Restructuring and consolidating the warehouse and distribution network.
Victoria Plum is a rapidly expanding online retailer of bathroom products and furniture. It had been acquired by a venture capital group that had ambitious plans to grow the business.
The existing warehouse and distribution network had reached the constraints of its operational capacity and was split between five sites. The operations team was struggling to keep up with the demands of the business using a mixture of manual and home grown planning and control systems.
Collinson Grant was initially asked to support the planning process to consolidate operations in a single warehouse. Our remit was expanded when the new Chief Operating Officer redefined the operating model for the entire supply chain. We assisted in analysing the existing material flows and evaluating the proposed layout that was designed to support a faster flow of material and lower levels of inventory. We identified and selected suppliers and with those suppliers subsequently developed a warehouse fit-out plan for the new 277,000 square foot facility and directly managed the fit-out on a day-to-day basis as well as negotiating and obtaining the necessary permissions. During this period an additional project supported work to ensure the business’s compliance with the European Union’s directives concerning product labelling using the ‘CE’ mark.
The facility was completed on schedule, three months after starting on site.
The business later decided to set up, in a period of three months, a nationwide ‘last mile home’ delivery network. We oversaw the management of this project and took direct responsibility for establishing five new hubs ranging in size from 10,000 to 25,000 square feet. This included negotiating leases, organising the supply of material handling equipment, arranging insurance and planning building work to upgrade facilities. The network went live on-time and was seen as a significant success.
Several months into the operation of the new consolidated warehouse we were asked to review its performance. This work pinpointed opportunities to reduce the total transactional time by between 17% and 26%. From this project sprang further work to develop an implementation plan to deliver these benefits, and upgrade and extend the original fit out, to almost double the storage capacity. A fifty-three-point plan was developed with the management team. We led this early work, the establishment of the specification, project plans and management process and then provided on-going technical and management support to the team until the project’s successful completion.