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Webinar Your Fulfillment Partner in Europe

An overview of Shipwire's state-of-the-art fulfillment centers in the EU and how we can partner with you to grow your business

Industry experts Michel Schellekens, Director Business Development, Ingram Micro Commerce & Fulfillment Solutions, and Lilia Ramil, Strategic Account Director, Europe/North America, Shipwire, provide valuable knowledge on leveraging the Shipwire platform in Europe and showcase state-of-the-art fulfillment centers in the UK and Netherlands.

Key topics in the webinar:

  • Why Shipwire?
  • The global presence of Shipwire and Ingram Micro
  • Tips for expanding into new countries
  • Tools (warehouse guides, partnerships)

Resources:

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  • Webinar
  • Runtime: 23:52

Video Transcript

(1:31 – 1:56)
>> Lilia Ramil: Our host of today’s webinar is Michel Schellekens. He has over 15 years with Ingram Micro, has a thorough knowledge of the supply chain, retail, eCommerce, and distribution in Europe. He’s an expert in intercommunity shipping in and out of Europe, an expert in environment packaging and copyright legislation.

(1:57 – 2:12)
>> My name is Lilia Ramil. I’m the global account director for Ingram Commerce & Fulfillment Solutions. I’m a strategic consultant for our top revenue accounts in New York and North America.

(2:13 – 2:20)
>> Now that we’re all introduced and aware of how to continue, I’m going to pass the floor over to Michel. Welcome, Michel.

(2:21 – 3:10)
>> Michel Schellekens: Thank you, Lilia, for that lovely introduction and, everybody, welcome on the call. It’s a pleasure to have you here today and to guide you through a little bit of what Shipwire can offer you with in Europe. Yes, I’m just pitching it and giving it a good, well, theme today, I think what is important for us is that our business is the growth of your business. This is what it all is about.

And as we always say, we manage your supply chain so that you can focus on improving your sales and business. And we, at Shipwire in Ingram Micro, we do provide the infrastructure to, well, support the global growth of brands at regions. It’s our core business.

(3:11 – 3:54)
>> And if you look at the platform, it’s powered by an award-winning technology. It’s a software as a service technology. And the scales with Ingram Micro, we have 122 distribution centers that we have in 38 countries across the world. As a company, we provide order fulfillments, drop ship and returns solutions with access to unique growth opportunities using our asset, leveraging the infrastructure of the world’s largest tech distributor who is amongst 10 global order shippers worldwide. And you can tap into a network of 200,000 free surplus if you would want to do them.

(3:55 – 5:03)
>> Now, looking at Shipwire as your fulfillment partner, and just to be clear, we want to call it partner and not provider because we want to be able to tell them apart. If you are successful, we are successful. Our success is measured by your success and we really want to help you grow.

To do that, we have three dedicated teams to help you at any stage of our relationship or in your business growth. First of all, of course, the customer success team, which has partially account management; there’s even an emerging businesses team that can support you and more specialized parts in this customer success organization. They really have knowledge of what kind of business pains you can get into and where can we help you. And you as a European company should know that working across 38 countries in the EU, and even some of the countries outside EU which we see as part of Europe, it is really necessary that we give you the best support there to grow and expand your business.

(5:04 – 6:39)
>> And, of course, the customer care which is very important. You know, reliability, support, just be there for you if you have any questions. And the good thing is that platform, Shipwire, offers you time zone support. So if you have a question, it’s not like you have to wait for hours. We are there to give you the answers on the questions you have.

Then, of course, the customer sales which is more like the solution design, we can help you with your strategic planning. And what they can also do and it’s very good internally of course is to rally the troops inside our organization to help you bring in the products. We have operations experts who are knowledgeable on things like packaging or what’s the most optimal way to bring goods in and really support you there.

Now in looking at the platform, we’ve put it into five different angles which are important to us. First of all, if you look at the technology, as I already said, it’s a powerful software service application that really helps you to grow and expand your brand. There is the understanding of course that we need to support your brand integrity and the fulfillment experience of your customers is just 100%. Especially if you are really active in the B2C market, it is important that your customers are satisfied and that are reflected on the various websites or even on their own website, if you give that opportunity to customers.

(6:40 – 8:54)
>> And secondly, of course, the customer support and experience. Nowadays, it’s really important and the techniques are there to have real-time visibility on where is my order, what is the status, what’s the tracking if the goods are with the carrier, and when will the goods be delivered. One of the thing and I know we typically do not want touch on it, but the returns management of course, so nobody would like us to get a good spec but we are able to support your returns management. We have applications for that and also there the visibility on where are the returns and what’s happening to them. And of course, we want to show to you what is the performance, how are we doing, how are you doing. So we have a lot of dashboards reports and APIs that we can give.

Coming, by the way, back to the technology of course, you can integrate in many, many ways. As a company, we’ve done so many integrations all across the globe, whether it’s EDI, XML, API, or CSV and even more, we really support there everything. And if you want to know more about that, do not hesitate to look at our website or to reach out to us because we can really help you there to do it quite easily.

Looking at the global reach of our company, Ingram is present in 38 countries. At the moment, for Shipwire, we have nine dedicated fulfillment and settlers in six countries. You can all access through the web applications, so you can decide where you want to have your goods. And we can easily switch on and leverage the 122 global operations that we have.

And what is important of course is that you can also manage your backorders. You can see the delivery estimates. And we can either help you on routing your goods if you would like to utilize our global capability.

Then looking at what’s going on, as we already said in our reports, there are real-time analytics. You can really look at what is happening, what is the time for the goods to be available if they arrived at the warehouse and when can I start shipping, or when would they be at the warehouse.

(8:55 – 10:59)
>> What is very, very important of course is the brand experience. And that’s what we are really good at. We want to make sure that your brand is strong towards your customer whether that’s B2B or B2C. We both see that this can be supported by us. But we want to make sure that your customer has the brand experience that you want to have out of it. And, you know, I already touched on it in the last slide, there is an unparalleled customer support and account management services. And we just want to be your strategic partner that invests time in helping to grow your business.

And looking at our global reach, as I already said, there are nine active facilities at the moment. We are integrating more and more. It will become available on the platform and that you can use. And as I already said, you can also take one of the global fulfillment centers of Ingram Micro and we can spend that up, and that’s based on the customer demand. So if you have any questions about that or if you would like to go to any of these countries, please let us know and we can probably help.

And then of course what’s very important and that’s in our DNA is the ability to support you and to flex with you. We as a company, we are used to peak demands, scalability of warehouses, making sure that systems can help you with the demands. And we are used to that. So for us it’s, as I said, part of the DNA and we really want to offer that to you as well and support you there as well, if you are really growing or want to move into different countries.

And touching a bit on the European fulfillment centers, at the moment, we have two active. One is in London and the other one is in Tilburg. Tilburg is in the Netherlands, by the way. If we talk about the London facility, it’s ideal for piggyback business. It supports already a lot of Shipwire customers since 2009 and there are lots of opportunities there to scale.

(11:00 – 12:58)
>> The Tilburg facility, recently, that has been building our new conveyor system. It’s highly automated. It’s a high-volume facility that supports some of the biggest customers that we have in the world. And I have to make the remark here that there are minimum order of volumes/turnover requirements for this high-end facility. But you can definitely use it if you want to.

But as I said, we can spin up more global fulfillment centers if you wanted. Out of these fulfillment centers, we have experts who can help you with questions like interior, the importation of goods, and of course, storage handling of the goods, what is the best way and, of course, support you with the transportation out of these sites.

What is important, I think, to mention and for you our dealing across Europe, you know that it is in Europe, not one carrier fits all. And we have dedicated carriers per country to make sure that we can keep up with service level and offer our customers the best service in that country.

Also, we know that in different markets, there are different requirements. In some of the countries it’s like, well, the customers expect you to deliver the goods in 24 hours. In some of the other countries, they are fine with 48 or 72 hours.

Also, if you look at solutions like drop point, which have become emerging more and more because customers can pick up the goods whenever they want, they don’t have to stay at home and wait for a carrier, well, if you look at the Netherlands, it’s the country where I live, well, we don’t care where we have to pick up the goods whether that’s a post office or a gas station as long as I can pick up my goods.

Typically, the U.K. people tend to pick up the goods in the brick-and-mortar where they have acquired the goods and would like to get it there. So that’s why we have different carriers across Europe with different service levels, course platform supports that and you can choose yourself the best and optimal route. It will give you an advice on what is the best route there, but it also support you there if you want.

(13:00 – 14:52)
>> Looking at the carriers that we use in the U.K. and the Netherlands, for Tilburg we use GLS, DHR and PostNL. Out of the U.K. facility, it’s typical, UPS, Parcel Forwarder and Royal Mail. If you work out of these two fulfillment centers, you will be able to reach about 90% of the European customers within one or two days.

Now, looking at our Shipwire order intelligence, I think it’s quite unique to mention that if you would like to leverage both your key facilities which is not very uncommon because your volume in the U.K. can – I think it’s right to put your goods locally and the rest of mainland Europe could be done out of Tilburg, we make it easy to ship the right products in the right location for every specific order. We can also help you to make sure that the stock is available in both locations. And then we will give you any guidance on what is the most cost effective option to ship it.

