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01/04/2015 — auf Deutsch lesen

Hermes-OTTO International launches new services unit ASTRA

"Having founded Astra Supply Chain Service Ltd., the Hermes Group is now capable of offering the kind of services currently in high demand on the market, such as auditing and quality control," says Michael Dumke, CEO of Hermes-OTTO International. With offices in Hong Kong and Dhaka, Bangladesh - a country booming as a production land - the company offers quality control, auditing and supply chain services in all key sourcing markets. ASTRA is therefore a perfect complement to the existing portfolio of the Hermes Group, which renders clients all relevant services along the retail supply chain.

Hermes-Otto International (H-OI), part of the Hermes Group of companies and a subsidiary of the Otto Group, is extending its portfolio. Through its newly-established ASTRA Supply Chain Services Ltd., H-OI is now offering bundled services covering auditing and quality control in key sourcing markets as well as IT-based supply chain solutions. The new company, officially launched today, focuses on providing services to the textile industry.

Since the collapse of the Rana Plaza factor ...

The business model aims to meet the ongoing needs of global retailing. At least since the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Dhaka in 2013, high standards of safety and compliance have become a major global issue. H-OI recognised this at an early stage and has whole-heartedly supported industry initiatives. In the course of its international growth, H-OI has placed great value on social and quality audits: "We regularly check the quality and social standards of all the suppliers in our network. This has enabled us to build up extensive expertise and highly trained staff, and we are now looking to provide these resources especially to clients in the textile sector," explains Dumke. In addition,

ASTRA is an auditing company accredited in line with the internationally recognised WRAP standards (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production). Besides auditing, ASTRA provides additional services in the field of quality control and IT-based supply chain management services and maintains inspection centres in key sourcing regions including Dhaka, Shanghai, Qingdao, Bangkok, Tirupur, Mumbai, Istanbul and Izmir. Final product checks are carried out by specialists on site in a neutral environment. Moreover, qualified inspectors also run quality checks in the factories themselves where producers can react immediately to any defects uncovered. Sandra Vollmert, managing director of ASTRA remarks: "We offer depth of experience when it comes to product, quality and compliance. This means that we start with a good understanding of the needs of our clients which helps us appreciate the growing significance of transparency along the global supply chain. This is why ASTRA and its services have the right approach."

About Hermes

The Hermes Group provides international logistics services to the retail industry. Headquartered in Hamburg, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Otto Group. Hermes is a leading specialist for retail-related services and partners numerous distance sellers in Germany and internationally. The range of services provided by the twelve Hermes companies embraces the full length of the supply chain: sourcing, quality assurance, transport, fulfilment, home deliveries and 2-man handling. Within this portfolio Hermes-OTTO International is responsible for global sourcing. With 1,600 employees and 25 offices in all key sourcing markets, H-OI has built up a network of top-quality suppliers in 50 years of business. H-OI sources products primarily from the textiles, accessories, lingerie, shoes and home living segments.

About ASTRA Supply Chain Services

ASTRA Supply Chain Services Ltd. was founded in January 2015 and is an independent company within the Hermes Group specialised in providing professional services in all areas related to the supply chain. The ASTRA portfolio comprises interim and final product controls, auditing services and IT-based supply chain services, and has specialised in the textiles segment.