The good news: sales of its floor-cleaning machines were going through the roof in Europe. The bad news: maintaining a high level of after-sales service through its old supply chain was becoming increasingly difficult. Of course, it was nothing that consolidating 19 warehouses into one couldn't fix.
Sealed Air, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a global leader in the manufacturing of equipment for food safety, facility hygiene and packaging. With more than 24,000 employees, they serve customers in 175 countries. Whether it’s protecting products, preserving food, providing healthcare solutions or making the world safer and cleaner, Sealed Air is committed to protecting everything that’s important to consumers. But when sales of its TASKI® floor cleaning machines took off in Europe, they needed a faster, more responsive solution for after-sales service.
"With UPS’s combined offering of warehousing, shipping services and network of UPS Access Point locations, we are able to operate more efficiently and can provide a better and more consistent service to our customers."
Werner Jansen, Director of Planning and Logistics, Sealed Air Europe
Sealed Air managed its own supply chain through 19 warehouses strategically located across Europe. The network not only got new products to customers, it supported more than 500 after-sales-support field technicians. Replacement parts were sent directly to a customer site or picked up by technicians from one of the warehouses. Receiving parts at a customer site was often difficult, but collecting them from a warehouse meant excessive road time for the tech. It also required high inventory levels to stock 19 warehouses.
UPS provided warehousing, inventory management and order fulfilment services, consolidating 19 warehouses into one centralized distribution center in Germany. To expedite replacement parts to field techs, the solution combined UPS Express® shipping services with the UPS Access Point® network. The network features more than 15,000 locations—often located at news agents, petrol stations or small businesses—across nine European countries. Technicians could conveniently receive parts from a point near their home or customer. With different shipping speed options, techs could order a part up to 1 pm and have it in hand the next morning as early as 9 am. Sealed Air could view a complete shipping manifest for all processed shipments and track the status of individual parcels at any point in time, with proactive email notification of any incident or delay.
Consolidating warehouses saved Sealed Air substantially on infrastructure and operating costs, and significantly reduced spare parts inventory. Outsourcing operations to UPS also meant they only paid for the capacity they needed at any given time. Emergency repair response time was also dramatically improved. Replacement parts retrieval times were cut by an average of 30 minutes per service and techs spent less time driving to warehouses, which allowed for more weekly service trips.
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