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Upon Entering a New Market, Logistics is the Critical Success Factor

Twenty-six years ago, an idea emerged. A Netherlands-based electrical engineering student named Walter Arkesteijn was tasked with repairing his mother’s fluorescent lamp. As an esthetician, she needed it to serve her customers. Arkesteijn realized that there was far more he could do to improve this technology. Working with his mother, they pioneered a tool that illuminates the skin at various wavelengths to visualize underlying skin deficiencies.

After years of research with leading beauty companies, Sylton’s OBSERV320 and OBSERV520x were born. It is a leading skin imaging technology utilized by estheticians and dermatologists in 60 countries around the world. The one market that they hadn’t conquered was the United States.

“If we were going to enter the U.S. market, we knew we had to be well prepared,” says Roland van Marlen, CEO of Sylton. “If successful, this could generate 50 percent of our revenue.” But Roland was convinced that one of the more important critical success factors to entering the U.S. market was logistics.

Roland set out to find an established supply chain partner. He spoke with several different 3PLs, and Evans Distribution Systems stood out for their responsiveness and professionalism. “I’ve had good and bad experiences with 3PL partners. Evans is the right-sized partner that provides the attention and detail to service that we need during this growth stage,” he says.

The Solution

The products are manufactured in the Netherlands and shipped by the pallet to the U.S. on a monthly basis. Once they reach the U.S., they are shipped by rail to the port of Detroit. In addition to storage, Evans handles the shipments from its Fedex account to Sylton’s customers throughout the U.S. Evans has also provided small assembly and value-added services when needed. “The flexibility of services at any given time is valuable to us. As those service needs change over time, Evans adapts quickly and efficiently,” Roland says.

For example, when products get damaged in transit, Evans’ customer service team produces the documentation needed to file a claim swiftly and successfully. “Their notes and photographs allow us to take appropriate action,” he says.

The Benefit

According to Roland, the benefit of using a 3PL is changing fixed overhead and assets to a variable cost. “Scale is never able to be generated without outsourcing to specialists that have the product knowledge and the space,” he says. As Sylton continues to build their brand in a new market, Roland is confident that Sylton has the right 3PL behind him to ensure success. He concluded by saying: “The benefits already show right now, thanks to Evans, we know that we are outperforming our competitors logistically. Nobody has better lead times than Sylton!”

Download the case study here.