In 1913, the chains, gears, and gravity slides of Henry Ford’s moving assembly line took the first giant step in streamlining manufacturing. In 84 steps, his 150-foot conveyer belt turned a hollow chassis into a road-ready Model T. In this new era of manufacturing and logistics, however, technology streamlines much more than an assembly line. One hundred years later, Relloe demonstrates how a company can revolutionize an entire supply chain that stretches around the globe.
“The pandemic’s supply chain issues coupled with the market’s explosive entrepreneurship presented an opportunity for us to address systemic problems with groundbreaking solutions,” recalls Edward Routh, CEO of Relloe. “We provide quality, reliable, and sustainable manufacturing, along with end-to-end transparency throughout the supply chain.
Relloe takes charge of the supply chain
After studying International Management at the University of Manchester, Routh relocated from the UK to California and took a job at a digital advertising startup. With the coding skills he learned on that job, he launched a fashion peer-to-peer (P2P) services platform.
P2P marketplaces connect people needing products with people selling those products. In short, Routh met supply with demand and handled the payments. “When the pandemic hit, my platform began receiving a lot of interest,” he recalls. “I established Relloe to help people manufacture and import apparel, footwear, and accessories.”
Relloe is a team of logistics experts pioneering a disruptive Supply Chain as a Service (SCaaS) platform. It leverages technology to streamline a product’s journey through sourcing, manufacturing, shipping, warehousing, and fulfillment. In addition, it offers radical transparency at every step. With Relloe’s help, anyone from heads of massive corporations to small entrepreneurs can take control of the supply chain.
Anyone can become a manufacturer
Where Henry Ford brought manufactured products to the masses one hundred years ago, Relloe brings the manufacturing process to the masses today. “We enable businesses to access competitive supply chains focusing on product quality, reliability, and sustainability,” Routh explains. “Within 48 hours, we can provide you with an estimate for your project, and within two weeks, you can be holding a sample of your product.”
Every partnership begins with an idea. Relloe’s design studio brings that idea to life. Experts provide artistic direction and full technical sketches for single pieces and entire product lines.
Once the concept is fully fleshed out, it becomes a reality through a network of manufacturers in China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and Peru.
“Manufacturing is complicated, and small mistakes cost a lot,” Routh remarks. “The barrier to entry is sky high in terms of knowledge, access, capital and time, but our platform opens that door to everyone.”
The manufacturing process is complicated and entails countless regulations. To oversee production, Relloe implements quality control processes and inspections at its partner locations. “We provide safe, quality products and adhere to all applicable standards,” says Routh. “Our products are tested in a laboratory that is accredited and approved by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
While Relloe values affordability in manufacturing, it is equally concerned with sustainability. It actively participates in the Better Cotton Initiative, an organization making global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the world. It collaborates with the Global Organic Textile Standard developing ecological and social criteria for organic textiles. Oeko-Tex Standard certifies that products manufactured by Relloe products are free of harmful chemicals and safe for human use. Finally, Relloe joins forces with the Global Recycled Standard, offering standards for traceability, environmental principles, social requirements, and labeling of products with recycled content.
Finally, Relloe carries manufactured products all the way to delivery. “Our finance and logistics teams ensure a smooth shipment,” Routh says. “They handle inspection certificates, shipping documents, LC, and transfers. They work with freight forwarders and consolidators, airlines, shipping companies, and banks to bring packages across multiple borders.”
The supply chain’s multiple layers are notorious for devouring profit margins, but Relloe’s service is free to the buyer, instead charging a simple platform fee to the supplier on each order. Unlike many of its competitors, the company operates on a by-usage basis, not on a subscription model, removing upfront costs and reducing barriers to entry for new brands.
Though Relloe relies on technology to streamline supply chains for the new era of manufacturing, it maintains a personal approach. “Manufacturing and logistics is a relationship business,” reflects Routh. “We meet face-to-face to discuss your vision, pain points, and goals. Our technology is there to support your account managers and creative teams, not replace them.”