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Logistics Outsourcing with Palletways fulfilment and antiference case study

As the tough economic climate continues to put pressure on the supply chain, it has become increasingly important to find logistics solutions that maximise cost efficiencies and value at the same time.

Palletways, Europe’s largest and fastest growing pallet network provider, has been a major success story due to its capability to provide such a win-win outcome through continuous innovation of its delivery services for small consignments of palletised freight.

A good example of this was the company’s launch of its new supply chain solution, which provides a valuable opportunity for those businesses looking to outsource their warehouse and logistics function. Palletways Fulfilment is a unique and flexible stock handling, Pick/Pack and distribution service for palletised freight, providing stock on demand solutions to customers no matter how large or small their warehousing requirements.

The stocking facility is ideally located at the Palletways national distribution hub in Lichfield, Staffordshire, providing quick access to an extensive delivery network covering the UK and Ireland, as well as Continental Europe. The proximity of the 100,000sqft facility to the hub means that orders can be dispatched much later in the day for next day delivery.

Garry Curtis, General Manager for Palletways Fulfilment says, "Through Palletways Fulfilment, we are able to provide our customers with a total logistics solution covering collection, stock holding and delivery via our international networks covering 11 European countries. More than that, we are able to provide services tailored to the needs of our customers, allowing them to make savings, whilst still meeting the demands placed on them, therefore making it easier for companies to outsource their logistics function."

A company that is really seeing the benefits of the logistics solution provided by Palletways Fulfilment is Antiference, a leading manufacturer within the aerial and satellite industry.

Antiference has been making antennas since the first television broadcast from Alexander Palace in 1936 and today they are renowned for pioneering new products and technologies. The firm provides high quality products ranging from domestic signal reception and distribution equipment, to commercial distribution equipment for hotels, leisure facilities and multi-dwelling units.

A seamless supply chain is essential to the success of their business and after a brief trial period and an offer of an office at the Fulfilment site for its Sales and Accounts teams, the company decided to outsource its entire logistics function to Palletways Fulfilment.

Trevor Paintain, Managing Director for Antiference says, "Palletways’ extensive network of hubs and the flexibility of the next day and economy service were some of the deciding factors to outsource our logistics function. The service has enabled us to not only save costs, but service Ireland and Scotland a lot quicker too. We also have ambitious growth plans and the European distribution networks available to us through Palletways will be a real benefit to us."

A sophisticated data solution, ‘Palletways Webstock’, developed for Palletways Fulfilment provides a continual stream of information, which enables customers to keep in touch with their products in the warehouse. Palletways Webstock allows the customer to see inbound stock movement from suppliers, accurately provides information on available stock and allows customers to monitor stock movements of orders dispatched. Amongst other control protocols, stock can also be managed by weight, batch code, use by date or serial number.

The warehouse management system is also designed to enable integration with the customer’s own data systems or processes, which means that any updates to stock, will feed through to Palletways Webstock. This seamless transfer of data not only ensures easy access to accurate stock information, but also reduces the level of administration required, minimises handling and ultimately saves time.

Trevor Paintain adds: "Having access to this ‘virtual warehouse’ provides us with an opportunity to manage our stock without the need for investment in a fixed asset to store goods, which inevitably comes with costs such as rent and rates. Fortunately, Palletways has made it even easier by providing us with office space at the hub.

"Flexibility is also crucial in meeting the peaks and troughs of the demand within the market place, especially as we’re fast approaching the Olympics when demand is set to soar. Through Palletways Fulfilment, we have the ability to expand and contract our stock holding depending on demand and we’ve improved our stock control and stock rotation."

Garry Curtis from Palletways Fulfilment regards the bespoke nature of their service as one of the key benefits for those looking to outsource logistics.

He says, "Customers are not limited in terms of the loads that they can deliver. As part of our bespoke logistics service, customers have the option to send full, half or even quarter pallet sized consignment movements. Ultimately, we can provide product when and where its required."

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