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Driving Change and Growth: An Interview with Gavin Parnell, Logistics Consultant and Director

The Annual 2023

Warehouse and Logistics News spoke to Gavin Parnell, one of the Directors of The Supply Chain Consulting Group. 

Read the interview here or online at WLN. 

The Supply Chain Consulting Group is a leading consultancy firm that operates internationally, with projects across all sectors and over 30 countries worldwide. SCCG’s mix of operational experience and analytical capability helps to ensure our solutions are both evidence-based and pragmatic.

Where required, we provide implementation support, from procurement advice to full project management. We provide evidence-based decision support, giving you the confidence to make the investments required to deliver business growth and efficiency. 

Gavin Parnell - The Supply Chain Consulting Group, Logistics Director

1. What products or services does your company offer?

Gavin – We offer independent logistics consultancy, helping companies to make the right decisions and implement the right operational strategies to support their business growth.  Projects focus on areas such as logistics network strategy, warehouse design/improvement, WMS, transport optimisation, inventory reduction and outsourcing to 3PLs.

2. Which industries do your customers operate in and which sectors ones are growing fastest?

Gavin – We operate in all sectors where there is physical distribution. Key sectors include FMCG, retail, e-commerce, fashion, automotive, healthcare and industrial. The fastest-growing clients are often those building a brand in the e-commerce space. We have also recently got involved in the world of electric vehicles, which is another exciting and rapidly developing sector that is seeing a lot of investment.

3. Do you have any examples of a project you have recently completed?

Gavin – Some examples of recently completed projects include design of a new warehouse in the beauty products sector, 3PL outsourcing for a major drinks company and specification / selection of a warehouse management system for a well-known retailer.

4. What are your most recent product innovations?

Gavin – We are working on more WMS-related projects of late and recently released a white paper explaining the rationale and process for sourcing and implementing a WMS.

5. What are the major trends and developments affecting your category and your customers, and how are you responding?

Gavin – We are undertaking a number of European logistics strategy projects which are driven partly by Brexit.  The other major client concern is general cost increases, which we are trying to mitigate by improving productivity and space efficiency and sometimes by tendering outsourced logistics contracts.

6. Can you tell us about any recent customer contract wins and how you helped the customer meet their challenges?

Gavin – We recently won a new client in the industrial sector and designed a new warehouse operation to give them a c. 60% increase in storage capacity without compromising productivity.

7. How were business levels in 2022 compared to previous years?

Gavin – This year has seen an increase in enquiries and new business wins. Coupled with a large amount of repeat and follow-on business from our established clients this has led to significant business growth.

8. What is your strategy for succeeding in the current climate?

Gavin – We believe that our best strategy for success in any economic climate is to provide consistently excellent services for our clients.

9. In what areas are you making technological advances?

Gavin – We are keeping up to date with developments in analytical tools and software for tasks such as rapid 3D modelling of warehouse designs.  This helps us work efficiently and produce more insightful outputs for clients.

10. What training do you provide for your staff?

Gavin – There is no substitute for experience in consultancy and training tends to take the form of ‘on-the-job’ mentoring. Within the team, there is a mix of hands-on experience and analytical skills and it’s great to see how people learn from each other when working together on projects.

11. What is the company’s commitment to social responsibility?

Gavin – Our main role is to provide clients with solutions that are aligned with their business priorities, which increasingly include a focus on ESG.

12. What improvements have you made to your customer service recently?

Gavin – The use of MS Teams for project updates has led to better in-project communications with clients. Also, the use of a CRM platform has helped us manage all the enquiries in a more organised and efficient way.

13. Are you helping customers boost the level of automation in their business?

Gavin – Yes, we are working with clients to develop business cases for automation and then supporting them through to implementation. Many smaller clients are interested in automation, and we need vendors to provide flexible off-the-shelf solutions to meet this demand.

14. Do you help customers maximise the use of their existing warehouse space?

Gavin – Yes, this is a big focus, particularly as the market for new warehousing space has been quite tight in recent years. The key is to define the warehousing requirements in detail and design space-efficient solutions that fit the business profile. Examples might be incorporating multi-depth storage solutions where there are large batch sizes or vertical-lift systems for small parts. Another aspect to focus on is inventory management – many companies are holding too much stock.

15. Will you be investing in your premises over the next 12 months?

Gavin – We operate from offices in Slough and Leamington Spa and have no plans to change this, last year we moved to a larger office within the same building in Slough due to growing the team.

16. What industries do you believe offer your business the most potential over the next year?

Gavin – Generally, the clients that benefit most from logistics consultancy are those with scale, complexity or rapid growth. These are not limited to one industry sector but the most potential is likely to come from sectors experiencing a lot of change, such as automotive and grocery retail.

17. How future proof is your business?

Gavin – With a great team, a growing reputation in the market and a high level of repeat business, I am optimistic that we will continue to be successful.

18. Will you be exhibiting at any major trade shows over the next year?

Gavin – We had a good experience exhibiting at IMHX last year and are currently doing two events in 2023– watch this space!

19. How would you sum up your company in three words?

Gavin – “Trusted logistics advisors.”

Keeping a close relationship with our clients, is one of the keys to our success.

Contact your trusted Logistics Consultancy and see how we can help your business succeed. 

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