Ideal Bathrooms have opened their new state-of-the-art distribution centre at Milton Keynes, incorporating the existing warehouse plus a new additional facility that has increased its capacity by 50%.
This development has also meant a 25% increase in distribution staff to keep up with the demand. The new facility is purpose designed for maximum efficiency. Capacity has increased due to aisle widths being reduced by using narrow aisle racking and the use of “bendy” forklift vehicles which can operate in less space.
“To ensure our service is always at the highest level to meet customer needs means continual assessment and investment in the latest technology” says Ideal Bathrooms Operations Director Kim Kirby-Earnshaw “New product introductions from our brand leading partners have meant the range of items stocked has increased over the last two years. To ensure we have the stock to maintain our next day deliveries required additional capacity and we have increased this by over 50% with the new unit.”
Impressively the whole project from possession of the empty new site to full operation was completed in just 7 weeks which, the company acknowledges, was due to the dedication and commitment of the whole operations team.
Ideal Bathrooms now holds £9million worth of key branded bathroom products across its four distribution centres.
“Efficiency and reliability are key to customer satisfaction” adds Kim “So we are always looking for ways to improve in order to maintain our leading position in bathroom product distribution. The new warehouse allows us to continually monitor and review our portfolio so we always maintain the required stock levels and the right products at all our centres to be able to continue to meet customer needs with an amazing 99% on time/in full record. It is our commitment to customer service.”
As part of their continued improvement philosophy, Ideal Bathrooms have also introduced hand held terminal (HHT) technology for warehouse operatives for barcode scanning and up to the minute stock control, with faster check-in and check-out recording. This technology is also being introduced for vehicle delivery personnel and is coupled with route optimization and electronic proof of delivery (POD) solutions to enable more accurate information for customers, including estimated delivery times.