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Integral to logistics processes

10 April 2017

CopriSystems MD Rafe Colenso says temporary buildings can help companies boost logistics processes as well as providing a storage outlet, as companies such as Travis Perkins have recently found out.

Temporary buildings can provide so much more than extra storage space and can become an integral part of any logistics operation. Your loading bay is a key space and the right configuration can improve health and safety, warehouse processes as well as increased space for loading and unloading. A bespoke canopy can double the space for goods marshalling, streamline inbound and outbound goods with additional benefits including cross docking and increasing productivity as goods don’t need to hit the warehouse floor.

E-commerce is continuing to grow year on year with UK sales up nearly 16% in 2016, partly driven by increased purchasing on mobile devices. UK e-retail association Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and consulting firm Capgemini shows UK shoppers spent 133 billion pounds online last year, up 15.9%. However, not only are more sales made online, customer expectations regarding how their orders should be delivered and returned are also increasing. Customers now demand slick, trackable deliveries and returns from retailers, next day and at no extra cost. Returns have increased massively as customers have adjusted to this new market and ordering multiple items with a view to returning at least part of their original order. The increased customer expectations alongside the continuing growth in e-commerce means this is a logistical challenge that’s likely to get bigger, not smaller. For companies dealing with fluctuations in demand from month to month, this can be a delicate balancing act. Cost effective adaptability is a huge consideration when dealing with sudden increases in demand when profit margins are under pressure.  

CopriSystems’ bespoke prefabricated, relocatable and lightweight temporary or permanent solutions can give businesses total flexibility as well as an economical alternative to renting new factory space or building conventional buildings. Utilising existing concrete slabs removes the need for expensive concrete foundations. The speed of installing a prefabricated canopy means there is little or no impact on day to day business. A temporary building from CopriSystems allowed Sportswear International (SWI) to get on top of a returns process that threatened to swamp the school uniforms supplier.

E-commerce can be especially unpredictable, however it’s also an area where some companies are finding innovative ways of making the most out of the space they have available. An example of this is Travis Perkins. They are a constantly forward planning business and have to be with the number of smaller companies they own, the main one being Wickes. Both Wickes and Travis Perkins sell products of all different shapes and sizes and they all come from distribution centres which operate 24/7. These operations constantly need more space. Wickes has a significant online retail market presence with the general public and their e-commerce operation is therefore a major part of the business. Travis Perkins wanted to free up internal space in their distribution centre for picking systems, conveyor belts and other necessary equipment, pushing the loading and unloading space out into the yard. CopriSystems helped with this by installing a number of different sized structures to suit their site, taking into consideration their vehicle fleet and very specific insurance company requirements. Now no products are left outside and no part of the operation is taking place in the elements. Forklifts remain dry, preventing Health and Safety issues with wet floor surfaces.

No matter the size of your operation there is always room for improvement, be it to create separate space for returns and deliveries, for fleet maintenance or protection of temperature sensitive products.