An automated solution to meet demands of business expansion

A home and clothing retailing group delivering to ecommerce, wholesale and store format customers.

What made this project unique?

Our client had three diverse brands, each distributing to wholesale, ecommerce and retail stores. We provided a solution that didn’t change for the operator, whoever they were picking and packing for.

An automated solution to meet demands of business expansion

A home and clothing retailing group delivering to ecommerce, wholesale and store format customers

The issue

The global client was growing at 5% CPGR, and was hitting capacity constraints at each peak period. They needed a long term logistics solution to support their growth, reduce headcount and also improve the warehousing cost to serve.

Our objective

  • Lead the project from initiation through to high level design sign off of a new purpose built warehouse
  • Gain agreement on the future growth aspirations
  • Model a “straw man” automation solution to estimate future warehousing operating space required
  • Select appropriate automation providers and invite to the Request for Information and Request for Proposal stages
  • Conclude a successful automation tender process and select the right partner

What we did

  • Captured current service levels, schedules and costs
  • Created a model based on a range of potential automation options, to understand future capacity requirements over a 15 year period
  • Engaged with the six most suitable automation providers
  • Reduced the six potential providers down to a final two
  • Benchmarked responses to challenge costs
  • Provided a project managed solution owning several workstreams across the project and leading the design element

How we did it

  • Clearly understood the clients needs from the outset
  • Worked on behalf of the client, ensuring the best deal was done with the right automation provider
  • Supported both the client and automation provider in ensuring the design was right for the business
  • Implemented suitable communication methods between the automation provider, UK clients, and US clients
  • Controlled and verified all data prior to it being used within the tender process – to ensure we had confidence in the numbers
  • Agreed scoring metrics appropriate to the clients needs
  • We put in place strong governance to control the project and ensure all tasks were completed on time

The outcome

  • A new purpose built 400k sq ft automated site was signed off by the US group owners
  • An automated solution to suit all three brands and provide simple processes for wholesale, ecommerce and retail picking and packing
  • The right automation provider was chosen for the client
  • Project milestones were adhered to against the broader plan, coordinating efforts over multiple workstreams in the UK and US
  • A happy client

By improving their demand forecast, we helped one client save £3m in agency staffing costs (that’s an 18% reduction).
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