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Dynamic Systems improve safety and logistics operations at Travis Perkins central distribution warehouse

With many businesses struggling to negotiate their way out of recession, it is the long-standing, slowly built partnerships that often point the way to success. Dynamic Systems Limited (DSL) has just such a relationship with leading builders’ merchant Travis Perkins, a partnership that has grown steadily over the last five years.

Beginning with warehouse racking maintenance work, DSL has gone on to work in partnership with Travis Perkins on all aspects of storage at its central distribution warehouse in Brackmills, Northampton. Recently, this included the decision by Travis Perkins to centrally distribute a new range of hazardous products. The company has always sold chemical-based building products, incorporating flammable, corrosive and toxic items, but they were delivered direct to trading branches from the manufacturer. The decision to store them centrally meant that they could be distributed to branches with all other products, but the new range required special provision in the warehouse, so DSL was asked to evaluate the possibility and suggest viable storage options.

Working closely with Roy Spencer, Operations Manager at Brackmills, DSL designed and refined a new installation, consisting of a number of bunkers and a purpose-built mesh cage. The flammable products are segregated – to meet fire and insurance requirements – in the cage, which is a 60-metre run of racking, totally enclosed in appropriate mesh. In addition, 30 fire-resistant, bunded bunkers were constructed to house hazardous products. Each bunker is individually isolated so that toxic and corrosive products can be kept separate from each other to avoid contamination. If the fire alarm sounds, doors on both the cage, and each individual bunker, close automatically to assist with fire containment.

DSL also produced a roller assembly, which stores two pallets in each bunker, to simplify loading and unloading. After working closely in conjunction with the manufacturers of the bunkers, the rollers were installed 150 mm above the floor, with bunding underneath so that, in the event of a spillage, products are prevented from mixing and creating a dangerous concoction.

"DSL’s assistance on our hazardous goods storage project has been invaluable in helping us to ensure the safety of our employees and visitors”, says Roy Spencer.’ ‘Safety was a key factor in the initiative, as well as ensuring legal compliance with the storage and handling of the product range."

Travis Perkins’ Brackmills Central Distribution Warehouse services 1000 branches nationwide. Hundreds of vehicles arrive at and leave the site every day. Beginning by installing mezzanine floors, DSL has carried out ongoing maintenance work on all the racking in the warehouse, as well as changing racking configuration and converting timber decking to mesh decking to ensure better internal visibility levels and to reduce the risk of fire. The company has also frequently adjusted racking to accommodate changes to the product range being stored and distributed.

As the warehouse has developed, a solid partnership has built up between DSL and Travis Perkins, as Roy Spencer confirms: "DSL’s prompt service and attention to detail has suited us very well, and the relationship has grown from a tentative one to a diverse and trusting partnership."

Peter Hunt, Sales Manager of DSL agrees: "Over time, we have come to understand Travis Perkins’ requirements and business ethos and developing the relationship to its current level has been mutually satisfying. We believe there is value in building and maintaining long-term relationships with clients and it’s a philosophy that has stood us in good stead during tough economic conditions."

DSL has built an impressive reputation for providing bespoke solutions to help clients achieve the most cost-effective warehouse and logistics operations and improve their profitability. Many systems can fit easily into existing installations, minimising down-time and maintaining productivity.

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