Bibby Distribution has demonstrated its commitment to long-term customer relationships after securing a multi-million pound 10-year contract renewal with Lucite International, a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of acrylic-based products. It cements a relationship which began in 1987.
The contract, described by Bibby Distribution as being "a real value-add from normal warehousing and logistics", employs a large flexible team at its 147,000 ft² global distribution centre in Walker Park, Blackburn. This 24/7 site is the largest acrylic sheet cutting operation in Europe which includes secondary manufacturing.
The Bibby Distribution team is responsible for managing and consolidating inbound products, picking stock, cutting Perspex® and Lucite sheets® using four industrial saws linked to sheet optimisation software, as well as packaging, organising and managing onward global distribution.
Scott McAlpine, Engineering Manager at Lucite International, says: "Bibby Distribution takes responsibility for the final stage of our manufacturing process and follows it through until delivery to the customer. They play a critical role in final product quality and service."
McAlpine cites close partnership working as key to the long-running success of this complex contract. "Our absolute focus is on safety, quality and customer service," he says. "Bibby has become an intrinsic part of our business; they continually hit KPI targets and have demonstrated a commitment to working together with us over the next decade to ensure our operation remains best-in-class."
Bibby Distribution utilises a dedicated fleet of 20 commercial vehicle assets for UK distribution from Walker Park; the majority are scheduled for replacement with new, ultra-efficient EEV-rated vehicles and the latest generation of tri-axle curtain sided trailers scheduled for delivery in Q2 2014. Bibby Distribution transport planning teams also manage all international exports.
Steve Crawford, a General Manager at Bibby Distribution, says: "One of the keys to the success of this relationship is our ability to develop a bespoke solution that covers all of Lucite’s requirements. We can handle everything from the point of production and go far beyond a standard distribution model, which helps boost efficiency for Lucite."
This has included Bibby Distribution transforming its Walker Park facility into a zero-landfill site. The two firms have also worked together on many projects which have created improvements for both parties.
"When we secured this contract 27 years ago it was the first former ICI facility to be outsourced to a 3PL provider. By successfully delivering on joint strategic initiatives we have grown the relationship into a thriving supply chain partnership. It is fantastic to have secured the contract for at least the next decade," adds Crawford.
To support the contract, Bibby Distribution sister company PLS runs its own pallet manufacturing operation, making thousands of pallets required by Lucite International each year. This includes several hundred different specifications of pallet, each designed to safely carry the wide array of products. Bibby uses kiln-dried wood used for pallets being exported via container – removing the risk of bacteria or condensation entering the distribution chain and impacting on product quality.