15 June 2021
CopriSystems’ bespoke vision and high performance warehousing solutions enable businesses to respond quickly to accelerating levels of growth.
EVEN BEFORE coronavirus came along and changed the retail landscape beyond all recognition, UK online retail sales were reporting a year-on-year growth of +6.3% (IRMG-Cap Gemini Index), with people increasingly looking to make purchases conveniently at the click of a button. This trend has also seen price being overtaken by time-to-delivery and fulfilment responsiveness as the leading competitive advantages.
Seasonal spikes in customer behaviour are commonplace for many businesses but when that spike accelerates as shoppers continue to avoid the high street, then the pressure on space as well as infrastructure is ever-present.
In the past year, the peaks and troughs have just merged into one continuous peak, and businesses are having to quickly re-evaluate how they can support this volume as the new norm.
Some businesses look to increase productivity by introducing automated equipment into their processes, to reduce the amount of time to produce goods. Others redesign the layout of their working environments to optimise space and some consider expanding their existing facilities to accommodate the manufacturing or storage of additional goods. They need to find solutions quickly and these are all viable! However, we understand that investing in a new industrial building is always going to be a huge financial decision and businesses are being advised to be cautious when it comes to making fast-track, large-scale investments. If we’ve learnt anything over the past year it’s that things can change a lot and very fast.
Flexible building solutions have never been more relevant in this booming ecommerce environment. We are able to adapt quickly to build temporary or permanent structures, that can cope with increased stock flow and complex logistics.
Some of these businesses looking for additional square footage are able to repurpose under-utilised space into an e-commerce micro-fulfilment solution, but we’ve found that this can be restrictive on certain systems and processes that allow for smooth operations. Specifically in the loading bay area, efficiency is critical if a business is going to successfully increase their delivery service capacity.
As the hub of the business, a busy loading bay is exactly what you want to see. It is however a high-risk environment and you need sufficient space to allow for the constant interaction between employees, trucks and forklifts. With our efficient spatial planning, you can establish a strong safety culture, while minimising operational bottlenecks and maximising productivity.
Flexible building solutions have therefore never been more relevant in this booming ecommerce environment. We are able to adapt quickly to build temporary or permanent structures, that can cope with increased stock flow and complex logistics, safely and efficiently, as well as allow for future progression.
Sportswear International (SWI) is a leading provider of children’s school clothing. Their original business model focused on selling through outlet stores and on the high street, however their strategy soon shifted to ecommerce. Like every other online retailer, they have had to react quickly to future proof their business and keep up with customer demand.
SWI expect volumes to rise to very significant peaks across the summer and this huge surge in seasonal purchase behaviour puts a lot of pressure on them to process orders efficiently, manage returns, and ensure replacements are sent out as quickly as possible. During this time, SWI are operational 24 hours a day for an 8-week period.
We were initially briefed to design an additional temporary building that could accommodate overspill at busy times and support their growth forecast. However, this soon became an essential, more permanent extension required to cope with the constant filtering of goods in and out, while maintaining continuous workflow through the main warehouse.
Additional racking was also required to allow for more storage space to accommodate increased stock levels and alleviate pressure from the Operations team, who need to ensure that the myriad of orders are picked and packed accurately.
Theirs is a familiar story! Most recently, we completed a project for The Dash Group, who offer a range of logistic solutions locally across the South West, and deliver fast moving goods to retailers and consumers across the UK. The Dash Group found that the surge in online shopping, spurred on by the coronavirus, was starting to put pressure on their supply chains as existing distribution facilities reached full capacity and expectations for next day, or even same day delivery, were becoming commonplace.
Having successfully won a contract with Tuffnells parcel delivery company, it was clear they needed additional facilities to fulfil their business obligations in the hard-to-reach Cornwall area. Rather than renting or building conventional permanent space, a temporary, bespoke distribution loading bay, measuring 25m wide x 7m long x 4.8m internal height, was considered the best, most cost-effective solution, enabling them to make critical changes quickly without compromising day-to-day business. The new structure includes retractable curtain doors at the front and rear of the building, to allow easy and constant access to vehicles of varying configurations. It has also helped encourage a more fluent workflow, inbound and outbound, and enabled better health and safety in the loading area.
The rapid design and build process, which is customary for all CopriSystems’ structures, means that canopies can usually be installed and fully operational within eight weeks of ordering. All our pre-fabricated buildings are individually designed and constructed off-site, which enables us to work to shorter lead times, and allows for efficient development of the products in a controlled environment. By removing the build process from a place of business, we can also prevent disruption to a customer’s daily operations.
According to SWI’s Commercial Director, the temporary extension measuring just under 4,000 sq ft. has given them the flexibility to transform this space into a different working layout every day, enabling the company to cope with the challenges it faces during this dynamic period, and just because it’s temporary, it does not mean it isn’t designed to last! Instead, our structures can offer businesses a stable and longstanding presence with the option of being modified or removed whenever you wish. Covers will literally stand as long as you want them to. If your business moves premises, then our canopies can easily be taken down and moved with you. In a rapidly evolving retail environment, it is this kind of flexibility that will be critical for businesses to succeed.
Call CopriSystems to discuss flexible storage solutions for your business.
For more information, visit www.coprisystems.com
Tel: 01380 830 697