Optimising warehouse performance is in our DNA

Ensuring optimal warehouse operations is crucial for business success
Ensuring optimal warehouse operations is crucial for business success

With an MSc. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Cranfield School of Management, Gavin Parnell is well placed to advise clients on a wide range of aspects around warehouse management systems, logistics and supply chain strategies. As co-founder of The Supply Chain Consulting Group and with an impressive team of experts behind him, his company does exactly what it says it does.

Having over 22 years of experience in the field, Gavin originally worked in third-party logistics from 1996 and transitioned into consulting in 2004. Along with co-founder and fellow Director, Craig Ryder, he set up Go Supply Chain Consulting in 2013. The company merged with leading supply chain and Logistics Consultancy ,Gideon Hillman Consulting, in 2018 and at the same time the company name changed to The Supply Chain Consulting Group. They are now one of the fastest growing European logistics and supply chain consultancies based in the UK, with offices in Slough, Leamington Spa and Manchester.

MHW caught up with Gavin to discuss more about their offering.

Gavin explained “Our warehouse consultants make implementable and realistic recommendations as to how capacity and productivity can be improved, process changes, recommend investments and provide supporting cost/benefit analysis for our clients warehouses. A poorly designed warehouse layout is more than inefficient. It also slows down operations, increases costs, and becomes a safety hazard.

For growing businesses, successful operational design is pivotal but knowing exactly what is required takes knowledge and expertise. Our specialist warehousing consultants are on hand to answer questions and work with companies to help them solve issues and grow their business.

Our clients comprise medium sized companies to global corporations, which include supermarkets, Retailers, FMCG and Industrial Manufacturers , Wholesalers and Third-Party Logistics companies, both in the UK and globally.

The events of the last few years have created new challenges for warehouse operations, capacity and staffing
The events of the last few years have created new challenges for warehouse operations, capacity and staffing

Typically clients contact us for help and advice because, for example, they are running out of space, have started to embrace eCommerce or are offering a new range, or perhaps have just acquired a new business and are seeing rapid growth. Around 65% of our work involves warehouse related needs, be that new build, re-design or improvements, or systems management.

We can look at warehouse placement, where to build, size of building needed and then we look at operational design, inside the building, the internal layout, equipment needs, storage and handling, including automated solutions. There is no “one-size fits all” solution and our recommendations are always bespoke to each situation.

Space and labour can represent around 65% of the warehouse operating budget in a labour-intensive environment.

Warehouse Management Systems

The events of the last few years have created new challenges for warehouse operations, capacity and staffing. Previous systems and ways of working may no longer be “fit for purpose” as storage and distribution operation grow in complexity. That is why a Warehouse Management System (WMS) is becoming essential to make sure that processes are undertaken correctly, accurately and efficiently.

The right WMS will save time and money, increase accuracy, optimise the team’s performance and streamline operations. WMS vendors are experts in WMS, but not necessarily experts in warehouse design, logistics strategy, warehouse process, or your industry, which is why our offering is so valuable.

We work across all sectors, from end user companies with their own fleets and warehousing, to companies looking for help with selecting their 3rd party logistics support. We are here to support organisations in choosing and implementing a warehouse management system in addition to aspects such as transport optimisation, logistic outsourcing and supply chain systems.

We can help organisations to select the most suitable system of their needs, starting with a feet on the ground walk through their current processes, assessing all the (often missed) nuances. Spending time on site then enables us to provide an in-depth operational review. We then work with clients to analyse business data and understand the material flows, order profiles, stockholding, growth aspirations etc., which feeds into a warehouse technology need evaluation. Ultimately providing process design to support the recommended ways of working.

An eCommerce site, picking and packing individual sites for onward dispatch to consumers, will have very different requirements to say a large FMCG company, who is dealing in pallets, for example.

It’s all in the data

We have a crack team of analysts who can interrogate client data to then enable us to undertake resource modelling, operational costs analysis etc. We have expertise in managing projects requiring the modelling of large data sets that may be from different sources e.g. different business units or different businesses (in the case of a merger or acquisition).

Our highly experienced team uses business intelligence tools, linear programming techniques and route scheduling software (PTV) to develop options models that can be relied on for informed decision making at company board level. Warehouse operational design, operational improvement, cost and resource modelling; and the specification and procurement of automated warehouse equipment are just some of the areas of expertise we can offer.

We can undertake transport modelling, warehouse design/improvement (including As-Is and To-Be process mapping, pick face optimisation and material flow modelling), for both automated and manual operations, Logistics Strategy Development and Operational Overviews and advise on where and how we can suggest improvements, with all analysis transparent and linked back to the original data

Clients get detailed reports and detailed layout drawings and full racking and equipment requirement specifications, utilising our in-house CAD design facilities, combined with development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).We also support companies with project and stakeholder management deliver our recommendations.

Ensuring optimal warehouse operations is crucial for business success. Our warehouse consultants assist from solution design through to implementation, helping you achieve this goal.