As an IT services company doing business all over the world, navigating the customs processes of multiple countries can be daunting. Damage and delays in customs directly impacts sales, customer service and the company’s bottom line.
The IT services company was facing several issues:
- Server racks were being damaged during shipping. Although insurance claims were made, they were denied because the insurance companies felt the units were not properly protected during shipping.
- Both the company’s hardware and software were being held up in customs for extended periods of time. When such issues would arise, their former logistics partner consistently failed to follow-up and attempt to resolve. The IT services provider was essentially left to deal with the problem.
- There was a lack of communication between the IT company’s clients in the United States and their sister companies overseas, and it was detrimentally affecting their sales. Educating both the sales force and the end users on the complicated process, and on advantages of buying equipment in the U.S. and shipping it overseas, was essential in eliminating the problem. This type of communication was not being provided to them by their previous logistics carrier.
ICAT’s team visited the company’s shipping department to assess exactly why damage was occurring during the shipping process. Once the cause was determined, ICAT provided critical training on how to properly crate the hardware for international shipping in order to meet insurance requirements, thereby eliminating the potential for damaged products.
ICAT streamlined their international shipping processes by providing “quick fact sheets” for internal staff to reference. This information provided the shipping department and their end users with a clear, concise framework of the processes involved. In addition, ICAT coordinated conference calls between the IT company and their customers, giving all parties direct communication with the logistics experts in order to eliminate all questions and concerns. This ultimately provided them with a less stressful and more streamlined shipping process.
To this day, ICAT manages and provides consistent follow-up on all aspects of the international shipping process. As a result, the IT services company is never required to manage any issues related to the logistics of their products. ICAT is equipped to receive a unit directly from the customer’s site or airport, and deliver said item to its final destination, handling all issues, and providing clear communication to the client along the way.
Because of ICAT’s knowledge in the international shipping process, they are able to pre-screen potential issues and processes for this IT company’s specific needs. By utilizing the quick fact sheets developed by ICAT, the IT company’s sales team are now equipped to explain the shipping process for their specific country in detail to their end users.
ICAT collaborated with the sales team and their customers to explain the process and the cost-saving benefits of buying hardware in the U.S. and then shipping it back to their home country. This has had a direct and positive impact on increasing their international sales.
As a direct result of collaborating their logistical needs with ICAT, the IT services company realized an overall increase in their international sales from $17 million per year to $50 million a year—an overall 200% increase in sales. ICAT also helped grow their domestic sales by 30%.
In addition, damage and shipping issues decreased to less than 2% of shipments, reducing inventory costs and increasing customer satisfaction dramatically.