logistically semi-automated shipping process for this order - including the running conveyors! - would have to be interrupted. This procedure will slow down handling of further orders. And as you know, time is money!
Nevertheless, we are pleased to offer this service to our customers, as we all know, from our own experience, how far a small part, like a screw, a nut or a gasket can penalise oneself. However, we have to do it as far as possible, in a most cost-effective way. 
In the daily business practice, it has been proven that it is more ecological to use a slightly larger box for a better handling. Small box is then to be handled in a particular way, most of the time manually as it does not really fit the conventional belt conveyors. Moreover, handling of boxes with a regular size is much efficient. Nevertheless, as in many other situations. the question is about "what do we want to" vs "what can we do", considering the fact what is economically reasonable!

Perhaps this can help you understanding, why we don't send any parts in envelope - this simply disrupts the handling process and is therefore too expensive. Moreover, the parcel is not assured but also not trackable. 

Furthermore, we do not offer any express delivery for logistics and ecological reasons. This shipping option will not only disrupt the handling process but is also not really ecologically efficient. The transport vehicles are not fully loaded and more tours are being organised for delivery of such dispatching. It often happens that delivery delay of such "express shipment" does not really varies compare to regular shipment. Finally, we all want to get involved for a better environment, aren't we?
We are actually storing over 1 million spare parts in our warehouse. Those parts are partially not being in production since 50 years! You may have certainly noticed it yourselves: parts for modern vehicles are mostly available only upon request. There is nothing which is on stock in the next garage. Thus, a tour will be booked exclusively for the delivery of an oil filter! Is it much eco-friendly?

Question:
Why does it take several days until my ordered exhaust system arrives?
Der Franzose: 
Bulky parcels are in general non-conveyable parcels. In that case, the same manual handling procedure is applicable. The dispatching of non-conveyable parcels are done manually and have to be forwarded manually from one station to another and this process can cause a delay. So, please take into consideration that delivery of bulky and lengthy parcels, e.g an exhaust pipe, which is longer than 150 cm, might be done 1-3 days later. 

Question:
Why can't I add something to my order, which I made just a few minutes ago? Shall I pay once again postage fees for the reorder?
Der Franzose:
After receipt of an order, via our website, Email, fax or phone, we consider that the customer has well prepared the order before closing the transaction. Thus, we handle that order including the payment as a closed transaction for us to proceed with shipping procedures as soon as possible. All logistics documents, like pick-up list for the warehouse, packing list as well as shipping label (size and weight of the parcel) to be transmitted to the postage service, are being printed. The inventory is being automatically updated. Now, to add an additional part to that parcel, means that the one at the sales department shall move to the shipping department, looking for that particular parcel, amongst hundreds of other parcel, get the registered shipping data cancelled at the post station, puting then that order on stand-by and issue a new invoice to get a further pick-up list for the additional item to then be picked up from the warehouse and added in the box! This procedure is unfortunately not possible to manage. 

However, for orders with "payment in advance" as payment method, is somewhat different. This order will not be forwarded to the shipping department until receipt of your payment.Thus, a amendment can be done at any time as far as the order has not been paid. And yes, even for the reordered "wiper blades", which one actually wanted to add to the order, postage fee is due again. After all, the postman will not carry the package  for free, even a day later...

Over the years, we have gained the impression that this "reordering", especially of smaller parts, is often an organization problem. It often happens, particularly with workshop customers, that we get some reorders hours later after the previous order has been confirmed. Thus, a new invoice, including shipping will be issued and that tiny forgotten nut will be sent in a parcel. 
We, therefore always recommend to do first of all a check-list and send the order after the final inspection has been done. This process is much efficient, cost less money and definitely environmentally friendly.
Moreover, we give you the option to insert the required parts in your shopping cart, which are being saveguarded for max. 6 weeks. You have then the possibility to send the final order, after all needed parts have been added in the cart. It is cheaper for you. 

search 5men or 1 womanQuestion:
Is my parcel packed by a robot or do people still work in the shipping department at "Der Franzose"?
Der Franzose:
Some of our customers would stand open-mouthed in amazement if they could see, who pack all ordered parts. The whole shipping department is occupied by women.
We've been sending spare parts since 31 years and throughout all those years, we have gathered enough experiences to know how to handle shipping of particular parts and we tried at the utmost to optimize handling at the shipping department as far as possible. Nevertheless, it was and is still a tough work. The daily itinerary of 10 km per person at the picking stations, is something usual.Besides, we do not only dispatch some bulbs or air filter, but also bulky parts, amongst complete exhaust system, floor panels and engine bonnet!
This tough task is being done only by women, simply because they can do it, pretty much better than us men! Just think about how you handle packing of the last Christmas present. Quite complicated, isn't it? 

Even though, we have a very low fluctuation rate of employees because of the conditions of work and we do our best to offer all employees a good working atmosphere. In other words; Franzose forever! 

Question:
How does Der Franzose handle my personal data according to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?
Der Franzose: 
The digital revolution has a massive impact in every aspects of our life. Rest assured that Der Franzose handle your data with strick discretion. We handle your personal data differently, compared to  other famous international companies, where all your shopping lists are being saved and analysed for further marketing purposes, personalised on your purchases.  To ensure more privacy, your personal data online are saved in an encypted form. Our online server is located in Berlin, where the German data protection laws apply. We do not save neither your bankdata nor your creditcard details. Debiting of the credit card is being done directly on the website of our bank account, the CIC Bank of France, with a highest security level. 

That is why, each time you are ordering parts from us and wish to pay via creditcard, you are asked to enter the card number again. We use your credit card data exclusively for a current payment process. All other data, required to handle your order, will only be stored in-house server complex at 2 different locations, namely in the server room in the hall complex and the in the server container. We don't use a cloud for this purpose, but invest in buying a specialised container, on our outdoor premises. This container is under video-surveillance and secured with an alarm system and equipped with a fire extinguishing system and emergency power generator. Our employees, who have to deal with your data within the framework of orders, have been thoroughly and specially trained and are obliged to absolute discretion.
This has been thus since long time but - unfortunately! - in the today's time, nevertheless worth mentioning.

We are interested in your car, not more and not less, and that with great passion!

Also available as PDF-document
february 2019

 
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