Customer Success

Travel Brand Horizn Studios Takes Off with Simplified Operations

By the Numbers

94%

of shipments delivered on time

99.8%

product availability

35%

monthly growth rate

Leading smart travel brand, Horizn Studios, breathes new life into a centuries-old industry and transforms operations

Overview

Horizn Studios is Europe’s leading travel brand for the next generation. The company’s unique approach fuses developments in technology with first-class design, perfectly meeting the needs of today’s tech-savvy digital nomads. A fast-growing international company, Horizn Studios sources superior materials from around the globe to create innovative luggage and travel accessories.

Challenges

Horizn Studios was Europe’s first smart luggage brand, and Europe’s first vertical player in the luggage industry. When it started, the company faced issues with end-to-end visibility and managing distribution due to scheduling and communication challenges. As a result, building trust with its partners and customers became paramount for the young, fast-growing brand. For it to take off, Horizn Studios needed accuracy, control, and reliability from its supply chain.

Solution

Partnering with Flexport for its freight forwarding needs, Horizn Studios is now able to take better command of its shipping process. And as a result, it has captured the visibility needed to ensure smoother operations and better communications—with its partner ecosystem and with customers—leading to a monthly growth rate of 35%, with almost no stockouts.

"Other big freight forwarding companies also have portals, but they’re more limited — you can only see the status of the shipment. They don’t have the check-in aspect of Flexport. The information we gain from the Flexport platform is super critical for us and our customers. It allows us to better communicate and set expectations."

Rafael Haymann
Head of Operations, Horizn Studios

Getting Started

Launched in 2015, Berlin-based brand Horizn Studios set out to make luggage for the creative class: People who have an eye for detail and appreciate innovation. Focusing on smart luggage, the company has expanded its offerings to include an array of backpacks and weekenders as well as accessories and services to make travel easier and more enjoyable.

In the beginning, finding partners was tricky without a reputation to fall back on. Soon, though, the company started growing and quickly established itself as Europe’s leading smart travel brand. Now Horizn Studios finds itself able to do forecasting, optimize processes in production, and better manage fulfillment and benchmarking. In this new era, the company boasts 99.8% product availability, thanks to 94% of its shipments arriving on time.

Visibility, Communications, and Expertise

Having information for shipments centralized in the platform—and available for real-time updates by everyone involved in the process—gives the company critical data to be agile and advance its business. “Other big freight forwarding companies also have portals, but they are more limited—you can only see the status of a shipment,” says Haymann. “Back in the Stone Age, if we had a shipment going, we’d hear ‘I don’t know, I’ll get back to you.’ The ping-ponging back and forth whenever information or an update was needed was difficult,” adds Haymann. Now, he and his team can focus on more important matters like setting up processes and optimizing production and fulfillment. “We have nothing to worry about with regard to logistics,” says Haymann.

With the needed transparency, Horizn Studios uses data from the Flexport platform directly on its e-commerce site so customers get real-time updates regarding when to expect product availability or delivery. “If we are running out of stock, we can communicate when we’ll have it back and in customers’ hands. The numbers they see on our website are the same numbers we get out of Flexport’s system,” explains Haymann.

That kind of reliance on actionable data is also critical as Horizn Studios starts building relationships with wholesalers and its ability to grow is directly tied to its distribution. The more it can scale through wholesale partners and other distribution channels, the clearer the path to growth.

The control and visibility from the platform and its data let teams across Horizn Studios improve planning around when inventory is coming, when to inform other stakeholders, and how to plan marketing campaigns. “We all have access to the Flexport platform and the expertise that comes with it. Our whole team interacts with it, whether from Fulfillment, Business Development, Manufacturing, Production, or Finance,” says Haymann. “In fact, at least three teams have direct access and work with Flexport on a daily basis,” he adds.

Flexport’s Squad Model has also been instrumental in keeping Horizn Studios’ shipments on track and moving forward. For instance, when the company faced customs declaration issues, the Flexport squad was able to resolve them while keeping Horizn updated every step of the way.

A Global Partner

“We are a very international company. Our employees are from 30 different countries. So we wanted a partner who could help us transcend that and offer us flexibility. Flexport is truly a global partner for us,” Haymann says. But even more than that, the company also wanted an equal partner in innovation. “There’s a freshness factor in working with Flexport that fits well with our culture. Flexport is different and feels like innovation in the market.”

As the company looks ahead, it sees greenfield opportunities from customizing and enhancing its existing product line to expanding the services it offers— including travel services. But first, it acknowledges, it needs to excel at its present mission. Key to making that happen will be the technology, infrastructure, and expertise that Flexport offers.

For Horizn Studios, Flexport gives the luggage brand the transparency needed to cultivate trust with its customers and partner ecosystem—even in unpredictable situations.

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