Case Study: Food retailer setting new standards in online delivery service with best-of-breed-Technology from FLS, Fast Lean Smart

Aug 17, 2017 • FeaturesFLSMobile AppREWEWorkforce Schedulingfast lean smartJohannes Steegmann

REWE Markt GmbH, with more than 3,000 REWE locations and 90,000 employees, ranks among the leading corporations in the German food retail business.

REWE is not only a big player as a brick and mortar retailer, but it is also a leading online pioneer with the establishment of an online supermarket which offers delivery services. Since its opening in 2011, it has grown to reach roughly 40 percent of German households. Those customers are served from 30 locations that deliver to more than 75 cities and their suburban areas.

The challenge

“We strive to offer our customers supreme service, regardless whether it is on site at the supermarket or online“ says Dr. Johannes Steegmann, Director of Marketing, Strategy and Ventures at REWE Digital GmbH. REWE delivery service offers a large selection of the products of the brick and mortar supermarkets. REWE’s mission as well as it’s challenge is to get the merchandise to the customer’s doorstep at peak quality and promptly within the requested delivery window.

The solution

To ensure and further improve customer satisfaction while growing and expanding service, REWE decided in 2015 to implement new software for planning the routes of their delivery vehicles. Its main objective is to optimise timely fulfilment within short delivery windows. For that purpose, the software must be able to consider real-time components such as heavy traffic or varying idleness in its planning. The technology must be flexible to be customised to REWE’s delivery service, specifically providing scalability as well as customisation and interfacing with other systems.

The decisive factors for choosing FLS, Fast Lean Smart, as their software partner were the flexibility of the FLS software solutions VISITOUR and FLS MOBILE as well as the performance of their PowerOpt algorithm and cost based calculations.

Customer friendly delivery windows

Customers make their purchase at the online shop on the website or with the REWE delivery service app, then they decide their delivery window which can be set up to 13 days in advance.  The choices are either short 2-hour delivery windows or half-day windows. The available appointments are provided via direct real-time interface with FLS VISITOUR.

FLS VISITOUR calculates an optimised virtual constellation route and instantly knows the relative cost of each possible time-slot given existing delivery commitments. REWE are able to provide not only high quality and reliable customer service, but also ensure a cost-efficient line-up of delivery appointments for the company. As soon as customers choose and confirm their delivery date and time, those appointments are added to the route planning, optimised with “what-if-when” considerations. FLS VISITOUR calculates routes in real-time and to street level detail and, despite the high user count and large offering of delivery slots, the software proves its enormous computing capacity.

Mobile App for real-time communication

Drivers receive their route data on their mobile app FLS MOBILE. Drivers then report their status back to FLS VISITOUR via the app and inform when deliveries have been completed. That way, central planning always has a real-time update on the status of all deliveries.

The benefits

“We are constantly developing new standards across all processes along the supply chain, as we aim to fulfil our customers’ requests even better “, says Jörg Unruh, Director of Logistics at REWE Digital. He is convinced: “The decision to use FLS VISITOUR and FLS MOBILE for scheduling and route planning was right on the mark. Furthermore, the software helps us as it simplifies processes and delivers consistent performance. Here, we can count on FLS as our reliable partner."

Awards for the online delivery service confirm that REWE keeps its promises to its customers. In 2015 the IT magazine “CHIP “named REWE delivery service “Best online delivery service” with significant lead ahead of the competition. In spring 2016 the “ComputerBild” magazine reached the same conclusion and to top it all REWE was crowned best multi-channel provider by the business press “Internet World Business” during their Shop Awards.

FLS has come to know the REWE delivery service as a nimble enterprise and this creates ideal conditions for partnership and to respond to the demands of the business model together with innovative solutions.

“On-line food retail is a high volume business and giving the best customer experience is key to brand loyalty. FLS VISITOUR real-time service optimisation technology has proven flexible to meet the needs of one of Europe’s largest retailers.”, commented Jeremy Squire, FLS UK Managing Director, “We enjoy an excellent partnership with REWE and have long term commitment to stretching the boundaries for customer service excellence in combination with operational efficiencies”


  • Cost optimisation in route planning
  • High scalability without sacrificing performance


  • Considerable improvement of the appointment planning with simultaneous increase
    in cost efficiency
  • Automation and simplification of route planning processes
  • Ensuring the operative growth through transparency and continuous performance
  • Seamless connection of the appointment portal for the customers and the operative
    route planning



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