Decathlon has redesigned its logistics network with the introduction of a new infrastructure plan that was completed in 2005. The first step was the opening in Paris of a large continental 50,000 m2 warehouse, to be in stock and that will serve the rest European products to the stores.
The new scheme includes the creation of a second type of store. In the future, the multi-regional facilities, will cater to the twelve regional warehouses that the French firm has in Europe. It is planned to build three of these distribution platforms on the continent, but none of them will be located in Spain, where the company has two regional centers, one in Getafe (Madrid) and one in Sant Esteve de Sesrovires (Barcelona).
The backbone of the logistics chain in Europe will be completed with the creation of logistics, contract or own hub for the receipt of goods from suppliers. the location is not yet determined, but in any case, will depend on where the manufacturers are. With this initiative, the company expects subcontractors to help reduce lead times and enhance the charge transport in bulking up the Decathlon store that will later serve these products to stores. The ultimate goal is to ensure filling trucks and reduce delivery time to stores.
The Decathlon product are manufactured in fifteen countries around the world. However, the production, which is always outsourced, is centralized in geographical areas. In the Spain the French firm has its Bicycle suppliers, mainly in Mataró (Barcelona). In Catalonia, he has plastic products, such as shower caps, socks and metal components are also manufactured. However, the Catalan community has lost a large part of the production of Decathlon, which has gone to Portugal. Morocco is another country that provides numerous articles for Decathlon, especially textiles, while in Asia sneakers and balls occur.
The displacement of the Spanish production to Portugal answers a new policy of the French firm globally. Previously always the same products were manufactured in two different places, just in case a provider failed. But now they just have two different qualities for the same item, so that now only select the best supplier for each reference.” Decathlon select and monitor the components and materials as well as the design of the products marketed under its brand.
The challenge of deadlines
In 2001, the store of Sant Esteve Sesrovires reached an average of 15 hours in the preparation of orders, from the time of receipt of an order to exit the truck to the store. For the current year, management has set itself the challenge of twelve hours, under the average of the entire sequence: the picking, preparing the product, pack it, check it, put it in the dock, and upload it to the truck.
In the international arena, the target set by the Decathlon logistics in 2005 provided a range of two to 72 hours for delivery, “regardless of whether the reference should come from the continental store, regional or multiregional” says Cristina Gaitan, head of logistics for Decathlon northeastern Spain.
The procurement of stores has also been modified as some changes are introduced in the supply chain. Previously, the priority was to always have stock on the premises, so they were served daily as many times as necessary as long any reference didn’t finish . Following an assessment of the costs, the company opted to get them one day shipping, but with much more material.
The Decathlon products are also available via the Internet, but to do so, you must go to the French website (address on the local network in each country has a link). Orders that are made in the French portal are served from the corresponding regional warehouse. This has meant that, nowdays, on-line sales are still residual in Spain. For this reason, one of the projects that the company has in mind is enable an own Spanish channel page for sale.