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With more than 170,000 employees, and customers in over 100 countries, our customer is a leading provider of IT products and services for the global marketplace, including hardware, software, networking and business solutions.

DHL Supply Chain’s national distribution center in Japan ensures that our customer‘s prospective clients quickly receive their requested PCs for a trial period and can easily return them.

    • Delivery and recovery of demo equipment to business clients
    • Ensuring real-time data inventory accuracy
    • Inspection and data cleansing from returns
    • Secure, fast shipping and return
    • Custom supply chain solution
    • Order management system
    • Specialized team dedicated for call center and technical work
    • Innovative, re-usable packaging boxes
    • Screening and restoring to factory condition of returned equipment
    • Timely, high quality management of a key prospect touch point for future sales
    • Real-time order inventory management
    • Secure logistics at fixed cost
    • 200 demo orders dispatched/day, 4,000units/month
    • 120 returned PCs cleaned/day

Customer Challenge

Corporate IT purchasing cycles and technology upgrade programs call for PC demonstration equipment to be shipped for a trial period of testing and evaluation. Prospective business clients expect the demonstration to last for a few days, or up to a month.

This presents our customer with several logistics challenges. Stock levels of demo models must be adequate to meet demand requests, so maintaining accurate, real-time status data is essential. This includes current warehouse stocks, returning stock expected and latest demo requests. Equipment must be checked and tested prior to shipping and each shipping inventory, including any PC accessories, must be verified as complete. Packaging must ensure equipment arrives in perfect condition and delivery must be on-time, including proof of receipt. At the end of the trial, the return process must not only be quick and easy for the customer, but also secure. Finally, all returned product must be checked, screened and cleaned of client data and returned to factory condition for re-issue.

DHL Supply Chain Solution

DHL Supply Chain started to work closely with the customer’s logistics team to develop a custom supply chain solution. With 35,000 m2 of storage space and a strategic location, DHL’s national distribution center in Narita was the logical operational hub to serve the whole of Japan.

Introducing an order management system developed by DHL Supply Chain was a landmark move. Over the last 12 years, following constant improvement and development, the solution has seamlessly managed the customer’s 200 demo orders a day, and a total of 4,000 units a month. The operation occupies 260 m2 of workspace and more than 1,800 m2 of warehousing storage area. As a result of its performance capability, other IT manufacturers have since approached DHL Supply Chain to discuss applications for their own operations.

Clients would send their custom request through the available sales channels. These requests would range from just one laptop PC for small business clients to some hundred units of PCs to be exhibited at sizable events like the “Solutions Fair”.

The solution included the development of innovative, return-able packaging boxes for PCs. The product arrives in perfect condition, and is easy for the customer to repackage for a safe return. To maximize operational efficiency and sustainability, each package is engineered to be reusable, with a life expectancy of more than 100 journeys.

The ‘complete’ status of each returned demo equipment package is verified quickly and accurately using barcode scanners for PC parts and accessories. Following screening and secure deletion of client data, the ‘Quick and Clean’ technical services restore PCs to factory condition. Processing 120 returned units/day, the 20 minute/unit turnaround includes reinstalling the operating system and updating antivirus and security software.

Customer Benefits

The timely provision and recovery of demonstration equipment to prospective clients is a critical first step in developing trust and belief in both our customer’s brand and its operations. Call center operations are seamlessly linked to accurate, real-time inventory and warehouse data, ensuring that delivery deadlines are realistic and client expectations are met. Any client data on PCs remains secure in transit and is safely erased during return inspection.

By entrusting demo equipment logistics to DHL Supply Chain for the last 12 years, this leading provider of IT products continues to enjoy an excellent service (success rate 99.99%), fixed cost savings and sustainable business practices.

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