Report on LDE operation
The last parcels were delivered at the end of the week, so it’s time to take stock of this operation: ‘Grouped Order of School Supplies and Manuals from France with Free Shipping.’
While it was anticipated that the parcels would arrive at the high school the day before the start of the school year, allowing us to begin preparations for the distribution from September 1st, we learned that the parcels were stuck at customs.
The FLT thus decided to contact LDE (the supplier) to obtain the missing information and act as intermediaries between the Japanese transit company, LDE, and the high school to expedite the delivery process. We would like to extend our special thanks to Mr. Jorge, the Manager of Operations at LFI Tokyo, for his invaluable assistance during these exchanges and throughout the entire operation.
We also cross-referenced multiple files (LDE orders, high school classes, delivery receipts, etc.) and established procedures to organize the FLT team and the numerous parents who had volunteered so that we could start organizing the distribution of orders as soon as the pallets arrived at the school, in parallel with the classes.
The team also realized that some parcels would be too heavy for students, and a rule was established in collaboration with the school’s administration to request parents to either pick up the parcels or have them delivered to their homes if they exceeded a certain weight.
On the morning of September 11th, eight pallets corresponding to over 380 orders arrived. This marked the beginning of operations involving unpacking, sorting, verification, reorganization, checking, searching, the start of distribution to students, repackaging for Yamato deliveries, writing receipts, and organizing shipments until Thursday evening!
A considerable number of hours were required to process 380 orders. On Monday alone, more than 7 hours non-stop were necessary to sort the orders from 6th grade to 12th grade, involving around twenty volunteers, including the FLT team, for this first LDE operation. The effort continued throughout the week with shifts and late-night calls with LDE to find solutions to various situations.
Despite all the preparation efforts to ensure that this grouped order would go smoothly and despite the fact that the chosen company (LDE) is the leading French provider in this field, we took note of several issues. LDE has apologized to all affected parents for the delay and any supplies missing without notice. FLT and LDE maintained daily contact throughout the week and have agreed to list the areas for improvement once the final orders arrive by the end of September. Naturally, in addition to ensuring that all students receive their complete orders, we will communicate our expectations, and the company will present its remediation plan if they wish to be selected again for next year’s orders. We are closely monitoring how the second shipment, which will be sent this Friday, September 22nd, will be handled.
Although it was not without challenges, we are relieved that students and their parents have finally received the majority of the ordered school supplies.
A big THANK YOU and BRAVO to everyone who participated in this operation, from the staff at the school, especially Mrs. Campels and her team for their logistical support at all times, to the teachers for their patience and adaptability in this unique situation, and especially to the twenty volunteer parents, the two Japanese mothers who transcribed and wrote more than 110 receiptss in Japanese, and to those who worked behind the scenes, giving much more of their time than originally planned to minimize the impact of the initial delay on the students!