Thursday, November 13, 2014

Logistics Specialist Rationalises Supply Chain for Major Parts Distribution Group

New Contract for UK Caterpillar Agency
Shipping News Feature

UK – IRELAND – Consolidation of a client’s supply chain has won a new contract for logistics group Ceva which will henceforth operate a brand new national distribution centre on behalf of Caterpillar dealership Finning. The Cannock, Staffordshire distributor of CAT equipment and power systems has previously had to rely on servicing clients throughout Britain and Ireland from five separate in-house locations. The new Finning National Distribution Centre houses all of the dealership’s engines stock, plus 60,000 separate product lines, all of which are required for next day delivery to the company’s 800 field engineers and twenty eight UK and Ireland branches.

Finning will operate Caterpillar’s ‘Smart Sourcing’ technology, which assists on-time delivery of parts to the customer’s specific requirements; Finning UK and Ireland will be the first Caterpillar dealer in Europe to use this resource. Ceva designed the purpose-built £8 million facility, and is providing 33 staff to operate it over extended business hours six days per week. Under the contract, Ceva has committed to next-day delivery of all orders, for an expected overall traffic of some 10,000 items per week via a thoroughly modern and environmentally tailored new facility.

The state-of-the-art building itself, situated on the Lakeside Estate at Cannock, Staffordshire, covers 120,000 square feet and incorporates wide-aisle and cantilever racking, floor-level storage and a two tier mezzanine floor accommodating 90% of stock keeping units (SKUs). On the environmental front, it features energy-saving lighting, a biodiversity area and the first electric car charging points in the company. To facilitate business continuity, the Finning National Distribution Centre boasts a fire protection system incorporating 9.5 kilometres of pipework and over 3,000 sprinkler heads covering each level of racking. Parts Operations Manager for Finning UK and Ireland, Steve Smith, said:

“The opening of this new distribution centre follows five months of hard work by my team and Ceva. The transfer of approximately two millions parts items from numerous storage locations, into one central facility was achieved, whilst of course retaining the level of service that our customers expect during the transition. This significant investment not only meets the needs of today, but also factors in plenty of capacity for our future growth plans.”

In preparation for the opening of the new distribution centre, Ceva successfully consolidated the stock from the five existing Finning parts operations into the new facility within five weeks, while maintaining full operational capability and the new centre was fully functional on time and on budget. Ceva Account Director, Industrial Components, Kevin Leigh, commented:

“We are delighted to have been chosen as Finning’s partner in this venture. The new operation managed by Ceva will enable Finning to provide its customers with operational excellence and class-leading service, while it will enjoy improved inventory management and efficiency. Service levels and KPI’s are already showing an improving trend.”