Using automation to revolutionise a lifestyle retailer's growth – Maersk

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Our customer is a multinational athletic apparel company based in North America that specialises in high-end yoga and workout clothes for men and women. The company has over 550 stores internationally and also sells online.
The retailer entered the Chinese market 10 years ago, with Maersk as their distribution centre (DC) and fulfilment partner in the Greater Shanghai area. In 2022, they opened a second distribution centre in Guangzhou.
The customer’s sales volumes have skyrocketed in recent years, driven by successful marketing strategies and innovative products featuring fabrics, functional design and a commitment to sustainability. However, with a surge in handling volume and inventory levels, the existing methods of business operations will be inadequate to meet the customer’s growing needs.
The Maersk team was able to foresee that the customer will encounter bottlenecks within the warehousing space and face a shortage of labour. Additionally, the control and planning of demand and supply called for scientific design and monitoring rather than manual inputs.
As a long-standing partner, Maersk was able to offer a variety of solutions for the customer’s distribution centre operations. Starting in 2020, Maersk implemented a series of automation technologies, including carton auto-folding machines, auto parcel shipping machines, powered slides and conveyors, fast packing lines, and T-sorters, among others.
These services helped to speed up the movement of products through the warehouse and reduce manual labour. Additionally, the solution successfully upgraded warehouse capacity. Maersk also introduced business intelligence (BI) tools and designed a warehouse dashboard to plan and monitor resources in real time. This offered better visibility of orders, including track and trace services.
Using Maersk’s high-tech solutions, the customer will be able to successfully launch 59 new retail stores within China by the end of 2023. These solutions also played a crucial role in doubling the outbound volume to online sales channels and increasing inventory levels by 6 times between 2020 to 2023, all while reducing labour and operation space. Maersk successfully replicated the same technology and business model in the customer’s Guangzhou DC, further optimising the network and shortening lead times.
As a strategic partner, we have been with the brand since its initial entry into the Chinese market. Over the past 10 years, the customer has experienced remarkable growth, emerging as one of the leading athletic apparel brands in China. To accommodate their rapid expansion, foresight into volume trends and investment in automation have become indispensable. We have proactively guided the brand with dependable supply chain solutions and made swift investment decisions to enhance their distribution centre (DC) capabilities. We are thrilled to empower their brand’s DC fulfilment amidst their rapid development, leveraging our expertise.
To ensure your business benefits from a supply chain that’s agile and flexible, Maersk offers customised solutions suited to your needs. Partner with us for supply chain and logistics solutions that work to take your business to the next level.
Find out more about Maersk Omnichannel Fulfilment solutions here.
Learn how Maersk Omnichannel Fulfilment improved supply chain efficiency for an apparel brand using customised solutions here.
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