It seems that all roads now lead to Wigan for PDS International. Following the expansion of their contract with Conair by over 5 million units of stock PDS has recently taken on an additional 60,000 sq ft of warehouse space just a mile from their Ashton-in-Makerfield headquarters.
Within two weeks of signing the lease PDS had fully fitted the warehouse with new racking systems and taken on the extra staff needed to run it. A pick and pack operation from the site will now ship 360 different products to Boots and a further 150 to Superdrug on a weekly basis.
Established in 1995, PDS now employs over 65 personnel and operates from three sites with warehousing capacity in excess of half a million square feet. They provide an extensive range of logistics and distribution services shipping to major high street retailers as well as offering a comprehensive expertise in e-fulfilment.
PDS’s commercial director David McClelland led the negotiations with landlords Industrious Asset Management for the new site. "Although Industrious’ core business is in smaller workshop units the references provided by our previous landlords convinced them of PDS’s reliability and we were able to secure terms that give us security for our current operations and the flexibility to react to future growth".
David McClelland predicts that the outsourced logistics market will grow by around 33 per cent over the next five years allowing manufacturers to focus on marketing and selling products without tying up valuable resources in real estate or supply chain management when there are skilled experts like PDS who can offer a tailor made solution.
Conair obviously agree with this approach and has relied on PDS’s expertise for more than 15 years. The new warehouse has been set up with flow lines that enable PDS to pack a variety of different single items for shipping direct to Conair’s customers. In anticipation of future growth PDS have also ensured that there is excess capacity in the system as, though the acquisition of the new site was prompted by Conair’s commitment, it will also have significant benefits for PDS’s other clients.
Tony Mann, the UK operations director of Conair, remarked on PDS determination to complete the fit out and install and test new software systems on a very tight timescale. He commented "PDS is always willing to go the extra mile. Their staff have almost 20 years knowledge of our products and customers and provide us with efficiencies and cost savings that we could not get from an in house operation or from one of the bigger companies."
"Conair is PDS’s longest-established customer and they will see most benefit from the improved service this expansion will deliver" David McClelland responded "but this also allows us to provide for all our customers with a full range of value added services including returns, reworks, customer service, fulfilment and marketing support."
The new site’s proximity to the M6 gives PDS easy access to the national motorway network and has the additional advantage of being within walking distance of their existing premises.
As an independent, family owned firm, established by David’s father John McClelland in 1995, PDS’s commitment to this new venture demonstrates its confidence in the future and underlines a professionalism and willingness to improve its offer that is not provided by larger organisations.