FedEx Express's International Priority DirectDistribution (IPD) solution has helped reduce luxury cloth-maker Scabal's shipping costs by approximately 30% as well as speeding up transit times.
In today’s fashion-conscious society, labels are everything. From the best of European designers to global fashion powerhouses, the industry is dominated by household brand names whose garments are recognised the world over.
Yet for luxury cloth-maker Scabal, building effective business relationships within the industry is more important than becoming a well-known consumer brand. Throughout an impressive seven decades in business, the company has grown organically to become the preferred fabric choice for leading tailors, designers and retailers in 65 markets across the globe.
Working with prestigious suit makers has been the key to the growth of Scabal since it first started operations in the late 1930s. Defining itself with the simple yet powerful mantra of “a passion for cloth”, Scabal remain fiercely committed to the highest levels of design, production and service for each and every customer. This approach is one that has been adopted by all three generations of this family owned business – something that resonates with customers from all over the world.
“For discerning clientele, brand heritage is an important mark of authenticity,” said Neil Hart, Global Sales Director, Scabal. “While Scabal itself has been around for 77 years, the mill where we produce the cloth dates back to the 16th century, and has been making some of the world’s finest fabrics since that time.”
While headquartered in Belgium, Scabal attributes much of its success to its British manufacturing roots – the eminence of which continues to attract brand advocates from all over the world. “In the beginning, the company started with just five people working out of Brussels. Now, we employ just under 100 members of staff in our UK mill and eight in our London offices in Savile Row. Globally we have almost 550 employees including our headquarters in Brussels, and sales offices in New York, Tokyo, Milan and Paris,” said Hart.
On an average day, up to 800 individual cut lengths of cloth are ordered and distributed globally. While each market caters for different consumers with their own unique definitions of style, Scabal maintains its flair for luxury by shipping some of the world’s most expensive fabrics, using the latest techniques to incorporate diamond fragments and 24 carat gold into the very thread of the material.
“What many people don’t realise is that we are the brand behind some of the most famous suits in the world. We work closely with international fashion houses to create bespoke cloths for made to measure designs for celebrities and royalty alike. Designers have even won industry awards for the garments created with Scabal cloth,” explained Hart.
A superior supply chain
For those customers placing orders for such goods, the expectation of quality is paramount at every stage of the buying experience. To ensure continuity of service, Scabal enlisted the expertise of FedEx to deliver the very best results. “Speed, consistency and transparency – just three of the qualities that differentiate FedEx from its competitors,” said Hart. “Having a logistics provider that you can trust to be an extension of your brand is no mean feat, but FedEx is one we can rely upon - and has proven to be a real asset in our recent expansion into the US market,” he added.
Previously, Scabal sent its US shipments to a domestic supplier in New York for redistribution throughout the rest of the country. The process added up to two days to the shipping time and created a variety of supplementary fees. “Our product is time-sensitive, so we need to know that when we ship, we ship quickly and correctly. FedEx enables us to keep up with ever-growing customer demand, and maintain our position at the top of the market.”
In 2010, Scabal began using the FedEx International Priority DirectDistribution (IPD) service. With shipping costs reduced by approximately 30% and transit times shortened, Scabal has seen significant improvements in its stateside delivery service.
Using IPD, Scabal can send multiple pieces from its premises in Brussels to multiple recipients in a single destination country with the packages cleared through customs as a single shipment. For US orders, packages can be shipped and delivered within 48 hours. Through its integrated network, FedEx provides Scabal with full tracking visibility for each individual package at every stage of the shipping process.
Hart concluded: “The ease with which FedEx works has really helped to streamline both our domestic and international operations. While we’re not looking to conquer the world, with FedEx by our side, anything is possible!”