Davies & Robson has recently completed two projects on behalf of Kilwaughter Minerals Limited. Initially invited to complete a logistics modelling project to help identify the optimal future distribution strategy and then to assist in finding a suitable transport contractor to deliver the required service.
Kilwaughter Minerals Limited is a family-owned Northern Ireland based manufacturer and distributor of limestone products to the construction, industrial, agricultural and landscaping sectors. Of its three main product categories; natural stone landscaping products, granulated lime for agricultural applications and K Rend silicon coloured render, it was the latter that they were seeking to optimise the delivery service for, specifically to customers in the South and Midlands of England.
With render products being primarily made to order, the existing delivery service could take as long as 5-6 days to fulfil customer orders in the South and Midlands using local contractors to collect product from Northern Ireland and deliver directly to the UK. The first project, therefore, explored opportunities to improve the delivery service and optimise transport costs.
Following a detailed analysis of delivery volume, density and frequency, a centre of gravity model was used to explore the potential to create a forward picking location for key fast-moving product lines to be held on the mainland. Options were considered for this storage and picking facility to be operated by Kilwaughter or outsourced, the latter being the preferred solution. It was found that by storing a small number of popular products and then crossdocking other product lines at the UK site it was possible to improve delivery frequency to the region with minimal cost increase.
An Invitation to Tender document was then constructed and issued to selected transport network, groupage and haulage companies to help Kilwaughter to identify suitable operators who could provide both a warehouse facility in the preferred location combined with a reliable, cost competitive delivery service to customers.
After a thorough outsourcing exercise, including contractor site visits and detailed proposal analysis, the contract was awarded to Archbold Logistics who could offer flexible warehouse capacity at its facility near Nuneaton together with a competitive nationwide shared-user delivery service on its fleet of rigid and articulated vehicles.
Following a successful transfer of stock to the warehouse and completion of the initial forward shipments, Kilwaughter have recently increased the range of products stocked at Archbold’s warehouse and is now able to satisfy customer orders in the region much more effectively. They have already built a strong working partnership with Archbold to provide a flexible and efficient solution to meet the fulfilment of customer orders and provide a basis to explore opportunities to build sales in the region.
Throughout both assignments Davies & Robson kept Kilwaughter closely involved and updated on progress at each stage through regular calls and review meetings, ultimately leading to a successful contractor selection and implementation.
“Davies & Robson quickly understood the specific logistical challenges and operational issues inherent to our business. Their pragmatic approach and depth of industry experience were invaluable as they were able to appraise and model strategic supply chain options and then identify suitable partners who could deliver the required service. Their management of the outsourcing exercise has enabled us to establish a new partnership with Archbold which is already helping to improve our customer service and reliability.”