In the lead up to the launch of a large-scale consumer branding initiative at High Point Market in October, Klaussner® Home Furnishings recently announced an exclusive contract with Salem Logistics to handle all transportation and logistics for the top-five furniture manufacturer.
The transportation program will be gradually phased in during the coming months, beginning with all outbound shipments to retailers from Klaussner’s Asheboro, N.C,-based manufacturing facilities, soon followed by shipments originating at the company’s plants in Iowa and California.
With the formal launch of Klaussner’s consumer brand looming, Klaussner’s new commitment to Salem will have the most immediate impact on the way the company does business with its licensees and other retail partners. Klaussner will have turned over all of its transportation functions to Salem by High Point Market in October.
“We built this business on shipping truckloads of product to some of the nation’s largest retailers,” said Jeff Davis, Klaussner’s Vice President of Business Development. “A lot of those retailers don’t exist anymore, so while we’ll continue to support full truckload shipping, we’re transforming our business to provide the best in transportation and logistics services to smaller retailers as well.”
Salem President David Eshelman said the deal had been in the works for more than a year. “This has the potential to transform both Salem Logistics and Klaussner Home Furnishings,” Eshelman said, iterating Salem’s commitment to forging strong ties to carriers and manufacturers in the home furnishings industry. “Our technology will enable Klaussner to get their products to their customers faster, which will expand their market and improve customer service,” Eshelman said.
Klaussner Director of Transportation and Logistics Cam Smith explained the strengths of Salem’s technology, citing its use of the software program ScanEx as one of its major selling points. “Using ScanEx, Salem will optimize our orders by discerning the fastest, most efficient routes to get our products to our customers,” Smith explained.
Among the key services Klaussner will offer its partners as part of its new consumer branding initiative is a less than truckload shipping program, which allows licensed stores to operate with minimal inventory while still guaranteeing their customers delivery of select items in seven days or less. Custom orders are guaranteed in 30 days or less.
“None of this would be possible without the transportation solutions that Salem is providing us,” said Vice President of Supply Chain Management Chuck Miller. “When we began examining this deal, we asked ourselves, ‘How do we give our smaller customers the level of service that they require?’ We know that it’s simply more conducive to their business for us to do less than truckload shipping, and Salem has the ability to do this for us, maintaining an unbeatable level of customer service.”
Through the new logistics partnership, Miller said Klaussner is building a more responsive distribution model to service smaller dealers as well as larger chains requiring faster delivery of smaller loads. Miller listed several benefits for Klaussner’s retailers, among them faster service for custom/special orders. “We’re catering to people looking to hold less inventory but nonetheless maintain quick turns,” Miller said.
With greater freedom to maintain lower inventory levels, dealers will also face a lower risk of products becoming obsolete. “If you aren’t selling something well, you don’t get stuck with the excess inventory,” Miller continued. “You’re also going to experience fewer situations in which you’re out of the stock your customers are demanding because, in many cases, you can order it this week and have it there by next.”
Another key element that Salem will provide is real time tracking, which retail partners will be able to access through Klaussner’s online dealer service center, ServiceNet. “That kind of visibility is important,” Miller added. “Everything we’re doing here is driven toward making doing business with Klaussner as seamless, efficient and customer friendly as possible.”
Davis said the new logistics program was just one of many of the key changes to Klaussner’s business structure that would facilitate the successful launch of its new consumer brand. Nonetheless, he said, “Salem’s participation alone in the initiative will positively affect our business more than anything else we’re doing.”
Klaussner introduced the new consumer brand to its dealers during Las Vegas Furniture Market in July. The company will unveil the new brand to the home furnishings trade at High Point Market in October, where it will also introduce design guru Genevieve Gorder as the new spokesperson and face of Klaussner Home Furnishings.
As a top-five American furniture manufacturer, today, Klaussner remains a privately owned and operated business, producing and sourcing upholstery, case goods, bedding and accessories through domestic manufacturing facilities and an extensive global resource network. For more information about Klaussner and its products, please visit www.klaussner.com.
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