How as a logistics service provider do you contribute to a successful shop opening?
For us as a logistics service provider delivering a consignment just before a shop opening is always a special challenge. Often these shops are in busy (capital) cities, such as – recently – Prague, Stockholm, Barcelona, Madrid and Paris. To begin with, each location is different, and we have to be exceptionally well prepared for the specific situation that we find at a location.
For example, there are always restrictions relating to time and place: Where and when can we unload? Do we need to have a special permit to unload? And how do we deal with the last part of the job? With some shop openings we are delivering large volumes, because the whole store has to be filled. In situations such as this we have to think about using one or two trailers. Nine times out of ten we cannot reach these shops ourselves with our trailers. The consignment therefore has to transferred to light vans or other vehicles with a more limited volume.
Such a complex operation generally takes place in a very pressured set of circumstances. For a retailer, an opening of a new store is an enormous undertaking and it must be carried out flawlessly. We often have to work with teams that have to stock the entire store in a very short space of time. It is up to us to be sure that the consignment is delivered to the shop right on time.
It is not rocket science; it’s mainly about dedication. We always ensure that we know in advance exactly what we will be faced with. Our local partners go and thoroughly weigh up the situation on location. They look at the access roads, take photos of the store and decide where we can best unload. If we believe it to be necessary we also fly out to visit the location, working out plans with our partners and the store’s owner to ensure that the opening will be a success. Recently I went with my colleague Wilfred Donkersteeg to the Champs Elysées in order to get a good idea of the situation on location. Because that is ultimately what it’s all about: Have a good look at the site, map out a number of scenarios and play out the best scenario before we put it into practice.