Case Studies

How SKU-level visibility helped The Hut Group reduce lead times

May 27, 2022
Cosmetics

Suffering from longer than necessary lead times, reduced operating margin, poor communication and limited end-to-end visibility, The Hut Group worked with Zencargo to achieve:

  • 10% average reduction of in-transit lead times on European trade lanes
  • 5% average cost saving on European trade lanes
  • 25% reduction in urgent road freight lead time

How The Hut Group transformed their supply chain

The Hut Group’s accelerated growth has created unique challenges for their supply chain. Their strategy of serial acquisitions has produced a complex supply chain with multiple processes requiring significant human operation.

“Reports were unreliable and not user-friendly for those who don’t know much about logistics”

Tim Powell, Head of B2B Freight, The Hut Group

Manual processes led to miscommunication

The first challenge The Hut Group had to come was their manual data collection process. This was resulting in:

  • No cloud-based shipment tracking availability including exception reports
  • Inexistent manufacturing milestone information
  • Significant data manipulation required to extract simple understanding

This lack of automation was making it hard for the business to improve processes. Having no central data source and relying on manual communication meant that the business struggled to align stakeholders on important details.

Making visibility of progress easy

To initiate the relationship, Zencargo led a supply chain workshop session. The in-depth session worked through the end-to-end process to unravel the flow of goods across the entire production line. This enabled Zencargo to understand critical pinch points and develop a robust solution to transform The Hut Group’s supply chain. This included:

  • Centralising supplier data to produce SKU-level visibility into the progress of manufacturing
  • Integration with their ERP to give SKU visibility from when a purchase order was raised to the required cargo ready date
  • A demand management function to compare SKU-level intake volumes with expected stock plans
  • Real-time tracking dashboards show the location of shipments across all modes
  • A documentation hub to generate commercial paperwork for rapid retrieval
  • Delay attribution highlights to show the causes of delays
  • Exception alerts to focus attention on issues for immediate remedy
  • Automated delay analytics to highlight repeated problems holding back the supply chain
  • Supplier performance dashboards to outline actual SKU lead times
  • SKU-landed cost analysis to demonstrate the impact of freight spend on operating margin
  • Reduced lead times and freight spent

    After 6 months, Zencargo and The Hut Group had made significant headway into simplifying The Hut Group’s complex processes and adding enhanced data robustness, which has created a leaner supply chain, capable of fueling The Hut Group’s ongoing growth.

    The Hut Group saw improvements in their lead times, with an average of 10% reduction in in-transit lead times on European trade lanes, 25% reduction in urgent road freight lead times and 8 days reduction in China-US ocean freight transit times.

    They also saw operating margins improve, with a 5% average reduction in European freight rates and improved working capital management through the implementation of data-driven merchandising plans.

    “With Zencargo, the other teams didn’t need us [to find their data]; they could see it for themselves through the platform”

    Tim Powell, Head of B2B Freight, The Hut Group

    If you struggle with communication, gaining accurate data and tracking supplier performance, give our experts a call.

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