Fast growth in ever-expanding global markets, and the need to serve its retail and online clients in Asian markets, drove home furnishings retailer Cath Kidston to approach SEKO for a solution. Cath Kidston chose to partner with SEKO, expanding an already successful relationship that managed the company’s inbound business from Asia to the UK and its distribution centers in Hong Kong and Shanghai supplying its international franchises. Distributing in Japan, however, was very different to any direct market Cath Kidston had dealt with before.
The closer packaging facilities are to manufacturing operations, distribution centers, or end destinations, the more cost effectively you can transport products.Henry Philips, CEO of HAVA Logistics Inc.
SEKO’s solution was to implement a full distribution service for Cath Kidston with product dispatches twice weekly to all 27 stores across eight regions. SEKO shipped 370,000 units of stock from its Hong Kong DC in the lead-up to the reopening of the stores, using dedicated vehicles to fully stock each store within a 24-hour window. To eliminate any delays, SEKO also installed x-ray equipment to meet Japan’s strict quality control requirements.
With every store opening its doors to the public on time, Cath Kidston called on SEKO’s support again for the opening of a further two stores in Japan, with both ready for the Spring-Summer 2016 product preview. Japan is now Cath Kidston’s biggest market outside of the UK. The relationship is set to continue with more new stores in the pipeline.
Globalization offers tremendous opportunities to companies of any size or industry that can successfully provide or source products and services in dynamic markets. Globalization creates staggering opportunities in growing markets like Southeast Asia, Mexico, India, and Brazil for companies around the world. It has also ushered in a more competitive business environment. Today, whether or not a company produces or sources outside its home country, it is often competing against global organizations.
While it is valuable to develop a knowledge resource regarding the population, infrastructure, languages, politics, economy, customs, currencies, tax laws, and tariffs for each country that shipping routes touch, it is not enough. The variables of global transportation change faster than the knowledge can be compiled.
Logistics must be part of any global business strategy to source products and grow market share. Whether a company handles global logistics internally or outsources some or all of its transportation management, they must understand the crucial role logistics will play in their ultimate success.
Modern communication channels have created a connected customer who demands instant engagement, personalized advertising and, proactive care. To do this requires a unified view of the customer, and a unified approach to the customer’s interactions with your organization.
Today, global transportation operations require robust, internet-based management and reporting tools. A company’s technology must be able to track the potential hand-offs and interactions that can comprise a global move—without appropriate technology, they could sacrifice visibility, efficiency, and profits.
With integrated systems, strategies, and processes, organizations can coordinate the efforts of Customs brokers, freight forwarders, air and ocean carriers, logistics providers, and suppliers to create an effective transportation plan. At the same time, global transportation is not an in-house operation. It requires deep cooperation and integration of all these parties—in terms of both technology platforms and strategic intent—is essential for an effective global transportation plan.
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