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Already since 2011, the promotional textile wholesaler Sky Media's warehouse has been located in the depths of PostNord s logistics centre at Turku. There are altogether 11 500 items of various garments, headwear, bags and towels in the warehouse.
"As far as I know, we are the only promotional textile wholesaler in entire Europe, whose storage solution has involved moving the warehouse to a warehouse hotel," said Virve Oravainen, Sky-Media's CEO.
Oravainen emphasizes that an outsourced warehouse brings welcome flexibility not only to the size of the warehouse, but also the daily need for personnel. This improves the efficiency of responding to changes in demand, and delivery spikes.
A few years ago, Sky Media's storage facility of the time started to hinder the company's growth. The facility was not high enough. In addition, the place was already past its best-before-date: in the summer, everyone was sweating, and in winter, everyone was freezing.
"We compared different options: building a new warehouse, renting space from elsewhere, or becoming a user of storage services. We decided to outsource our warehouse. At the same time, nine of our employees moved to PostNord, one of our customer service representatives in addition to warehouse employees. This is how we were able to transfer valuable competence to our business partner's side."
Weekly product deliveries from China, Morocco, Turkey and from around Europe are now shelved in the small goods' and textiles' storage and collection, using the shelving systems that are the most suitable.
65 per cent of all orders are submitted online; and the order system has been integrated with PostNord's warehouse management system. The new shelving system makes collection easier, and minimises mistakes.
However, functional co-operation between the storage service and the customer requires a lot of development, and the co-operation partner's wish to immerse into the special features of the client's business: for example that the right-size and –colour garment is always selected for the order.
"We are getting good service and we are satisfied. We have reached this point through co-operation and due to the fact that both parties have been very keen to get things working in the best possible way."
However, the most real feedback regarding the delivery reliability comes from the field, from the Sky-Media retailers.
"One of our retailers recently commented that we can always be relied upon, because the goods are delivered the day after the order has been placed."
Deliveries are despatched daily from the same building to all of Sky-Media's 1300 retailers across the country. Indeed, Oravainen considers this speed to be a definite advantage,
"Any order submitted before 14:00 is collected for dispatch the same day, and will be delivered the next day. Quick and reliable deliveries are very important for us, and our service guarantee urges on 100 per cent."