CASE STUDY: Bassett Furniture Industries


“Technology is the lifeblood of our supply chain. The flow of information and communication allows us to properly plan and execute our business.”

Jeb Bassett, Senior Vice President, Wood Division, Bassett Furniture Industries

THE CHALLENGE: Turning Furniture Designs Into Deliveries Fast

Thirty days—that’s how quickly Bassett Furniture delivers its custom furniture orders, turning a buyer’s initial vision into reality in less than a month. With a focus on fast turnaround and impeccable customer service, a well-run supply chain is critical to Bassett’s success.

Since its beginnings in the early 1900s, Bassett has become a leading manufacturer, distributor and retailer of premium home furnishings. The company sells nearly 1,500 products, including wooden furniture, upholstered items and accessories, and offers virtually endless combinations of fabrics and finishes to match customers’ exact tastes.

Bassett’s supply chain is similarly complex. The company sources materials and other items from suppliers around the globe, including Asia, Mexico and South America. Additionally, Bassett’s model demands precise planning to move goods from production to retail while meeting stringent customer timelines.

With a business this complex, gaining visibility across its supply chain has become increasingly important to Bassett. From booking containers with suppliers halfway around the world to tracking time-sensitive shipments, they depend on a centralized platform that delivers timely supply chain data when and where it’s needed.

THE SOLUTION: Going Full-Service With a 4PL

Bassett has achieved that end-to-end supply chain visibility—and much more— through its 10-year partnership with American Global Logistics. As a 4PL provider, AGL combines proprietary technology, logistics solutions and hands-on support to manage all aspects of Bassett’s global supply chain efficiently and effectively. Built on Bassett’s business rules, the cloud-based platform puts tracking, alerts, booking reports and more at its fingertips, helping the company make informed decisions faster. One key report is the “hot” shipment report, where Bassett reviews shipments currently in transit and determines delivery order. AGL then works with Bassett’s distribution centers and production facilities to ensure products arrive in time to meet tight turnarounds for customer orders.

“AGL’s technology is simple to use,” says Meredith Muscatello, Director of Global Sourcing Operations and Logistics. “It fits Bassett—the way we’re set up and the way we communicate.”

As a full-service partner, AGL oversees Bassett’s global transportation services, placing bookings based on the company’s carrier preferences and accepting bookings directly from its factories. Leveraging its multimodal network, AGL offers Bassett multiple transit options for shipments based on cost and transit times—both major priorities for the customer-centric company. Those options give Bassett the flexibility to switch carriers or modes at a moment’s notice if a disruption occurs. As Bassett’s sole customs broker, AGL also helps to ensure customs compliance and timeliness while keeping the company updated on best practices, such as accessing shipping data from the new Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) portal.

The AGL Team provides around-the-clock support to keep Bassett’s supply chain humming, like making after-hours phone calls to book containers with overseas suppliers when needed. Just as Bassett holds itself to high standards for customers, the company expects the same level of accountability from its own partners—and AGL has delivered.

THE RESULTS: A Supply Chain Built for Life

Over the last decade, AGL’s 4PL solution has helped Bassett Furniture keep its lofty customer promises by creating a high-functioning supply chain. Key benefits include:

  • Improved operating efficiencies. AGL’s cloud-based technology and expert guidance has helped Bassett trim costs while ensuring the prompt movement of its goods. For example, AGL works closely with Bassett’s distribution centers and domestic trucking operations to minimize accessorial fees and shipping delays. With AGL’s support, Bassett has also earned beneficial cargo owner status, helping it gain more attractive pricing on ocean freight.
  • A streamlined customs process. Reducing compliance risk is key for an importer as big as Bassett. To help the company minimize the amount of cargo marked for customs exams and improve security, AGL performed the on-site analysis and documentation required for Bassett to receive C-TPAT certification, thereby accelerating their customs clearance times.
  • A scalable supply chain. After more than 100 years in business, Bassett is busy making plans for the next century, including growing its physical and online presence and expanding into new products, like lighting and mirrors. And, they are counting on AGL to continue developing creative solutions that will support their projected expansion.
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