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Supporting bol to develop its capabilities in the first and last mile

  • Creating an exceptional customer experience in online shopping hinges on a fast and reliable order delivery process to the customer’s doorstep 

  • Fast-growing bol enlisted the help of IG&H to help define and execute a comprehensive strategy to bring its delivery capability to the next level  

  • The launching of Ampère, a startup company in sustainable first-mile operations, was one of the key strategic initiatives that received key support from IG&H 

At a glance: 

For a consumer making an online purchase, (home) delivery is often overlooked as an integral part of the shopping experience. Surveys in fact show that the difference between a happy and dissatisfied customer is almost exclusively made by the speed, reliability, flexibility and sustainability of the final leg of the logistics delivery chain, also called the last mile. The encounter at the front door is a crucial one. It is the only physical touchpoint in the digital customer journey.

Our client bol is a well-known and fast-growing webshop in the Netherlands and Belgium with over 13 million active customers and almost 50k external partners selling on its platform. In order to maintain its customer promise, boost innovation and extend its premium delivery services, bol needed to define a comprehensive strategy for its first and last mile distribution capability.

Data Science to micromodel last mile propositions 

IG&H’s engagement on this subject began with an evaluation of bol’s current delivery options. The team then identified and evaluated several last mile proposition innovations including sustainable delivery, pickup points and parcel lockers. The outcome was a strategic direction that was validated and aligned across several stakeholders and later approved by the executive board.

In the next phase, the team used advanced data modeling techniques to redesign and optimize the existing distribution system. A digital twin, providing an accurate representation of the client’s entire distribution supply chain, was created to model the cost, capacity and scaling dynamics of all current networks.

Executing the newly formed strategy 

The newly formed distribution vision gave bol a clear direction to define and pursue several strategic initiatives. One was to launch a new company, Ampère, with the goal of providing a sustainable and premium first-mile pickup service for platform partners. This would allow bol to expand its next-day delivery promise to an ever-increasing range of products on its platform.

IG&H provided on-the-ground support in several work streams to set up the startup company from scratch. This included the development of a driver app, selecting and implementing route planning software, assisting in the go-live of the first sortation facility, hardware procurement, organization design and setting up the HR processes. IG&H also helped to shape the strategy and mission of the company, creating clear propositions and developing the plan to grow towards full national coverage. Last, IG&H did the overall program management, prepared the decision-making towards the shareholders and managed the stakeholder field.  


"Throughout the last years, IG&H helped us to entirely build up our own Data Science capability and by doing so made a lasting impact on developing our distribution vision."  

Peter Flierman | Lead Delivery Strategy bol 


Results that deliver for the long-term 

The last mile is the most complex and costly part of the supply chain due to the need to navigate through various logistics, transportation and customer-related challenges. IG&H helped to support bol in making the best strategic decisions and successfully bringing those to execution. A true shift could be observed where bol is now considering the value instead of the cost of the last mile.

Distribution will remain a key focus for many companies seeking to gain a competitive edge and deliver exceptional customer experiences in the final stage of the supply chain. With our support, bol is well-positioned in the ongoing battle at the front door. 

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