Consumer Electronics Product Launch Logistics
New Product Through its Retail Stores Nationwide
A consumer electronics powerhouse was planning its global consumer electronics product launch of a highly anticipated new product through its retail stores nationwide. The product launch would require the installation of large, custom product displays in the company’s 265 U.S. retail stores. The technology powerhouse contracted with Red Arrow Logistics to manage the inbound airfreight from Europe along with US sourced materials, domestic warehousing, line haul transportation, and final mile delivery of the display components to ensure their installation was completed on time for the consumer electronics product launch.
Because of the project’s complexity, Red Arrow began mapping out the details a full year in advance.
Time-Critical Nationwide Launch
The product displays were absolutely critical to the launch, and delivering them on time to the in-store installers was essential. The display’s two main components: a 10-foot long wood table weighing 900 pounds, and a glass insert made in Italy. The company had to transport these components from the manufacturers in the U.S. and Italy, to 115 forward staged warehouses then on to stores across the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii. Last-mile delivery had to be done at night, after the retail stores and malls closed, leaving just a few hours before the launch for delivery, install and debris removal to be completed.
Over Dimensional Display Components
Leveraging its extensive network of service providers in the U.S. and Europe, Red Arrow designed transportation and distribution solutions to orchestrate the project’s numerous and continuously changing components, and calibrated the plan to meet the client’s specific needs. Central to the task was shepherding the pick-up and delivery of 548 product display tables to the retail locations, which were spread across the U.S. Red Arrow managed every step of the logistics and shipping process, and coordinated with the manufacturer, trucking companies, warehouses and other service providers, to oversee the transport of the tables — by ground — to 115 strategically located forward warehouses across the country, and via ocean to Alaska and Hawaii.
To deliver the custom-made glass inserts, Red Arrow tapped its agent in Italy. Together, they arranged to air freight 339 crates containing glass inserts, which had to be moved from a plant in Italy to gateway airports across the U.S., including LAX, ATL, JFK, SEA, and ORD. Red Arrow facilitated Customs clearance and directed the transport of the glass from the airports to the warehouses, where the tables were waiting for them. Once the materials reached the warehouses, the materials were inventoried, aggregated and staged for retail delivery.
On the eve of the product launch, Red Arrow arranged to uncrate the materials at the warehouses and prepare them for last-mile delivery to the retail stores. The cargo was blanket and pad wrapped and loaded into vans, straight trucks, and 53-foot dry vans depending on the final delivery location and access points.
Delivering Outside The Box Solutions
The process involved close synchronization between Red Arrow and warehouse staff at each location, as well as local installation crews at each store. Our team coordinated delivery meeting times, permit requirements for the dense metropolitan areas and any special needs a store might have. The shipment-by-shipment planning and delivery extended to special circumstances.
For example, in one instance, Red Arrow had to help a store figure out a way to unload a component that was too big for its freight elevator and without direct unloading access; the solution was to hire a crane and operator to lift the materials to a second-floor landing area that allowed access to the mall.
Detailed Project Planning and Reliablility = Huge Payoff
Once all of the display materials were handed off to installers for in-store assembly, Red Arrow was responsible for picking up the old product displays, carting them away and transporting them to recycling facilities.
By delivering the massive volume of materials on a very tight delivery schedule, Red Arrow enabled the installers in 265 stores to assemble the product displays on time for the nationwide consumer electronics product launch. Once installed, the displays showcased the customer’s latest innovation. As a result of the meticulous planning and precise execution, the product release was a huge success.
“An absolutely critical piece to the successful launch of our product were the display pieces, which is why we turned to Red Arrow Logistics. As a result of their meticulous planning and precise execution, the product release was a huge success."
Confidential Client | San Francisco, CA