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Tibbett & Britten Group has signed a new three-year warehousing and distribution contract in the UK with O2 UK, and has become its preferred logistics partner. The company has supported O2 UK with logistics services since 1999 and, after initially providing simple pallet storage for an in-house operation, the relationship has developed to the point where the logistics specialist has taken over all of O2 UK’s warehousing and distribution activities, processing some two million-plus orders annually for the company.

By outsourcing its physical operations to Tibbett, O2 has reduced warehouse costs and lead-times and improved customer service.

The O2 logistics operation is based at Tibbett’s 6,650sq m distribution centre (DC) at Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Here, in a 24-hour-a-day, six-day-a-week operation, Tibbett handles the intake and storage of mobile telephones and related products and accessories – including point-of-sale material – along with their despatch throughout the UK. Transport activities are outsourced.

O2’s 50-strong suppliers deliver into the Wakefield DC in either full pallets or parcels. The latter are forwarded via a sorting centre to O2’s stores and corporate customers, or direct to consumers. Tibbett also provides customisation services for O2 products – involving both hardware and software modification.

With more than 1,700 different product lines (SKUs), the O2 operation occupies 4,300sq m of space at the Wakefield site and incorporates RF (radio-frequency) picking. There are 50 PC-based despatch stations, linked to the customer’s own “Despatcher” IT system.

Peter Duggan, general manager, supply chain for O2 UK, says: “We have seen a number of clear benefits from outsourcing to Tibbett & Britten. Since their seamless transition from our in-house operation, they have provided a competitive and consistently high quality service. They’re continuing to work closely with us to explore further opportunities for improving and adding value to the supply chain.”

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