We at Seacon Logistics are very happy with our clients, which is why we're keen to share some stories of great collaborations. Here we talk to Irene Poos, Director Supply Chain Services Europe at Amway Supply Chain Services.
Founded in 1959 by two young entrepreneurs from the US, Amway is one of the largest direct sales companies worldwide. Amway has been established in the Netherlands since 1978. In 2020 the company is active in 80 countries, serving the European and Russian markets from the head office in Venlo.
Amway sells products in the home, personal care, beauty and nutrition fields, based on a multi-level marketing concept. This means that product sales are made through Amway Business Owners (ABOs), rather than through the company itself. There are some 300,000 to 350,000 ABOs in Europe, spread across almost 30 countries. There are around 100,000 ABOs active in Russia. These Business Owners sell Amway's products through their own networks.
"Our collaboration with Seacon is a true partnership, not like a standard client-supplier relationship."Irene Poos Director Supply Chain Services Europe
"We've been working with Seacon Logistics since the mid-1990s," Irene Poos explains. "The distribution options offered by our previous location in Moerdijk weren't optimal, so we went in search of the most favourable logistics location, near the German border. There's a multimodal inland terminal in Venlo; Seacon Logistics was a co-founder. It offered lots of possibilities for us. We moved our business to Venlo, and have been working with Seacon ever since. We initially started with warehousing and customs services, but later on we extended it to include 'pick and pack' services too. Depending on the needs and developments within our company, we consider what we want to outsource or can do ourselves."
"Our central warehouse is situated near Seacon's head office in Venlo. All products from all over the world arrive here – but particularly from America and Europe – that are needed for sales via the ABOs. We also have a distribution centre here, where all orders are packed and shipped. We serve eleven consumer markets from Venlo. Our offices in Poland and Hungary each serve seven consumer markets. Amway also has distribution centres in Ukraine, Turkey, Greece and South Africa. In the warehouse in Venlo, Seacon takes care of all the physical labour that's needed for our activities. They ensure that there are enough properly-trained staff available to carry out packing and shipping."
"Because of the growing market in Russia, we wanted to set up a centrally-located warehouse there with regional distribution centres. Together with Seacon, we searched for the most advantageous logistics locations and a logical way to set these up. Pioneering work, actually. Russia is an enormous country, and setting up the supply chain turned out to be quite a challenge. We had to take different rules and legislation into account. On top of that, we wanted to find the most efficient spread of distribution centres that we could, so that the products could be delivered to our customers on time. Seacon helped us with the startup and guidance in Russia, so that after a year we were able to carry out the distribution ourselves," Irene says.
"Our collaboration is a true partnership, not like a standard client-supplier relationship. It's based on helping and strengthening each other. The relationship has lasted for a long time, which to me is a sign that the collaboration has already seen years of success and is valued by both sides. Both Seacon and Amway are originally family businesses. Family businesses are characterised by a feeling of unity, and their core values are often different from those of a standard company. These elements are what makes the collaboration run so smoothly. We feel comfortable with each other."