Saturday 22nd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Behind the shed

Drivers with a sweet tooth are costing their companies a fortune in unauthorised purchases, according to fuel solutions provider Abbey Fuelcards. “Some drivers think that including chocolate bars or cans of soft drinks on a diesel receipt is a perk which will be overlooked. Querying it takes too long for the amounts involved and might appear petty. But, just a handful of drivers taking only £1 each per day comes to an annual bill of £1,300,” says sales and marketing manager Steve Clarke. Abbey’s cards are limited to approved purchases such as fuel, lubricants, and AdBlue, which means peckish drivers will have to think twice before sneaking a snack and adding it onto the bill when filling up.

Heavy metal band Iron Maiden is to use the world’s only Boeing 757 Combi, created by independent airline Astraeus. Captain and lead singer Bruce Dickinson, will fly the band and support crew on some of the Iron Maiden tour sectors. The aircraft has been painted in “Iron Maiden – Somewhere back in time World Tour 2008” livery.

“This cuts days off the turnaround time between concerts on this tour, because the band, crew and essential equipment – up to 12 tonnes of it, can all travel together meaning a two day road or sea trip can be despatched in hours or even minutes,” says Shaun Monnery of Astraeus.

It also opens up opportunities for other touring bands, orchestras, product launches, company events and conferences – and in many cases will massively cut travelling and down-time costs.

I think all women will agree that receiving flowers the day after Valentine’s Day simply doesn’t count as a romantic gesture. Fortunately for all the love-struck men out there, this is unlikely to ever happen. This is what Clive Fearn, supply chain manager at Zebra Technologies reckons, saying that on Valentine’s Day, despite the comparatively small window of opportunity, there are no stock shortage stories or delivery issues – and there’s rarely an incorrect name, flower colour or delivery day.

“Years of experience have taught florists to get it right, they manage to incorporate phone, Internet and in-store orders, and yet the rest of the retail industry struggles. Retailers could learn from this approach to be better prepared for busy periods, and ensure stock levels meet customer demands throughout the rest of the year,” says Fearn.

“Consumers who have a good sales experience during a busy period will be more likely to return at non-peak times – but it only takes one bad experience – or one bunch of roses delivered a day late – for a retailer to lose its reputation for good.”

Valentine’s Day is a huge business – BRC figures for 2006 show that £253 million was spent on Valentine gifts.

“Valentine’s Day shows how much money consumers are willing to spend at one peak time. The importance of an efficient supply chain is obvious – no retailer wants to miss out on its slice of the pie. Having a dynamic logistics process in place that uses mobile printing technology and track and trace techniques will ensure products – be they flowers or otherwise – are in the right place at the right time.”

Seven out of ten jobs in London are expected to be filled by women between now and 2016, so there has never been a better time to start celebrating the talent of women working within the UK’s non-traditional sectors.

The everywoman Transport & Logistics Awards, in association with Skills for Logistics, will take place on 12th June, to highlight the industry’s inspirational women and celebrate their successes and achievements.The awards are now open for entries until 31 March. There are seven award categories, ranging from Newcomer of the Year Award, for the woman who has excelled in her apprenticeship or graduate trainee programme; Commercial Driver of the Year Award, for the woman who has excelled in her role; and the Woman of the Year Award, for the woman who serves as an outstanding role model, encouraging more women to choose a career in transport and logistics.

This year’s judges include Hilary Devey managing director, Pall-Ex and Lucinda Ward, marketing & research director of Skills for Logistics. Joining them will be Nikki King OBE, managing director of Isuzu UK, Rebecca Jenkins sales director UK & Ireland, Wincanton, Valerie Todd, managing director of Group Services Transport for London, Terry Marsh director of WISE, and Toni Eastwood OBE training & development director at everywoman.

An awards ceremony and lunch will be held at the Marriot Hotel, Grosvenor Square, on 12 June, with politicians, media, captains of industry, and companies who recognise the value of a diverse workplace. Greener and meaner

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