Fine material, elegant embossing, beautiful colors—the leather goods of the label Fossil are already something very special. And it is also something special to be responsible for the logistics of these high-quality products. Every movement—separating, picking, packing and sending—must be perfect. Because with such exquisite goods, it is very important that they arrive in the store with the utmost care in packaging and labeling.
The success of Fossil has a lot to do with reliably functioning logistics. The Fossil subsidiary FESCO is responsible for this task in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. At its headquarters in Eggstätt, Bavaria, logistics is handled for the watch and jewelry product areas. FESCO traditionally collaborates with a service provider in leather goods. And since June 2017, DB Schenker has been this contract logistics partner.
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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, our own shops and department stores. Therefore, we work very hard to meet the demands that not only the Fossil Group but, above all, our customers make. This requires a thorough understanding of our business model and trust.”
This is exactly what Fossil found at DB Schenker. From the very beginning, the contract negotiations and the preparatory phase at the Augsburg logistics center were based on a very cooperative understanding of the business.
Josef Otter, Managing Director for Fossil’s logistics subsidiary FESCO
“We were quickly sure that DB Schenker understands our processes, has a feeling for our products and brings a coherent implementation plan.”
And both Josef Otter and Martin Thum, Logistics Branch Manager at DB Schenker Augsburg, confirm: The trusting cooperation has continued very successfully in the first phase of regular operations.
From floorset to floorset—flexibility and sensitivity
Logistics is not only strategically important to Fossil, it also poses particularly high requirements. This starts with the strong seasonal fluctuations. Every exchange of the collections at the points of sale (floorset) demands logistical excellence. In addition, there are sophisticated value-added services such as customer-specific labeling or individual embossing of leather goods. The complete integration of customer IT must also be guaranteed.
Last but not least, DB Schenker’s task was to put together a team that was trained and made sensitive to the special products of Fossil. Becaus, as Josef Otter emphasizes: “In our logistical processes, the right instinct for the highly emotional character of our market counts.” Josef Otter.“
Seamless cooperation and teambuilding
A decisive criterion of the tender was the implementation of an integrated IT solution for merchandise management based on the Fossil SAP system. Here, Josef Otter leaves no questions unanswered: “There must be no parallel system in the cooperation with the service provider for leather goods, not even interfaces. Our partner must work in the same way with our SAP system.”
Training in this IT solution was one of the main tasks in the preparatory phase. The hand-picked core team from DB Schenker for the Fossil deal spent three weeks with Fossil colleagues in Eggstätt. Martin Thum: ”Conditions were ideal. We were able to work intensively on-the-job on all of our tasks. Above all, very collegial teams were formed between the experts in Eggstätt and us. This collegiality was the perfect basis for the phase when we started up the system, supported by Eggstätt, at our site.”
The relocation of the storage facility in April went smoothly. This was followed by the operational takeover of the e-commerce delivery business and, shortly thereafter, the complete operation including the first joint floorset. In the meantime, 6,000 square meters of storage space have been set up, workstations for labeling, order picking, packing and all VAS are running. The quantities are impressive. Annually, on average, 8,000 products are processed per working day; on peak days, the volume can also rise to more than 30,000.
Not only the IT, but the chemistry, too, must also be right
The collaboration between Fossil and DB Schenker has long since been fully implemented and is perceived by both companies as comprehensively coherent. In addition to technical aspects, one thing counts above all: trust. Josef Otter: “The chemistry between the partners must be in tune at all levels. Our business moves so fast, you can’t plan everything in advance. This is where understanding of the business model and trust are required. This gives us the flexibility to perform any suddenly necessary additional actions and then subsequently to talk about conditions in partnership. With the colleagues at DB Schenker, this is exactly what works superbly.”
This is also confirmed by Martin Thum: “We feel every day that Fossil and we maintain a similar service philosophy and live comparable values. Above all, there is loyalty, respect and fairness. This makes us flexible and robust to our mutual advantage. In particular, Fossil customers benefit from this, too. And that gives us a sustainable competitive advantage together.”
Best prerequisites at the Augsburg site
The conditions are ideal at the Augsburg site for the realization of these sophisticated contract logistics solutions. Its central location in southern Germany and good transport connections make Augsburg one of the top logistics locations nationwide. In total, DB Schenker has more than 100,000 sq. m. of logistics space in the region, 38,000 sq. m. of which are in the Goods Distribution Center, where the services for Fossil have now also been fulfilled.
All well-known parcel service providers are located in the immediate vicinity, which enables late cut-off times. In addition, the contract logistics location is directly linked to the regional DB Schenker units of overland transport as well as air and sea freight. Incidentally, in view of these outstanding conditions, DB Schenker is already planning the next expansion. In 2018 an additional 38,000 sq. m. will be built in the Goods Distribution Center.
Head of Contract Logistics at DB Schenker Augsburg