Utilizing Real-Time Visibility To Enhance Service To Customers

Utilizing Real-Time Visibility To Enhance Service To Customers

At EssilorLuxottica, we are continuing to develop and invest in new tools to enhance our operation’s real-time visibility capabilities within the North America (NA) Logistics & Distribution Network. Our NAnetwork is made up of 15 distribution centers with a footprint that spans the U.S. and Canada. The heart of this operation – the NA Distribution Hub – is located in the greater Atlanta area and is home to more than 1,700 Logistics & Distribution employees across a state-of-the-art, four-building campus. Each day, this network works together to move about 115,000 frames, 65,000 contact lenses, and 4,00,000 lenses to our stores and customers across North America with a multichannel approach.

An operation of this size requires a centralized manufacturing platform that provides daily monitoring of global sales performance and inventory levels to meet local market demand. We operate as centralized facilities under a highly automated order management system, servicing other EssilorLuxottica distribution centers and, in some markets, shipping products directly to customers, thereby further reducing delivery times and keeping stock levels low.

As the leader of Logistics & Distribution Planning in the region, my team and I are focused on implementing the most cutting-edge technologies that enable us to efficiently move product around the country. This includes developing automated management systems that allow full visibility of all flows, traceability of performance throughout the network and just in time decision making with predictive analytics.

The journey to create real-time visibility systems within our NA network began at the Atlanta Service Center four years ago. Our passionate team created a strategic roadmap that began with very basic tools (i.e., Excel) and ultimately led to where we are now: in 2022, we operate using a fully automated system that provides end-to-end, real-time visibility and reporting for every order that is placed. By allowing our team to view every order this way, we empower them to quickly intervene should any issues arise and communicate transparently with customers.

To do this, we adopted the Microsoft Power BI (Business Intelligence) application throughout the network to support our real-time reporting needs and capabilities. This tool has taken us from Excel spreadsheets to fully automated dashboards that provide visibility throughout multiple areas of our business (Wholesale, Transportation, etc.) with full accessibility in real time using PCs, Mobile Phones, tablets and interactive screens in the DCs.

Although we’ve come a long way on our journey to enhance real-time visibility throughout the network, we are always looking for the next step that will help us serve our customers even better. By the end of 2022, the NA Network will begin utilizing a new, state-of-the-art Control Tower that provides real-time communications to customers regarding their order and enhanced end-to-end visibility for our internal teams. This new technology will also trigger warnings regarding any issues with an order, which will ultimately lead to a more proactive and responsive operation.

"As the leader of Logistics & Distribution Planning in the region, my team and I are focused on implementing the most cutting-edge technologies that enable us to efficiently move product around the country"

The Atlanta Service Center is also kicking off a pilot program this year to develop and test Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. The pilot program aims to anticipate potential issues, such as the delay of an order, before they can even occur.

These processes and cutting-edge technologies not only support real-time visibility within the network, but are critical enablers to providing our customers with the level of service they’ve come to expect from our organization. As an industry leader in Logistics and Distribution, we will continue to invest and develop systems that provide full visibility and trace ability for every order that is placed. We’re committed to doing our part to address the world’s evolving vision needs and the global demand of a growing eyewear industry – one perfectly delivered order at a time.

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