And touching a little bit on the typical European things that we have to be aware of, we’ve pointed it out here as reach, and read and there are some others as well. You know, that packaging is in some countries, you have to be compliant there. There are copyright levies if you would sell, for example, products with a hard drive or even printers in some other country. And there are, of course, just, in some of the countries a separate battery legislation.

(14:53 – 17:00)
>> And it’s complex because in 28 countries of Europe, you have different legislation, but we have partners and we have a lot of inside knowledge to make sure that you are compliant and that we can make sure that you do your business compliance and don’t get into trouble with any of the local governments in Europe.

Another thing is that if you look at transportation and export and export in Europe is typically to countries like Switzerland and Norway, we have processes in place to make sure that we you are compliant and that you have the right documents with your shipment into these countries.

Now talking a little bit about some of our business partners in Europe, it’s just a set. It’s not all our business partners, but if you would like to go to other countries and you do not have a VAT representation, you would like to sell B2C, we have some partners who can give you – and I won’t go into detail too much there, general or a partial fiscal representation.

And by the way, if you would like to know more about VAT and all these compliance things, there will be somewhere at the end of this month, a new webinar which goes more into detail which is a key guide into these legislation together with some of our partners to make sure that we give you all the tools and the knowledge to expand your business into Europe.

But looking at some of them, for example, Barson’s it’s a good partner for us to the Netherlands, who handle our customs to a lot of the customs clearance, import and export, and as I said, they can also do a partial fiscal representation. Looking at Meridian Global Services, they are really good in VAT and sales tax in the U.K. And then companies like SPECS Sport, DB Schenker and AD Group are really helping us to make sure that you get your goods into Europe either by air or by boat, they can really help you with either consolidated or bringing your goods dedicated here into Europe.

This is where I would like to hand it over again to Lilia.

(17:01 – 17:11)
>> Lilia Ramil: All right. Thank you very much, Michel. I think you covered a lot of very important topics that can be very relevant for the attendees today. I’d like to open up the floor for questions.

 

Q&A Notes

Q: Will be there Dutch support in Tilburg for inbound order problems?
A: Yes, our Customer Logistics Team supports inbound receiving for our customers, and if any questions come back from Customs, that team will become your primary point of contact.

Q: Till what times does Shipwire ship? In the Netherlands, consumers are used to ordering late on a given day the day and get it next day.
A: Currently, order cutoff time in the Netherlands is 17:30. This is to ensure that all customers across the Benelux and Europe get their goods the next day (dependent on carrier service level).

Q: Are Shipwire and Ingram one company?
A: Yes. Shipwire is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ingram Micro Commerce & Fulfillment Solutions (IMCFS).

Q: Will you open a center in Germany?
A: Ingram Micro does have a fulfillment center in Straubing, Germany that can be integrated with the Shipwire Platform. Generally, the need to integrate with an existing fulfillment center in a particular region is driven by a specific customer initiative. We are able to expedite that work when there is significant customer demand In regards to general availability of a fulfillment center in Germany, we are rolling out more fulfillment centers and Germany is on the roadmap, but no date is available at this time.

Q: How would you handle shipments from a US shipper to EU customers (regarding VAT)?
A: Typically we suggest leveraging a “Deliver Duty Paid” solution when shipping goods internationally from the US and the end recipient is a customer, not a reseller or business. This means that the end cost is known to the customer when the order is placed and no further costs are necessary or added.

In the case of clearing commercial shipments from the US into the EU, goods arrive at customs and based upon the information on the commercial invoice, duties and local VAT will be added.

Q: Are you able to fulfill bulky/large orders from the UK and Netherlands warehouses? We deal bathroom furniture like bi-fold doors, vanity units, etc.
A: Yes, our fulfillment centers can handle large and special care products, and we do this often. Typically, challenges are related to finding carrier services that support this and determining whether a second driver is required or not. We have a wide range of partnerships with carriers in all regions and can definitely help to establish the right solution.

Q: How are returns managed? I have a high value product ($800). If I sell in the US and a product is returned by a consumer, what typically happens next?
A: Return rules are decided by each customer and we can support a number of scenarios. For example:

  1. You can have the product shipped from Europe to the US, but dictate that the return address should be in the US, as opposed to the EU, allowing you to save on additional customs/duties and shipping charges. We can then follow your quality control guidelines in the fulfillment center and either dispose of the item, apply some quality control processes to it, hold it for periodic bulk return shipments, or return it to inventory for resale. In the case of returning it to inventory for resale, our platform recognizes when there are single pieces of inventory close to where an order is placed and will trigger a shipment from that location, as opposed to shipping internationally.
  2. You can have all returns shipped back to your own location, like a retail store or head office.
  3. You can have the product returned to the exact same location it was shipped out of, and you can use a more economical service like Ground to save on costs.

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