As part of its initiatives to help its customers find savings across the board, SBS Worldwide’s focus is firmly positioned on developing smarter logistics for the retail sector.
Faced with the results of the BRC-KPMG’s Retail Sales monitor for May 2011, where UK retail sales values were overall 2.1% lower on a like-for-like basis from May 2010, UK retailers are being pushed into running a tighter operation to stay in the game.
Helen Dickinson, Head of Retail, KPMG, commented on the findings, saying, "Virtually all non-food sectors have experienced negative like-for-like sales to varying degrees, reflecting the UK consumers’ reticence to spend as the disposable income squeeze tightens its grip. This, combined with falling margins driven by a greater focus on price, lower average transaction values and increasing manufacturing costs, is leaving many retailers coping with a "double whammy" impact on cash flows."
While not able to offer solutions for the consumers’ reticence to spend, SBS Worldwide is however recommending a smarter logistics approach that can be applied to all retail sectors. This will cut on delivery times and reduce inventory while still allowing retailers to offer their end customers improved service. As Steve Walker, SBS Worldwide Group Chairman explained, "We have achieved remarkable success when we applied this approach in the publishing industry. We are now deploying it across all the retail sectors. Our approach revolves around tried and tested SBS principles and methodologies as we work smarter with our customers to find solutions that deliver financial wins."
He continued, "Using three SBS elements – eDC, container loading configuration software and slipsheets – we are delivering significant benefits to customers. By using a combination of slipsheets and our in-house container loading configuration software, we can increase loading in a container by 10-30%. This means that for every container the customer no longer needs to ship, the costs of freight, insurance, demurrage, devanning and surcharges are saved. In addition, retailers benefit from greater control over their products, ensuring they can be quickly shipped to the area of greatest demand. This increases their own customers’ satisfaction while helping reduce levels of obsolete stock. It is at times like this, when the bottom line is suffering due to a tight economy that such smarter working comes into its own. Retailers simply cannot afford to have any financial wastage occur at any point in their supply chain."
SBS Worldwide’s smarter concepts have not gone unnoticed by the industry. Early in January, this privately-owned company was named winner of the BIFA Ocean Freight Award, while in October 2010, it was named IFW Freight Forwarder of the Year.