Celebrating Excellence: Urban Outfitters with TGW Group

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Ahead of the 25th Supply Chain Excellence Awards, LogisticsManager.com caught up with TGW Group with Urban Outfitters, nominee in the Warehouse Initiative category at the Awards.

Taking place on 8th November at the Hilton on Park Lane in London, the Supply Chain Excellence Awards are set to be a night of celebration, as the best in the logistics industry gather together on this very special 25th Anniversary.

How does it feel to have been shortlisted for a Supply Chain Excellence Award?
In an extremely buoyant Intralogistics market, we are absolutely delighted to have been short listed for the Supply Chain Excellence Award. This prestigious award is very well known in the industry and our nomination is a great confirmation for the entire project team. We are very much looking forward to the award night and the opportunity to learn about other exciting projects from our industry.

What has changed in your project since you entered?
Like many other retailers, the pandemic has seen an escalation of digital orders that has radically changed the omni-channel mix that the new facility was originally expecting to see at the point of go-live. The flexible solution was designed to accommodate variability and we are delighted that not only have we successfully gone into live operation but the solution has managed the high e-commerce gearing, equivalent to that expected three years in the future.

What are you most excited for on the night of the Awards?
We are excited to both learn from the experience of others and to share our experience of what can be achieved with a fully integrated one team collaborative approach between Urban Outfitters and our project partners, successfully achieving an ambitious project timeline despite the pandemic.

What do you think is the most important thing to focus on now in the industry?
Flexibility will be essential to mitigate changes such as we have seen. Highly automated, flexible channel solutions that optimise labour requirements and create safe, rewarding and exciting environments for colleagues to work in.

What should be the biggest priority when it comes to change for the better?
Environmental considerations are crucial to our future. We should be looking at how we deliver both our business success whilst reducing our impact on the environment. Our efficiency in how we work helps this. Also what we work with where we have introduced 30% recycled material in our auto bagging for example

We are very proud of our solution and the way the team has worked in partnership, we believe it has been truly “excellent”. We wanted to express this pride and have the opportunity to share our experience in the presence of our peers and colleagues. We all want projects to work like this going forward.

What are you looking forward to after the Awards?
We are already taking the lessons learned in our project to guide and improve our “big brother” automated solution in the USA. Improving the way we manage the project, the solution itself and enabling greater velocity of implementation through an improved collaborative ways of working. We also are having to plan UK expansion sooner than we had pre covid envisaged.

What made you decide to compete for the Supply Chain Excellence Awards?
We are very proud of our solution and the way the team has worked in partnership, we believe it has been truly “excellent”. We wanted to express this pride and have the opportunity to share our experience in the presence of our peers and colleagues. We all want projects to work like this going forward.

How will you celebrate if you win?
A success like this is only possible from the collective efforts of a dedicated, motivated and dynamic team. We will invite the whole team and all of our “Urbanites” to share in our joint success at our new facility with series of lunches, accompanied by an explanation of the importance of the recognition we have been awarded. We also plan to share the success with the wider Peterborough community, with open days to show the solution and the collaboration team work that delivered it.

Where will you keep the trophy?
The trophy will be placed in the entrance of our fulfilment centre as a daily greeting to our colleagues and visitors. A reminder that teamwork makes for the best working experience and delivers results for our customers.

What are your hopes for the project going forward?
We recognise that you never get everything right first time. We are looking forward to continuing the project approach we have used to develop and enhance our solution through continuous improvement and continuing to engage our colleagues in this process.

What are your next steps?
Further development and expansion of the robotics, automated bagging and boxing. To increase the recycled content in our automated bagging and boxing, to further reduce our environmental impact. And finally, planning our expansion of the solution with the lessons we have and are learning all of the time. Evolution.

What difference did the project make for your company and for the sector?
Urban Outfitters could have taken a less radical step, and had we done so, we may have outgrown the solution already. The solution has not just managed the rapid growth and migration, but going forward it makes Urban Distribution a facilitator to the Urban brands enabling business growth.

The awards are an industry leading recognition of excellence, evidenced by the variety and number of cross sector businesses engaged in the awards process. Urban are proud to be apart of this for the first time in our history.

What are your impressions of the Supply Chain Excellence Awards generally?
The awards are an industry leading recognition of excellence, evidenced by the variety and number of cross sector businesses engaged in the awards process. Urban are proud to be apart of this for the first time in our history. 

Can you sum up 2021 from a supply chain perspective?
For us, it has been the most volatile and changeable year in our history with our project, Brexit and the pandemic. This has made it the most exciting year in our history however, meeting these challenges and seeing how our colleagues have risen to the challenge. It has shown us all that being flexibility, adaptable and quick to react is key to a successful supply chain.

Do you have any advice for future Supply Chain Excellence Awards competitors?
Look at the previous nominees and use the experience and values of these successful projects as a framework for your project. Establish these team principals at the outset as this collaboration will greatly enhance your project, chances of success and ongoing sustainability.

Want to see Urban Outfitters and TWG Group on the night, along with other industry leaders shortlisted for their excellence? Book your table today!

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