Hellmann worldwide logistics enhances supply chain system in China
Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, one of the world’s largest privately owned global logistics providers, was selected by Bang & Olufsen (B&O), the worldwide supplier of high end home theaters and custom multi-room music systems, to manage their supply chain system in Asia as they entered the growing Chinese market. Hellmann was selected based on the success of the single platform they developed for Bang & Olufsen America, Inc., the North American based subsidiary of Bang & Olufsen A/S of Struer, Denmark; and the excellence of services being provided by managing B&O’s complete supply chain from manufacturer to market in the USA.
Bang & Olufsen opened its first stores in Asia recently, finding the need to move its equipment via airfreight from their headquarters in Denmark to its Shanghai distribution center on a weekly basis. Having opened their newly own first class facility in Shanghai, and with a proven track record in the USA, Hellmann was able to support the equipment manufacturer by handling sales invoicing on their behalf.
“Since 1925, we at Bang & Olufsen have built an international reputation for creating products that continually demonstrate the company’s commitment to innovation and excellence,” stated Peter Lindgaard, Manager International Operations at Bang & Olufsen. “Therefore, we need to partner with the best companies in order to maintain the status of our brand and integrity of our products. With the implementation of a complete supply chain system in the USA, Hellmann has proven to be a solid partner and trusted advisor.”
Bang & Olufsen needed to implement in their 50 US stores a complete supply chain from manufacturer to market, including the physical transportation of the products as well as the management of electronic data. Using Chicago as the hub for the operations, Hellmann developed a single platform that gave B&O the possibility to manage the distribution of all its products from Denmark to any city in the USA, in real time.
When B&O customers purchase equipment at any of the stores, an order is placed via a web-based tool that is transmitted to the distribution and manufacturing centers in Denmark. Hellmann’s warehouse in Chicago is then advised of the orders that need to be sent out the following day. These are repackaged at Hellmann’s warehouse with the customer’s specific requirements. A security code is placed on each item that allows tracking it. Hellmann then delivers the packages via ground or air to the stores or buyers. All the information is transmitted back to the manufacturer’s headquarters and stores electronically.
The Hellmann Information Tool, a web-based system designed by the logistics supplier, provides B&O a single entry for multiple supply chain tools that can be accessed by the client at any time. For example, it includes inventory management, inventory detail, transportation cost reports, and global information required by clients, among others. Having traceable security codes aligned with each article allows B&O to access real time information on all their products. Although the portal’s back end is designed as a sophisticated information tool, the front end is very user friendly and can be managed with the click of a mouse.
“When delegating the supply chain management of all your products in the USA to a partner, the biggest challenge is to maintain control and productivity,” expressed Karl Weyeneth, President and CEO of the Americas for Hellmann. “As a customer-driven company looking for the best technology-based solutions to resolve its clients’ challenges, Hellmann worked to consolidate a series of processes, both physically and electronically, into a single format. This allowed B&O to gain control of the system by accessing all types of information at any time from any point.” The solution proved to be a success when the Danish manufacturer requested that Hellmann manages its supply chain system also in Asia.