The latest from Arvato
L o a d i n g . . .
Arvato, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of German media giant Bertelsmann, has come a long way since it was founded as an internal distributor for the company’s own book clubs in the late 1960s. Now a leading international service provider in the field of supply chain management and e-commerce, it is also able to provide services in digital marketing, financial, CRM, and IT ERP solutions. "We employ more than 68,000 people in 40 countries worldwide, with 12,000 people in supply chain management, using about 60 warehouses with a total ground space of 1.1 million square metres," says Andreas Barth, executive vice president of Arvato Hightech & Entertainment.
The company staged this huge transformation taking an entrepreneurial approach and deciding that if they were successful running such services internally then they would be able to offer them externals, as well. This Entrepreneurship has become part of the companies DNA. "We understand the customer needs a focused service provider," says Barth. "We try to understand where they are now, where they are planning to be in five years time and develop a tailor made solution that is flexible enough to supports the client future needs."
Most of Arvato’s key clients are high tech driven consumer electronics companies, encompassing software manufacturers and entertainment companies and gaming console manufactuers. "They are all global and require solutions for a global supply chain: we don’t have any client that only acts domestic," Barth says. He cites that a Supply Chain setup has to be capable to deal with todays challenges of the industry, such as shorter product lifecycles, high pressure on inventory, shorter time to market, and late customization. "Most of our clients deal in a multi-channel environment with distributors, traditional retailers, and e-commerce. Furthermore some are thinking of entering the market with their own brand retail store or a shop-in-shop solution with an existing retailer."
"Our warehouses must be able to deal with seasonality, peaks such as new product introductions and street dates, re-works and value added services. This requires a strong global IT backbone. On top of that our reporting layer provides to full end-to-end visibility from supply base to the end customer," says Barth. "Our clients need to be able to see where the goods are, where they are needed and when they will arrive at the place of destination."
Another key element of a competitive solution is the reverse supply chain. Customers need a reliable solution for returns business," says Barth. "They must take back goods from the channel that have not been sold as well as returns directly from the end customer. And, reverse supply chain is a key cost driver. In order to reduce touch points and to minimize overall costs Arvato has developed a system driven solution with elements such as diagnostic features, return material authorization, supply chain routing and up- and cross-sell functionalities. "
With about 50 per cent of Consumer Electronics European distribution centres located in Holland, the Netherlands is a chief strategic market for Arvato. With Dutch VAT deferment, the pragmatic and proactive approach of Dutch authorities towards Hightech companies and due to its geographic location Holland is a must be location.