Monday 3rd December saw a milestone in the current forward development program in the Swain Group operation with the Centralisation of the Group Logistics Division. This is essentially the Tautliner (Curtainside) part of the business servicing prominent customers within the FMCG/Retail/eCommerce and Manufacturing sectors.
The heritage R.Swain & Sons business created the ‘Logistics’ department with 20 tractors and 40 trailers operating from its Manchester site in 2014. The operation was a success and led to the replication of the fleet at the Rochester HQ site in 2016 followed shortly after with the acquisition of Jefferys Haulage in Woodville, also in 2016. The fleet now comprises 100 tractors and 220 Trailers.
The decision to centralise the operation was taken in the summer with an initial go-live plan set for 1st Jan 2019. This was brought forward to 3rd December to deliver the customer benefits in the peak trading season and based on a clear implementation plan. The Planning and Customer Service centre is located at the company’s Woodville; Midlands Hub reporting to John Astbury; Midlands GM and Operations Director; Adrian Tomlinson.
Both John and Adrian have extensive experience of operating large fleets in the growing Tautliner market and are to be congratulated for delivering ahead of Plan.
The Central Logistics Function will control the extensive tractor and trailer pool with drivers operating from 3 core sites (Woodville DE11, Rochester ME2 and Manchester M28) servicing our UK wide customer base. From a business perspective customers will see the following benefits:
Central booking process
- Improved 7 day office coverage
- Centralised resource and capacity allocation
- Billing and Administration from one location
- Single point of operational contact
- Key Account Management in one place
The significant change to move to centrally planned logistics vehicles has been met with investment in infrastructure, and is undertaken with a view to the future, growth in the marketplace and will deliver the Swain Group and its customers benefit from even more effective and efficient planning, reduced environmental impact and improved customer experience.
Commenting: James Wyatt; Group Operations director stated: “ This is a significant step forward for the business in a year of planned change. We have recognised the need to deliver greater value in this important business division and have listened to customers who are demanding closer attention to Customer Service and KPI management”…”The natural choice was to site the operation at Woodville in the heart of the Golden Logistics Triangle where we have strong competence and experience within the team”…..”The new operation will continue to be closely supported from both the Rochester and Manchester operating sites”.
Matthew Sweet, Group Commercial Director said: ”We have been looking at developing and investing further into the core Logistics business for some time as we are seen as a peripheral player. We have a strong customer base that has been steadily growing over the past 24 months”…”Customers are increasingly seeking much more in terms of experience, communication and attention which we are able to give them as we are not a giant in the arena”….”We will continue to deliver on these core values as we grow this side of the business and connect business across the UK network. This will be achieved through careful investment and growth of the depot structure”.
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