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Warehouse & Logistics News – The Annual 2022

The Warehouse & Logistics News Annual 2022 is now available, showcasing the leading companies and organisations driving the industry forward!

You can read the interview below and online on WLN here.

Owned by its Directors, who are actively involved in project work and supported by an experienced team of consultants and analysts, SCCG bring strategies and experience from over 500 projects for over 260 clients across all sectors and continents. We provide evidence-based decision support, giving you the confidence to make the investments required to deliver business growth and efficiency.

We build successful, long-term relationships with clients, with high levels of repeat business and recommendations. Clients include major grocery retailers, FMCG manufacturers, wholesalers, fashion brands, fast growing e-commerce retailers, utility companies and many more.

Gavin Parnell, Director at SCCG, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.

What products or services does your company offer?

We assist our clients with any enquiries and projects that they have in:

• Logistics Network Strategy & Cost to Serve Modelling

• Warehouse Operational Design / Improvement

• Transport Modelling & Route to Market Strategy

• 3PL Outsourcing / Tender Management

• Inventory Optimisation & Reviews

• Warehouse Automation Design & Procurement

• International Trade Advisory (Customs, VAT etc.)

Which industries do your customers operate in?

There is a growing demand for our consultancy services in Retail, e-Commerce and FMCG, but our portfolio includes clients in sectors such as Construction and Utilities, Automotive, Aerospace, Technology, Public Sector, Outsourcing and Fashion.

Has your company celebrated any milestones this year?

This year we’ve grown our team and welcomed 3 new colleagues – Charlotte Hicks and Alasdair Williams in our Slough Office, and John Langley at Leamington Spa.

We’ve also grown our portfolio, reaching a client base of over 300 companies, and over 500 completed projects.

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

One example among many would be a review of logistics for a drinks company, highlighting all the areas where change is required to cope with a shift in route to market towards ecommerce. This resulted in an action plan of practical, implementable recommendations.

How did your company react to the Covid-19 outbreak and consequent lockdowns?

During the outbreak and the consequent lockdowns, to be able to continue operating at full pace, we moved our business to a higher degree of remote working and won new businesses with clients. Now we are back in the office and despite the challenges of the last year, our business continues to thrive.

Over a year on from the start of Covid-19, what lessons has the company and the industry learned from the pandemic?

An obvious one would be that short updates and similar meetings work fine over Teams. This discovery has helped us to work more efficiently. Of course, time on site will always be required to understand operations.

Do you think some of the trends that began or were accelerated during Covid-19, such as the increase in e-commerce, will become permanent?

Yes, more flexible working arrangements are here to stay, to some extent whether we like it or not. Having said that, there’s no substitute for face to face working and we have to consider the effects on people in the early stages of their career – so there is a balance to be struck. Regarding ecommerce, it may pull back a bit but of course the shift overall is permanent, and organisations need to adapt.

What products or services will you be introducing in the next year?

It’s more a case of continuous improvement than anything fundamentally new. As we expand the team we find our skill set and range of experience naturally increases, which increases the range of what we can do for clients.

In what areas are you making technological advances?

We are continually improving the tools we use internally to address client projects, as well as buying in software where appropriate, for example linear programming / optimisation software, 3D visualisation etc. We also keep up to date with technology developments in the industry e.g. new and improving automation technologies, developments in the WMS market etc.

What training do you provide for your staff?

A lot of learning in our business is ‘on-the-job’ knowledge sharing between team members. New team members spend time learning what we do, specific software packages etc.

What is the company’s commitment to social responsibility?

We try to have an open and inclusive culture at SCCG and espouse values that are compatible with those of our clients. In our work the efficiencies we identify help clients work towards their sustainability goals.

What improvements have you made to your customer service recently?

Expanding the team is helping us to deliver a great service to our customers. Since the wider acceptance of Microsoft Teams etc. we are able to hold frequent short meetings with clients, which has improved project communications.

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

Yes, we are involved in a number of automation projects, these range from process automation through WMS, mechanisation e.g. conveyor systems etc. up to making the business case for large scale automation projects e.g. AMRs, pocket sortation etc.

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

Yes, that’s a common project for us. Obviously there’s more to warehouse capacity than jamming in as many pallet spaces as possible. We have to consider aspects such as SKU stock depth, stock rotation / batch control, throughput capacity constraints etc. and then see what practical options result from that.

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

We invested in a new office in Leamington Spa that allows our team to work more efficiently within an optimised office layout. We are also moving to a bigger office in Slough to accommodate the growing team based there.

Will you be exhibiting at any major trade shows in 2022?

Yes, we are really looking forward to exhibiting at IMHX.

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

Ecommerce retail is still a strong area, but we do well in most sectors where there is physical distribution. Wherever there is scale, growth or complexity we will be there.

How future proof is your business?

Getting more so all the time as we develop the team, grow our reputation and win more repeat business.

How would you sum up your company in three words?

Logistics decision support.

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