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DTS celebrates 25th anniversary
Feature: 3/11/2004



Mike Daly predicts future trends for consumers and logistics providers

DTS Logistics, the leading pre-retail and fashion logistics service provider is celebrating 25 years in business this month (see News, Tuesday 09 November).

Founded by Michael Daly, with just one van, the company has built a reputation for developing innovative cost-effective solutions for retailers and manufacturers in the clothing and high value gift sector.

DTS Logistics now supports its end-to-end supply chain solutions, from source to the final point of sale with assets of 160 vehicles and over 1,000,000 square feet of modern well-equipped warehousing at eight strategic locations throughout the UK, employing over 700 staff.

During the 25 years, DTS Logistics has moved from being a straightforward garment transporter to providing a wide range of pre-retail services including ticketing, pressing, quality control, home shopping and a seamless fulfilment operation to shared user and dedicated distribution for a large number of UK and international high street retailers.

To mark this occasion, DTS Logistics is taking delivery of a special ‘silver finish’ Mercedes tractor unit. All other DTS vehicles and trailers will display a special 25th anniversary silver rosette.

Future trends
Never one to rest on his laurels, Mike Daly has just returned from a fact-finding mission in the Far East to look at future trends in garment manufacturing, and the impact these possible changes will have on UK and European distribution.

He predicts that with the growth in manufacture in the Far East, there could be the development of hanging garment planes to reduce the cost of preparing clothes in the UK for sale.

Increased use of automation to take into account shorter time to market will be a trend that will continue. The trend for automated solutions will also be driven by the need for the increasing amounts of products needed on a next day basis and the increased use of RFID tagging.

Mike also believes that TV home shopping and ordering over the Internet will boom over the next 25 years. He predicts that consumers will be able to watch a TV programme and at the press of a button will be able to order the clothing worn by the characters onscreen.

In conjunction with this technology, he believes that consumers will be able to upload their own pictures and view themselves in different outfits. Using body scanning, they will be able to see if they fit them without having to physically try them on, thus avoiding the unnecessary returns procedure.

Smart textiles
Pre-retail services will also be influenced by increasing the use of ‘smart textiles,’ including fabrics that release a ‘perfume’ to neutralise sweat odour or clothing that enables the wearer to get a suntan without taking off the garment.

This could mean that in the future, garment distributors would have to consider the way they store and carry these new kinds of garments.

Also, with an increasingly quicker translation of garments from the catwalk being made for the high street, turn-around times for logistics companies will continue to shorten.

Environmental pressure will also continue to rise, says Mike, both in terms of restrictions to daytime deliveries and the need to use environmentally friendly vehicles. Night-time deliveries will become the norm and will be linked with more in-store logistics solutions.

He believes return of garments and packaging will become a key supply chain issue over the next few years.

Opportunities
But these changes only provide more exciting opportunities for DTS Logistics as it starts a new quarter century as a major subsidiary of the £70 million Clipper Group, which is now moving over 150 million garments and is well placed to provide retailers with the first choice innovative solutions they require to meet the consumer challenges over the next two decades.

Mike is confident DTS Logistics will still be there providing the answer to all the demanding logistics issues thrown up by the supply chain.

DTS Logistics is a leading, innovative, pre-retail service provider, specialising in the clothing and high value gift sector. It provides well-known UK and international retailers with shared user and dedicated logistics solutions, as well as providing home shopping and mail order companies with a seamless fulfilment operation.

DTS Logistics is part of The Clipper Group, an independent, high quality, customer led logistics service group. Clipper is a group of autonomous businesses, who are leaders in niche sectors.

In total the group now has a network of 18 distribution centres throughout the UK, a 500 strong fleet, a workforce of 1,400 people and 2 million square feet of warehousing.
Author: John Gibbon
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