New distribution center prepares REV’IT! for international growth

10 June 2021 5 min. read

Last year motorcycle clothing manufacturer REV’IT! moved into a new and larger European distribution center. The Netherlands-based group enlisted Groenewout to help it with the logistical design and project management. “We’d never have been able to pull this off without their experience and expertise,” said managing director Ivan Vos. 

REV’IT! is specialized in the design, development and production of motorcycle clothing. “We’ve been active since 1995,” says Ivan Vos, who founded the company after spotting an opportunity in the market. 

While managing a company that imported motorcycle clothing, Vos realized that the industry offered only two choices: low-priced but poorly designed and poorly made items, or well-designed products with a premium price tag. He founded REV’IT! to fill the gap by offering high-quality yet affordable design, and the collection has expanded ever since. 

REV’IT! distribution center in Oss

Today, REV’IT! is a successful brand with a strategic focus on design, performance and innovation. The company’s average annual growth rate is around 15%. “Our revenue doubles every five years, and our clothing is sold in more than 70 countries worldwide,” states Vos. 

The company’s logistics operation is based out of two centralized distribution centers (DCs): one in New Jersey for sales to the USA and Canada, and the other in Oss for the rest of the world. 

“However, the situation in Oss was becoming increasingly challenging due to our growth,” explains the managing director. “Our operation was spread across three buildings, which created lots of process inefficiencies – both in the offices and in the warehouses.”

Providing an example of this, “we had two order-picking locations which meant that we had to continuously manage the staffing levels. And sometimes orders were split and sent to our dealers as part deliveries. In other words, there was a burning platform for us to find a new home.”

Outside expertise

REV’IT! had previously asked supply chain consultancy Groenewout for help in 2007 as part of a project to design and equip a new logistics center based on a greenfield situation. “But when the financial crisis hit in 2008, we decided to stop the project, simply because we didn’t know what the future would bring and whether the crisis would affect our business,” explains Vos. 

As it turned out, the crisis had little impact on REV’IT! and the company soon bounced back to double-digit growth. In 2017, the clothing manufacturer re-approached Groenewout with the request to re-assess the old plan in the current context. 

“Needless to say, a few things had changed in the space of a decade,” recalls Vos. “The most important change has been the sustained growth of our product range; the number of SKUs has risen by 40 to 50% over the past ten years. So we asked Groenewout for their advice again, this time based on our current product portfolio, the logistics flows and processes, and also our own analysis and forecasts.” 

Groenewout also prepared a distribution network design plan for REV’IT!. The plan revealed that Oss was still a suitable location, not least thanks to the good transport links to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp as well as to the European mainland, which facilitates short lead times and fast deliveries. “Besides that, our roots lie in Oss and staying in this region would enable us to keep the REV’IT! team together,” he adds.

A specialized task

The company moved into its new centralized European distribution center and headquarters last year. The building – which was designed by architecture firm Cepezed and constructed by Berghege – has been specially designed to facilitate REV’IT!’s future growth ambitions. The management of the entire new-build project was outsourced to VR Bouwmanagement.

Ivan Vos, Founder and Managing Director

“We managed the project to equip the distribution center ourselves, but we definitely needed support with the logistics part. That’s a very specialized task that demands the right experience and expertise,” continues the managing director. “And we could depend on Groenewout for that experience and expertise.” 

Groenewout drew up a Program of Requirements for the logistics equipment and prepared a longlist and subsequent shortlist of potential suppliers. Ultimately, Jungheinrich took care of all the warehouse fittings, supplying racking, a mezzanine and a whole new fleet of material handling equipment. “We made a conscious decision to work with a one-stop-shop supplier so that we would have a single point of contact and short lines of communication,” says Vos. 

Countless benefits

The new facility offers REV’IT! several benefits. First, there is a lot more space for storing the growing number of SKUs. The company now has a single 5,000m2 logistics center with a storage height of 13 meters, compared to the previous situation of 4,000m2 of space across three different sites with a storage height of 8 meters.

Second, the streamlined logistics processes are now more efficient. Previously, many products were stored in a suspended system, now REV’IT! enjoys a flatpack storage approach. “This eliminates extra handling plus it frees up around 25% extra storage capacity,” he states. “Moreover, this has reduced our requirement for temporary workers by as much as 30% and we no longer have to split orders, which has helped us to save on outbound transport costs.” 

Professional partner

During both the contract phase and the construction phase, REV’IT! could continuously rely on the expertise from Groenewout, such as in the case of any questions related to the proposals or any problems during the realization. “We collaborated with various Groenewout consultants, each with their own specialized knowledge. They all clearly are experts in their domain, which is one reason why working with Groenewout was a very pleasant experience,” recalls Vos.

The project was completed within the intended time frame and in line with all of REV’IT!’s requirements. “We would never have been able to pull this off without Groenewout’s experience and expertise. We are now back on track, plus we still have some space for further expansion. We will definitely contact Groenewout again when the time comes,” concludes the managing director.