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It’s all in the bag: contract logistics for Fossil

Motivated team, efficient IT: Fossil has been placing its trust in DB Schenker since mid-2017. Shown here are Josef Otter, Managing Director of Fossil’s logistics subsidiary FESCO (l.), and Martin Thum, Logistics Branch Manager at DB Schenker in Augsburg

Photos: DB Schenker / Michael Neuhaus


Whether it is a stylish women’s purse or a classic men’s briefcase: the leather goods marketed by the label Fossil are certainly very special. So it is indeed a special responsibility to be tasked with providing the logistics for these high-quality products. Every process step – separating, picking, packing and dispatching – has to be perfectly executed. After all, when you handle such exquisite goods, it is imperative that they arrive in the store having been provided with the utmost care in packaging and labeling.

 

The success of Fossil has a lot to do with reliable logistics services. The Fossil subsidiary FESCO is responsible for this task in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. At its headquarters in Eggstätt, in the German region of Bavaria, the company handles logistics for the retail categories watches and jewelry. Yet when it comes to leather goods, FESCO traditionally collaborates with a contract logistics partner. Since June 2017, this partner has been DB Schenker.

 

Josef Otter, Managing Director of FESCO, explains how important the choice of the right logistics service provider is for Fossil: “The partner provides the complete delivery service for a whole range of products – for e-commerce, for our brand shops and also for department stores. Therefore, we work very hard to satisfy the demands of the Fossil Group but, above all, those of our customers. This requires a thorough understanding of our business model and a sense of trust.” And it is exactly what Fossil found at DB Schenker, which provides services for its customer from a warehouse in Augsburg.

“Ours is such a fast-moving business that it’s impossible to plan everything in advance. This is where an understanding of the business model and a sense of trust are required”          

Josef Otter, Managing Director at Fossil’s logistics subsidiary FESCO

The logistics services required by Fossil are particularly complex, starting with the strong seasonal fluctuations that are part and parcel of the fashion industry. Every floor set, when collections are exchanged at the points of sale, demands logistical excellence. In addition, there are sophisticated value-added services such as customer-specific labeling or customized embossing of leather goods.

 

Consequently, DB Schenker put together a team of employees that received special training to increase their sensitivity when dealing with Fossil’s high-end products. “In our logistical processes, the right instinct for the highly emotional character of our market is what counts,” Josef Otter emphasizes.

 

An additional decisive criterion for being awarded the contract was the implementation of an integrated IT solution for merchandise management based on the Fossil SAP system. “There must be no parallel system in the cooperation with the service provider for leather goods, not even interfaces. Our partner has to work with exactly the same SAP system,” says Josef Otter.

Top site: this warehouse in Augsburg, where DB Schenker fulfills services on behalf of Fossil, is modern and boasts excellent transport connections. Photo: Michael Neuhaus
Top site: this warehouse in Augsburg, where DB Schenker fulfills services on behalf of Fossil, is modern and boasts excellent transport connections. Photo: Michael Neuhaus

Familiarizing the team with this IT solution was one of the main tasks during the preparatory phase. The hand-picked core team from DB Schenker spent three weeks with Fossil colleagues in Eggstätt. “Conditions were ideal. We intensively acquainted ourselves with the new tasks during on-the-job training,” says Martin Thum, Logistics Branch Manager at DB Schenker in Augsburg. “Above all, the experts in Eggstätt established very good relationships with our teams.”

 

Today, almost a year after the start of operations, all processes are perfectly coordinated – both in the 6,000- square-meter storage section and at the workstations, where labeling, order picking, packing and all Value-Added Services take place. What is more, the quantities are impressive: on average, 8,000 products are processed per working day. On peak days, the volume can rise to more than 30,000.

“Ours is such a fast-moving business that it’s impossible to plan everything in advance,” explains Josef Otter. “This is where an understanding of the business model and a sense of trust are required. It gives us the flexibility to perform any additional tasks that suddenly become necessary and then discuss conditions in a partner-like manner retrospectively. With the colleagues at DB Schenker, this is exactly what works superbly.”

 

Martin Thum seconds that: “Every day, it becomes clear to us that Fossil and we are committed to a similar service philosophy and live according to comparable values. Above all, there is loyalty, respect and fairness. This makes us flexible and strong, which is to our mutual advantage. In particular, Fossil customers benefit from this, too. That gives both of us a sustainable competitive edge.”

A great deal of sensitivity: apart from providing warehousing for Fossil’s European leather goods business, DB Schenker has also taken on numerous Value-Added Services, including customized embossing

Photos: DB Schenker /
Michael Neuhaus



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