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Case study

Full end-to-end supply chain management for a furniture supplier

Our customer - one of the largest privately owned suppliers and distributors of leading home storage brands in Australasia - was looking to expand its footprint by taking control of its UK supply chain operations.

Challenge: Inefficiencies and lack of control constraining sales and growth

Previously, our customer had been very dependent on its main UK customer – a large retailer – that was directly managing the shipping of all products from China to the UK across their own FOB ocean shipping contracts. Faced with unprecedented market volatility, supply chain disruption, shortage in ocean carrier space and escalating ocean freight costs, the retailer was finding it increasingly difficult to ship containers in a timely manner through its regular freight forwarder and shipping line partners. This was leading to huge order backlogs at Chinese ports. What’s more – with congested and inefficient UK warehouses to contend with – stock that did make it into the UK was failing to make it into the retailer’s stores, resulting in lost sales opportunities for our customer and the retailer.

This incredibly difficult market situation prompted our customer to seek help from Ligentia. With a desire to move away from its reliance on one large customer , but with ony a small UK logistics team of its own and ambitions to expand its UK footprint, the customer needed a more efficient, cost-effective and controlled solution to support driving B2B and B2C sales growth in the UK.

The customer was looking for a partner that could rapidly support with cost-effective ocean shipping solutions, including conversion to a Free on Board (FOB) program, the setup of a new centralised warehouse facility and DC in the UK and final mile B2B and B2C distribution, all supported by market leading technology.

Solution: A scalable end-to-end supply chain solution providing a platform for growth

Designing the right UK warehouse and distribution solution was a key priority. After taking the time to understand the customer’s specific needs, we used our knowledge and experience of the UK market to appoint a warehouse that was centrally located to our customer’s demand. We implemented a B2B and B2C delivery solution focused on achieving On Time in Full (OTIF) requirements at the right price point.

On arrival at the UK warehouse / DC, inbound containers are unloaded, product is stored and recorded via the warehouse management system (WMS) before being picked and dispatched electronically once orders are received from the retailer or consumer direct.

Final mile deliveries are made to retailer DCs, stores or direct to the consumer with key milestones recorded across our customer-facing technology, Ligentix.

In parallel with delivering the UK warehouse solution, we worked together with the customer on enhancing performance across the entire end-to-end supply chain including:

  • Conversion to FOB
  • Working closely with Chinese suppliers to support origin stock collection, container loading and shipping from nine Chinese ports
  • Managing allocation and routing of containers across multiple shipping line contracts into the UK

The customer now benefits from full end to end supply chain visibility and control using the Ligentix technology suite and an end-to-end supply chain solution that provides a stable and flexible platform for future growth.

Impact: Efficient, scalable and cost-effective operations – under control

Over the first 12 months of our partnership, we supported the customer in shipping, storing and distributing 858TEU (21418cbm) into and across the UK. During our second year of partnership, we expect this to rise to 2,000TEU. What’s more, the customer has benefitted from:

  • Ocean carrier space protection and at market competitive rate levels
  • Improved services at origin including shipping more efficiently from most suitable outports by supplier, consolidation, origin storage where required and shipping on time and in full
  • An efficiently functioning UK warehousing and last mile delivery operation
  • Full end-to-end visibility and control of their supply chain
  • The stable supply chain platform and agility required for the customer to onboard new customers and grow its presence in the UK market
  • A global partner with presence in their key markets and the expertise and drive to support and facilitate growth ambitions

Are you ready to go beyond with your supply chain?

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