LinkedIn +
[asset_ref id=”449″]Excellence in Logistics Centre Operations is a new Award category created by the judges in recognition of the detailed planning, broad skills set and complex operational processes needed to run a well ordered distribution centre.

From the shortlisted companies – many offering impressive results – the judges were particularly taken by three close contenders – Boots, Virgin Media and John Lewis.

Virgin Media has consolidated a highly fragmented operation into a 220,000 sq ft distribution centre supporting a network of 52 field stores. The project delivered a 20 per cent reduction in inventory and presented an impressive set of KPIs. All good stuff – but not quite as impressive as the other two – the judges felt this entry was a very worthy third place.

The next two entries were extremely close. John Lewis’s entry was for its new, highly automated 650,000 sq ft NDC at Magna Park. It operates a seven-days-a-week delivery service to stores,
resulting in higher on-shelf availability. The facility has been built to deal with multi-channel fulfilment as well as delivery to stores. This was a difficult decision for the judges, but Boots had the edge.

(From left: Dr Mick Jackson, chief executive officer, Skills for Logistics; Claire Easter, head of distribution, Boots; Steve Wilson, head of programme management, supply chain; Alan Penhale,
head of store service centre; Rufus Hound)

Boots has been through a major transformation of its supply chain, resulting in the closing of 18 regional sites, and the redevelopment of two preexisting buildings in Nottingham to create a state-ofthe-art, automated NDC. This was a £70m investment in materials handling equipment and process automation, with extensive use of pick-tolight technology. As a result the operational labour cost per single unit supplied to store has reduced by 40 per cent since April 2009. Stock accuracy has improved to over 99 per cent, stock arriving at store on time has gone up from 92 to 97 per cent – and this is across 2,500 shops in the UK. The overall result is a ten per cent reduction in stockholding and a 20 per cent saving in supply chain operating costs.

For the judges, this was the winner.


Virgin Media 
John Lewis
Bausch + Lomb 
British Gas 
Constellation Europe
Ikea in partnership with
BLG Logistics
Pearson in partnership with Ceva Logistics

Share this story: