Wednesday 26th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Flexibility is the key for Eddie Stobart

Neil Fawcett, Eddie Stobart’s divisional director believes flexibility and responsiveness are the keys to their approach and recent growth.

“Our turnover is approximately £130 million,” says Fawcett. “The size of the fleet varies according to volumes and seasonal factors, but is usually in the region of 700 to 900. We move soft drinks; food; petfood; packaging; household products; paper; building products; personal care products; raw materials – a wide range of customers, from blue chip household names through to small businesses. We also have an international division servicing customers throughout Europe, and a large warehouse facility in Belgium.

“We have more than 20 UK locations, from Scotland to the south of England. Activities on the sites range from transport facilities to large modern warehouses, the latter equipped with sophisticated warehouse management systems to manage the stock receipt and order dispatch processes. We aim to meet our customers’ needs – we remain flexible and responsive in our approach and adapt our services to meet customers’ individual circumstances, providing competitive, reliable and consistent performance. This enables our customers to concentrate on their core business.”

The company has agreed a deal with Wigan-based Doosan-Daewoo dealer, LB Materials Handling to supply and service its entire forklift fleet.

The exclusive rolling long-term contract is the largest single Doosan-Daewoo deal in Europe and will see more than 120 of the company’s forklifts in operation at 20 sites nationally – from Dartford to Glasgow – running alongside Stobart’s existing fleet of Bendi articulating trucks.

“We put our requirement out to tender, and assessed the responses in terms of range, performance, responsiveness, reliability, price and flexibility of approach. Overall we judged LB and Doosan-Daewoo to have the best overall package for our needs, combing the key elements of the tender requirement with the support and resources of a large manufacturer,” says Fawcett.

“All our operations involve moving products with forklifts in one way or another – there are over 200 in the operation – so they need to be highly reliable, robust and capable of doing the job. In some applications the movements are managed by the warehouse systems, which will instruct the forklift driver on his next operation. We try to keep customisation of the trucks to a minimum, as we like to be able to respond to changing customer needs quickly, and this way we can move equipment from site to site and get it operational in the least time.”

The oldest company in Korea, and one of the largest infrastructure businesses in the world, Doosan recently purchased a controlling stake in the Daewoo forklift division from the Korean government. Doosan paid $1.7 billion for the company and has pledged a series of investments, beginning with increased promotion of the forklifts under the Doosan-Daewoo name.

“LB are the people we deal with daily,” says Fawcett. “They deliver the service we measure and are the face of Doosan-Daewoo to Stobart. If we did not get the service and response from LB, then we would not have selected Doosan-Daewoo to supply our FLT needs. We do not want to be aware of our trucks from a reliability point of view – if there is a problem it needs to be resolved quickly.