We expand our strategic partnership with HARMAN

Retail and e-commerce fulfillment implemented at new 93,000-square-meter DC in Louisville

Arvato has expanded its strategic partnership with HARMAN International, a global leader in high-quality audio and automotive technology, and a Samsung subsidiary. Arvato's demonstrated excellence in supporting HARMAN International has earned them the opportunity to grow and is now additionally responsible for Americas logistics, including transportation management, secure value-added warehousing, inventory management, retail compliance and e-commerce, merchandising display management, and fulfillment to every channel in the Americas region. The recently inaugurated 93,000 square meters distribution center in Louisville, Kentucky, will serve as the central location.

"Take a look at HARMAN’s supply chain page on their website", says Richard Sheubrooks, Arvato’s Key Account Director accountable for the HARMAN Americas partnership, “the first sentence you read is, ‘We seek strategic partners with potential.’ Our successful partnership and strong operations in the EMEA market have paved the way for our exciting expansion into the Americas and unlock new possibilities for growth."

In total, Arvato now operates four warehouse locations in the Americas, Europe and Asia for HARMAN's B2B, B2C and D2C activities, acting as a global logistics provider for the company. "Arvato convinced us with its understanding of our business processes and its expertise in the field of automation. They were also willing to invest in efficiency-driving automation technology. The scalability and flexibility of the solution ideally supports our growth," says Johnny Williams, VP and GM, HARMAN Consumer Audio, North America.

In Louisville, Arvato has installed a state-of-the-art fulfillment infrastructure with 2.25 kilometers of conveyor technology and an automated sorting system that can process 3,600 master cartons per hour. A high-speed automatic carton erector and sealer were also integrated, as well as a CMC Carton Wrap solution, which can be used to create cartons for e-commerce orders in the ideal shipping size. Reducing the cardboard packaging to the size of the items saves material, conserves resources and has a positive effect on the CO2 balance during distribution, as less "packaged air" is shipped. Supply chain sustainability, including ‘walking the talk’ on social and environmental imperatives, are high priorities for both HARMAN and Arvato. Another highlight in the process chain for HARMAN is the innovative robotic labeling arm, which automatically prints up to three labels per carton and can apply them to different places on the cartons. It is designed for different carton sizes, can apply up to 1,200 labels per hour and therefore offers maximum flexibility. "With Harman’s diverse product portfolio, they needed a scalable solution that could seamlessly integrate with their existing operations. Our tailored automation and value-added services addressed these perfectly, delivering the speed, efficiency, and flexibility they need to support their growing business.” explains Andreas Podwojewski, Vice President Account Management at Arvato.

Arvato's solution has more than proven itself in the current peak season. "Since our launch in April 2023, we’ve consistently exceeded monthly shipping records and enabled Harman to achieve their highest revenue shipped day and month," says Richard Sheubrooks. The number of units picked almost doubled the usual volume in normal business. "We will continue to focus on precision, speed, sustainability, and scalability in the future in order to meet the evolving requirements of our customers," emphasizes Richard Sheubrooks. Arvato is therefore constantly looking at ways to further optimize and automate the distribution site. This could soon be the case. Richard Sheubrooks adds: "We have just been given the green light to proceed with an additional major automation project in the warehouse."

The expanded partnership between HARMAN and Arvato marks a significant milestone, enhancing the capabilities of both companies. Together, HARMAN and Arvato are committed to driving innovation, sustainability, and unparalleled efficiency to meet the dynamic demands of today’s supply chain.

About HARMAN International:
HARMAN ( designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics.

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