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Swift Industrial Supplies Case Study

The Supply Chain Consulting Group complete Warehouse Optimisation

Swift Industrial Supplies (Swift) trading since 1994, supplies Corporate workwear and PPE throughout the UK. They are an independent family-owned business dedicated to customer service, innovative product development, and technical support.

Swift’s head office and distribution are based in Alton, Hampshire, UK, and they strive to provide an outstanding level of service, and high-quality products at competitive prices, providing easy access to a comprehensive range available next day. Swift have a large and diverse customer base including Biffa, ATS Euromaster and Thames Water. Swift also provides consignment services directly to construction sites.

Swift holds large stocks across their range including Gloves, Safety Footwear, Workwear, Eye, Hearing and Head Protection, Fall Arrest, Environmental, Janitorial and Workplace Safety products. Their range and ability to source specific products are the foundation of providing a consistent quality service, thus reducing customer time and costs in procurement.

Swift was planning for their future business model, to change with the launch of their new catalogue, with the focus being on a reduced number of core lines, supported by further improvements to the business service and support activities.

Due to their planned changes, Swift required expert consultancy knowledge and guidance to support the implementation of warehouse optimisation; thus, Swift engaged the Specialist Logistics and Supply Chain Consultants, at The Supply Chain Consulting Group (SCCG).

The set objectives of the project required the SCCG team to optimise the layouts, workflows and processes within the Swift business to increase efficiencies of the warehouse and finishing operations, to establish the capacity of the warehouse facility based on current and future growth requirements, and to identify the most suitable software solution for workflow management and bar-code utilisation to work with the existing Apparel Management system.

Under the scope of the project, the Specialist Warehouse and Supply Chain Consultants were required to review Swift’s current processes, including but not limited to review of all current processes from goods receipt through finishing/processing to order despatch, review the current and development of proposed warehouse processes, storage and picking layouts, review the Materials Handling Equipment (MHE) and resource requirements, and review the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all aspects of warehouse and picking/packing operations and WMS usage.

This review focussed on some of the following processes, including but not limited to Interface/interaction between warehousing and other operations/departments within the business, product flows and volumes (12 months of order sales data by SKU or product group per day, depending on the hierarchical structure), and seasonal fluctuations for each product group.

Once the above review was complete, SCCG were able to provide different layout plans to identify equipment requirements, optimise resources, improve workflow and quantify the capacity of the current facility. The subsequent layout, workflows and design work was completed utilising the SCCG team’s in-house CAD facilities, and presented to the Swift management team with full detail and rationale.

Through a thorough review of warehouse layout, and processes, and consideration of the future growth requirements, the  Specialist Logistics and Warehouse team at The Supply Chain Consulting Group, were able to provide Swift with an optimised warehouse layout design, which encompasses their realistic future growth predictions.

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