Interior design and lifestyle brand Essenza Home has everything to make a house a home: from potholders to bath towels and decorative pillows to comforter covers. And even though Essenza Home now has customers all over the world, they are still a true family business. The international network and personal attention are some of the reasons for the long-term partnership: the companies have been growing together for about 20 years.
Essenza Home became a family business when Roeland Smits took the helm in 1994. Not much later, the company found in DHL Parcel its permanent partner for all business deliveries in the Benelux. Roeland's two daughters are now slowly taking over. One of them is Floor Smits, as Head of Brands responsible for the three brands that fall under Essenza Home: Essenza, Covers & Co and Marc O'Polo. Floor: 'Our customers are everywhere - the Benelux, Germany, Switzerland. Even in the Middle East! Together with DHL Parcel, we deliver quickly and easily across the border.'
'We spend a lot of time and attention on reaching our customers and keeping them informed about our new products and collections. For example, twice a year we produce an extensive catalog for all our relations - and thanks to DHL it always arrives at the right place on time.'
Smooth and smart collaboration
DHL Parcel processes and delivers all business shipments for Essenza Home in the Benelux. For example for department stores, such as Bijenkorf. Or retailers and web shops: think of Fonq.nl, Loods 5 and Beter Bed.
'It is ideal to have such a flexible partner,' says Rene Lubbers. As Essenza Home's logistics manager, he has overseen the entire shipping process for nine years. 'Many of our business customers sell our products directly. But in addition, many of them increasingly work through marketplaces, such as Zalando and bol.com.'
'Thanks to DHL Parcel's digital solutions, this goes flawlessly: orders through these platforms are processed and picked up in no time. Their smart tools integrate very easily with our own systems, are always open with us and can be operated by anyone. Moreover, we are in touch with the service desk in no time. Track and trace and My DHL Parcel are really indispensable. For us it is very convenient that we can immediately see where an order comes from. Has the order been placed through a marketplace? Then we make sure we send the package in a neutral packaging, instead of our characteristic flower packaging. This way, the recipient does not immediately see that the items have been sent by an external party, which looks neat and professional.
'Also nice: DHL Parcel collects packages and pallets in one go,' Rene continues. 'That saves us a lot of time and effort ánd it's better for the environment. Because our employees only have to be on site until 7 p.m., the lights and heating can be turned off earlier. And because we always know where we stand, it is a lot easier to complete the planning.
Green inside and out
That sustainability is top of the agenda at Essenza Home is evident in everything from the production chain to participation in the Sustainable Clothing and Textiles Covenant. 'All the collections we design, we produce as sustainably as possible,' says Floor. 'Together with our partners and suppliers, we take responsibility for making the textile industry less harmful. For example, we use environmentally friendly materials such as bamboo, hemp and cotton. To reinforce this ambition, we participated in the Dutch Sustainable Clothing and Textiles Covenant in 2016. Together with other organizations, we have done everything possible for years to prevent abuses such as poor working conditions and environmental damage. And of course we will continue to do so.'
Even the head office in Bunnik clearly reflects the green ambition: the exterior is covered with flowers and other vegetation, like a vertical garden. Floor: 'We do everything we can to contribute to a better world. With the green exterior wall we increase biodiversity and contribute to the recovery of the bee population. Besides: 't looks a lot fresher than such an ugly concrete wall, right?'
(Text continues below the image.)Photo caption: Floor Smits (Head of Brands at Essenza Home) and Marloes de Vries (Account Manager DHL Parcel) at the Essenza Home headquarters.
Environmentally conscious logistics
'Our concern for the environment doesn't stop when our products are made,' Rene adds. 'We also consider it important to package them as sustainably as possible: using as little plastic as possible and as many recyclable materials as possible, such as paper and cotton. Moreover, we pay a lot of attention to environmentally conscious delivery and efficient stock management. Rather than producing and bringing in too much: this just-in-time principle ensures that we make optimal use of our space and never have too much. DHL Parcel pays just as much attention to this, which is why we enjoy working with them so much.'
'We both prefer not to transport air, so we pack everything as efficiently as possible. DHL Parcel is very supportive. Their network also makes it possible to deliver from one distribution center, which allows us to manage inventory extremely well - without compromising the range and sustainability of the delivery. Deliveries are climate-neutral as standard, they are experimenting with trucks running on HVO100 fuel, and their new RegioHubs are all BREEAM certified. They are also increasingly green in the final step to the customer, including with electric vehicles and CityHubs around cities. This way they have to travel fewer unnecessary kilometers. So in this way, their way of working fits perfectly with our own sustainable policy. Indeed, it is one of the decisive reasons why we still enjoy working with DHL Parcel so much.'
Through one door on a daily basis
Another plus according to Rene: the reliability of DHL Parcel. 'The contact is very personal, both with account manager Marloes de Vries and with the drivers. As a result, we have built up a good relationship. At the RegioHub in Hengelo, for example, I see the same faces every day, so you know exactly what to expect from each other. The drivers think along with us and make sure that everything we want to send that day is actually taken away. One time it doesn't fit on the truck, for example? Then the driver will arrange for a colleague to come. DHL Parcel keeps its promises, even during holidays and other peak times. We can really count on them.
Directly to people's homes
In recent years, DHL Parcel only handled shipping to Essenza Home's business customers. 'But now they are also going to deliver our packages directly to consumers, from our own webshop,' says Rene. 'We think there are huge opportunities. We can seize them, but only if the whole logistics picture is right. That includes smart management, close cooperation and environmentally conscious delivery. We see a great future in our B2C deliveries, so we are happy to take that step with the help of an experienced organization like DHL Parcel. Especially since we already enjoy working together in so many other areas.'