Bissell Homecare, a manufacturer of vacuum cleaners and other household cleaning products, has signed a three-year contract with East Midlands-based 3PL provider RCS Logistics, who will provide full warehousing services for Bissell’s UK operations.
Bissell Homecare is a well-established brand in floorcare, renowned for its innovative, deep cleaning appliances and formulae. As inventor of the world’s first carpet sweeper, Bissell’s heritage spans almost 130 years. The company produces the world’s best selling vacuum cleaner and has been operating in the UK market for nearly 115 years. The UK arm of the business is based in Old Windsor, Berkshire. The US parent company is located in Michigan, USA, where the business originated. Bissell is still a privately owned, family run enterprise.
As Jon Sayles, UK Supply Chain Manager at Bissell Homecare states: "In the past, our supply chain has perhaps taken a back seat in the business. However, earlier this year, we carried out a full supply chain evaluation exercise in the UK. Although we’ve been with our existing UK warehouse provider for more than 10 years, we felt that we needed a new partner that could help us achieve our ambitious sales growth targets over the next three years. As a result of this evaluation exercise, in October 2010 we appointed RCS Logistics as our new UK warehousing provider on a three-year agreement."
Located in the heart of the UK’s logistics transport network, RCS Logistics provides distribution, logistics, transport and haulage solutions across the UK mainland and Europe. Services provided include same-day courier services, full 3PL, single pallet collection and delivery, as well as warehouse storage, including secure, dry bonded warehousing.
Steve Gray, Commercial Director at RCS Logistics comments: "We are providing a Total Warehousing Solution to Bissell, from receipt of containers, to order picking, palletising and spare parts distribution to meet their customer requirements. We’ve also invested in dedicated warehouse staff and a Contracts Manager, as well as new EDI warehouse interfaces, which enable customer orders to be uploaded directly from Bissell, providing 24/7 online access, so that Bissell can view stock levels and have full traceability and tracking of customer orders."
In the UK, Bissell’s clients include major high street retailers such as Argos and TJ Hughes. The supply chain evaluation exercise involved selecting a shortlist of suitable warehouse providers from an initial list of around 40-45 UK-based suppliers. 10 suppliers were then selected from this list, which was eventually reduced to five, who were then invited to tender for the contract. Site visits were also part of Bissell’s selection process.
Jon Sayles continues: "There were several reasons why we chose to work with RCS Logistics. First, technology was important in terms of providing EDI-compatibility with our own systems and supplier flexibility in terms of being able to meet the exact requirements of our customers. Customer demands are becoming more complex. For example, some customers require each product to be outward facing from the pallet for easy identification, or may require bespoke applied in a particular place on the product outer. Customers increasingly have environmental demands with regard to packaging. This means we need a reliable warehouse provider that can meet these demands."
"Second, geographical location was also a key selection factor. More of our UK customers are saying to us that they want direct shipment and faster deliveries. Our previous warehouse facility was based in the South East of England, which wasn’t an ideal location in terms of distribution and speed of delivery to our customers. With RCS being based in such a central location in the UK, we now have the capability to provide faster deliveries and a more efficient, responsive supply chain network."