Victoria's Secret arrives in Ireland.
Lbrands (Victoria's Secret)
The ProblemHigh profile Global Fashion logistics client setting up retail outlet on Irelands premier shopping street for the first time. Due to the high profile nature of the store and their highly publicized commitment to fair trade, ethically sourced material and treatment of staff; it was imperative that the logistical supplier chosen was not only seen as a good corporate citizen but acted as an exemplary employer with a proven track record with all local government agencies including Customs and Revenue.
- 30,000 square foot retail store been revamped prior to target date opening with very large investment in fixtures and fittings to be actioned with precision and speed in order to open up prior to lucrative winter season. Fixtures and fitting to include special one off extremely delicate items of very high value. Due to being a high street location with a lot of pedestrian passing traffic deliveries could only be made at night.
- Restricted access and no ability to take delivery on 13.6 meter trailers, with all deliveries requiring specialized handling and strong security.
- Extremely tight timeline, with goods being airfreighted into Ireland daily, for just in time delivery. Shipments required both bonded warehousing and customer clearance facilities to handle the opening of shipments, each containing a very large range of products, product codes and products origins.
- Due to the layout of the store, goods needed to be consolidated into batches of consignments that could be delivered floor by floor for fitters and merchandisers. Strict timings were required to ensure no overlap of deliveries, whilst maintaining strict controls and tracking of each and every stock and display item, and the collection and removal of all empty pallets and packaging for recycling.
Ace Express Freight staff and Lbrands’ implementation team first had a meeting to discuss the client's requirements and identify all areas of concern and possible bottlenecks that may have happened previously.
A dedicated Project Manager was then assigned to oversee all parts of the operation from start to finish, including visiting previous projects, both completed and live operations. Plans were then put in place to ensure compliance at every stage of the journey. Steps taken included:
- Introduction to local revenue officials,
- Assistance with operations of deferred account.
- Development of bespoke custom clearance software to speed up the custom clearance process.
- Any shipments that were delayed were transferred to Ace Express Freight’s own bonded warehouse; the balance being allowed to process.
- Dedicated secure transport and drivers and operators were assigned for the nightly collections to ensure consistency.
- Warehouse staff were supervised and trained in best practice on handling and sorting of goods. Dedicated warehouse space was allocated for the lifetime of the project and consignments were consolidated into batches, as required for delivery.
On the final fit out week, our Project Manager and his team decamped on site and planned each and every dedicated truck delivery with military precision. Trucks were preloaded during the day and lined up each night in close to final delivery point to ensure no delays. All stock was delivered directly to each floor ready for fitters and merchandisers to display the following day and all dunnage and waste simultaneously removed and brought back to warehouse for reuse or on site recycling resulting in less than 1% waste. Once the fit out was completed in full, a plan was put in place to effect daily restocking and deliveries pre 06.30am each morning.
Implementing proper client on-boarding systems and processes ensured that all key data was captured, recorded and acted upon; while also making sure that good open and honest communication lines were maintained, minimising the potential for error.
- The early introduction and planning on customs systems and procedures allowed for bespoke software to be created which dramatically reduced the possibility of delays. This planning also allowed for strong systems and procedures to be implemented around the control and outlay of substantial funds in relation to taxes and duties.
- Spending the time and effort, both on and off site at client’s locations, prior to the project gave a far deeper and meaningful overview of the customer’s requirements. Open and honest dialogue allowed us to see all the good, bad, or potential problem areas ahead of time, allowing for greater planning and efficiencies and for the imparting of knowledge to the greater team in a timely and orderly fashion.
- Preplanning and preparing as much as possible in advance, including regular on site visits and regular high levels of communication allowed for a highly complex and sensitive operation to run very smoothly. While there may have been one or two issues to be dealt with along the way, they were handled with speed and efficiency by the team in place.
- The project was carried out on time and in full to the customer’s satisfaction. The fact that Ace Express Freight continue to carry and clear Lbrands’ goods, on a daily basis, with little or no issues to report, is testament to how effective planning can eliminate any issues, and also makes good business sense.