Double prep for Patchi as Ramadan approaches and new DC progresses
The busiest period of the year for Patchi is during the two weeks leading up to the start of Ramadan, according to Aline Ashkarian, country general manager, Patchi UAE. And while the chocolatier is handling the Ramadan rush, it is simultaneously developing its new manufacturing and distribution facility at Dubai Industrial Park.
“Planning and preparation for Ramadan starts a year in advance. It starts with the selection of the colours for Ramadan, the themes, and these are decided based on the major fashion shows in Milan and Paris,” says Ashkarian.
“So we send teams to these events and they then decide what our wrapping collection and flower decorated collections will look like. Then a schedule for logistics, procurement, marketing, retail and so on is developed,” she adds.
All departments have to work together to ensure that there are no issues. Procurement is extremely important because Patchi sources most of its ingredients from outside the region, so it needs to ensure that everything needed to produce the chocolate required for these rush periods is where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.
With a preference for conducting its logistics operations in-house, the new manufacturing and distribution hub in DIP will be a ‘milestone’ achievement in better managing this logistics process, according to Ashkarian.
“Distribution starts around two weeks prior to Ramadan,” she says. “The retail and corporate shares of sales is around 70% and 30%, so a third of our revenue comes from large corporate clients – hotels, government departments, and other large companies.”
These clients do very large orders on national holidays and religious periods, she adds. “A hotel for example will order 500 boxes for its various locations throughout the country and we need to make sure that we deliver to all those places on time.”
At the new facility being built in DIC, the manufacturing, storage and distribution will all be done from the same hub, except for the filled items, the baby and wedding selections and other collections that will be done by the workshop in Al Quoz. All the corporate business will also be done from the Al Quoz facility.
“This will create more efficient use of the fleet,” says Ashkarian. “In addition, the new facility will double our production capacity from 5 tons of chocolate per day to 10 tons.”
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