Metra raises its game with logistics investment
Distributor says Jebel Ali facility should speed up delivery times and simplify orders
IT distribution powerhouse Metra is preparing to open a new logistics facility that will serve as an integrated hub for its operations across the Gulf region.
Metra, which is one of the main regional distributors for brands such as HP, Acer and Samsung, will call time on the outsourced logistics model it currently uses and switch to its own self-operated 70,000 square foot facility instead.
The company said the facility could begin receiving consignments and dispatching orders from as early as March.
Metra has not revealed the value of its investment, but said the hub will be supported by new ERP and warehouse management systems that should make its logistics processes slicker.
NY Prasad, managing director at Metra, believes resellers will see immediate benefits.
"Today for example, [customers] could have to go to three different locations to pick one order up but with the consolidated logistics warehouse there will only be one location to go to," he said. "We will also have the ability to handle multiple outbound orders, as well as inbound and outbound at the same time, so it gives us multi-faceted capabilities."
Prasad also revealed that the new facility will provide the distributor with an opportunity to explore the possibility of developing its own third-party logistics offering.
"We are looking at making it more of a 3PL set-up, so it wouldn't just be limited to Metra's logistics - we hope to have a fully-fledged logistics service for vendors and customers too," explained Prasad.
"With a logistics service we would not be buying and selling the product, we would be fulfilling orders, so Metra Distribution could, for instance, become a customer of ‘Metra Logistics'," he said.
Metra intends to use the Jebel Ali facility as a hub to supply products to local customers and feed the smaller in-country warehouses it operates throughout the Gulf.
Its flagship Egyptian operation, meanwhile, is not affected by the move as it will continue to manage its own logistics.