Caliber Global connects all links in global shop-fittings chain

Leader in chain cooperation

Caliber Global enjoys worldwide success in managing the delivery of all materials for setting up and remodelling shops on behalf of large retail chains. The foundation for these efforts is an IT system for project logistics developed in cooperation with Yellowstar. Caliber’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Arjan Oudejans explains how this pioneering use of IT is helping the company distinguish itself from competitors and continue to grow. “The shift towards the internet will become more pervasive in future.”

The IT platform resulting from Caliber's partnership with Yellowstar provides comprehensive insight into the entire supply chain of any shop design project, from placement of orders to delivery of the fittings. All parties – retail company, supplier, transporter and contractor – are connected and able to cooperate actively, wherever in the world they happen to be. Oudejans: “Increased cooperation in the chain and chain integration are a much-discussed trend. Yet in practice, we're not seeing very many 4PLs who are capable of actually offering that kind of integration. The IT system Yellowstar built for (and with) us, however, allows us to truly stand out in the market.” Caliber first approached Yellowstar six years ago, in search of an existing solution that could connect all parties in a supply chain to one another and would make it possible to process every order and dispatch within a single system. “Ultimately, we chose Yellowstar to provide that solution.”

Concentrating on exceptions

Thanks to the wealth of information exchanged via the IT platform, every link in the supply chain for store development is able to cooperate efficiently with the others. In combination with the ever-improving reports made possible by the system, this results in optimum insight for all parties. The need to ask each other questions, meanwhile, continues to decrease. Oudejans: “The system also pro-actively alerts you to exceptions. The vast majority of orders and shipments are carried out automatically, without a hitch. This allows parties to concentrate on the orders and shipments for which the system has identified an error or a potential problem.”

Achieving sustainability through IT

And if you ask Oudejans, IT also offers the sole opportunity for making substantial gains in sustainability within the logistics sector. “Smart consolidation makes it possible to realise effective savings in tonne-kilometres. Which is of course where you'll find the greatest possibilities for improving sustainability in transport. For instance: by asking a contractor to deliver two days later, it may be possible to combine multiple shipments for a particular region. This can have a significant positive impact on both costs and sustainability. But when you're trying to make such connections and combinations across hundreds of projects, you need more than just an Excel worksheet. That takes precise insight into upcoming shipments and construction schedules.”

From push to pull

The CCO expects transparency and visibility in the supply chain to increase even further in connection with the rapid emergence of the Internet of Things. “It's becoming increasingly easy to allow even relatively inexpensive devices to communicate with the internet. Within ten years from now, it will be possible to trace the majority of our shipments in real time.” Oudejans considers this an important tool to help Caliber continue its shift from a push model to a pull model. “In many cases, it's already possible for the contractor who's building a shop to use our system to determine for himself when he'll need materials. Soon, this will be standard. To make that possible, however, full control of shipments is required. It's vital to know exactly where everything is in order to effectively coordinate all the deliveries. This is precisely our greatest added value.”

The most important trends according to Arjan Oudejans

Increasingly, smart internet solutions for traditional industries are influencing the logistics sector as well

While there's a trend towards cooperation along the chain, these efforts are still lacking in concrete form

Effective use of IT is the only way to achieve sustainable logistics

Transparency and visibility continue to increase thanks to the Internet of Things

More and more happening online

“The shift towards the internet will become more pervasive in future,” says Oudejans. “In the same way that consumers can order a refrigerator by 11 pm and have it delivered to their door the following morning at 8 am, we have to consider our own specialised logistics. The first ‘Ubers’ for the transport industry have already been introduced.” He gives an example: shared warehouse space. Via a single platform, this provides businesses with insight into where – and how much – space is available. “Things like that are really starting to take off. Soon you'll see that the application of internet technology will optimise the usage of transport space, down to the very last cubic centimetre.”

Uber's star-based rating system

Caliber doesn't necessarily need to be the trailblazer for this type of development. “One thing that is certain, however, is that we intend to taking full advantage of partnerships that give us insight into available capacity and offer us flexibility in booking our transport.” As more and more trucks and containers are linked to the platform, the degree of real-time insight will increase. “Just like you can now track your Uber car in real time, it will soon be possible to see when a truck will arrive at your location and what its available capacity will be. And, in the same way that you give stars to rate your Uber driver, the freight industry will no doubt come up with a similar solution for evaluating the quality of each supplier's service. Which, by the way, we're already doing in our own system as well.”

Over 2000 projects in 70 countries

At Caliber, Oudejans sees the Yellowstar motto – ‘Plan yourself a smile’ – reflected in the timely completion of each and every project without loss or damage, without rush dispatches and taking every imaginable restriction into account. “That's the trick we're looking to perform, time and again. And when you see that we managed exactly that in over 2000 projects in 70 different countries last year, it certainly gives one a reason to smile.”

Yellowstar - always on the move


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