Awards 2013: E-Fulfilment

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Winner: Whittard of Chelsea with Dalepak

E-fulfilment is now a critical function for a growing proportion of businesses. Picking and dispatching single items rather than pallet loads creates its own set of challenges, but as the judges know, e-fulfilment requires innovative thinking to drive efficiency. They were not disappointed. Two companies stood out – Debenhams with DHL Supply Chain, and Whittard’s of Chelsea with Dalepak.

Flexibility is at the heart of the entry from Debenhams with DHL Supply Chain. Rapid expansion of the retailer’s online business required a second e-commerce warehouse in Sherburn, enabling the company to offer a greater breadth of product offerings. However, reducing the cost base without compromising service was a primary aim. Working together the two companies have created an agile supply chain operating model that copes with peaks and that can scale up by several hundred per cent on volumes without increasing permanent head count.

Whittard of Chelsea place a great emphasis on quality and their customer offerings, so when the company came to outsource their logistics in 2012, Dalepak had to be highly innovative in their design of a bespoke solution that encompassed both store delivery and e-commerce demands. The judges were impressed by the evident close collaboration between the two companies.

This was keenly demonstrated when in 2013 Whittard launched a “blend your own” programme which involves customers blending their own selection of “virtual tea” on the web site. To support this programme Dalepak invested in a blend room within their Pineham facility, where trained staff respond to customer orders by precisely blending teas as specified. The orders are then packaged, labelled and sent out to the customer for next day delivery.

But “value added” services by the 3PL went beyond this in helping Whittard to develop a web site with a gift wrapping service and then supplying the means of fulfilment of the service – including hand written messages for customers. The judges liked what they heard and  awarded the E-fulfilment trophy to Whittard of Chelsea with Dalepak.

– Whittard of Chelsea with Dalepak

– Debenhams with DHL Supply Chain
– Whittard of Chelsea with Dalepak
– Wilkinson with Clipper


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