Vista Print is an online e-commerce business that is committed to giving small and micro businesses around the world a chance to make an impression and stand out with professional marketing products and services at an affordable price. We spoke to the Australian Logistics and Freight Supervisor of Supply Chain, Adrian Mastropasqua, about how the business operates globally but delivers locally.
TRADE EXPRESS: While Vistaprint is now a global e-commerce brand working with more than 16 million micro business owners, like all businesses it started small – where did the company start and what have been the greatest challenges as you have grown into an international organisation?
Vistaprint was founded by Robert Keane in 1996, when he identified a clear market need for high-quality, low-cost printing of small business marketing materials. He started this business in the spare room in his apartment in Paris and remains very involved in the company today.
I would have to say in my experience of working with the company that the biggest challenges have been keeping up with demand! We hit a great price point within the market (across all our products) so we’ve expanded more quickly than what is probably normal for a business like ours.
TRADE EXPRESS: Vistaprint works across multiple international locations including Australia, NZ and Singapore, with a commitment to refund either the cost of shipping or the cost of the product every time a customer complains. What kind of logistics strategy did you have to develop to be able to provide this kind of service?
Working in so many markets means we have to have a number of tailored logistics strategies that suit different regions. In Singapore, for example, the majority of people live in high rise apartment blocks with concierges, rather than stand-alone houses, meaning deliveries can be more easily lost in lobbies or more difficult to deliver, resulting in customer complaints. When we first started doing business there, the DHL team adapted delivery processes so that they now call ahead to every apartment building to ensure the concierge is aware the package is arriving and who it is for, which has saved us both time and money.
Our locally based marketing teams also use social media to grow awareness and keep in touch with their consumer base, alongside more traditional marketing channels, to ensure we understand our customers and can adapt our systems to meet their needs.
TRADE EXPRESS: Working in so many different markets must present a number of logistical challenges – how has DHL helped you tailor your solutions to get the best results?
Obviously working across so many different markets creates a complex structure that requires a very tailored logistics strategy. With DHL having such a strong global network they’ve been able to provide us with numerous options in each market which has been great. An example of this is the current DHL Global Mail option being worked on to enter into various international markets. We needed an economy option, and were fortunate DHL Express had the contacts with their other divisions to be able to get the ball rolling to make this start to happen.
TRADE EXPRESS: What role has DHL played in helping Vistaprint achieve success?
Since we’ve started working with DHL, one of the benefits that has become apparent is that they have continued to maintain Delivered In-Full, On-Time (DIFOT) standards, and have in fact out-performed previous suppliers that were responsible for the same services in New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. DHL are so easy to deal with when an issue is identified and we’ve noticed a much more efficient response time from them. I definitely have to give credit to my DHL Account Manager on her ability to solve problems for us or point us in the right direction when needed, with the support of the other DHL departments behind her. It’s definitely a reflection on the positive culture within DHL that has been instilled at all levels.