Catering Supplies Distributor

The client is a multinational, privately owned catering supplies company, operating in 32 countries. The company is one of the leading distributors of its kind, and delivers to a variety of different customers in both the private and public sector, ranging from small independent café owners, local health trusts and schools to national hotel and restaurant chains.

The client needed to increase their warehouse capacity in order to accommodate a 15-20% increase in volume. To ensure that the volume increase could be comfortably accommodated, the client needed more warehouse capacity that could be offered by its existing network of seven sites.

By October 2017, with Go Supply Chain’s modelling expertise, the client has begun operations from an eighth distribution centre, successfully fitting into an optimised, remapped network.

To be able to establish the location and size of the warehouse that the client required, Go Supply Chain conducted a modelling process to establish the centre of gravity for all of the client’s customers, basing this upon the miles travelled, as well as locating the concentration of delivery points. The case and delivery volumes were then analysed, which allowed Go Supply Chains consultants to predict the volumes that were generated by the new contract when overlaid. Go Supply Chain returned to the client with a square on a map that clearly identified the centre of gravity in which the client needed to look for its new property. The results given indicated that the new property must be placed in the Cambridge and Stevenage area, as well as giving an estimate of the size of warehouse required, in terms of case and pallet throughput required to balance out the network.

The client found a 55,00 square feet site that fit the requirements, although it was located just outside the area that had been suggested, in Harlow.

Go Supply Chain were then able to recalculate the numbers and compare the impact that this property would have against a property within the optimum area, taking into consideration such factors as additional mileage and rent discounts.

The client decided to go with the warehouse in Harlow. The design of this warehouse was very simple – a perfect rectangle racked out in narrow aisles to store and pick orders from major retail restaurant customers for disposable catering products – anything from dishwasher detergent to napkins. The new site was actually a scaled-down version of the clients existing site in Tamworth, this allowed the client to work with the same contractors in regard to racking, lighting, labelling, etc. All of the staff that began working at the new site were new recruits.

After the process of finding the new warehouse was complete, Go Supply Chain then began the process of creating a postcode schedule to achieve the most efficient routes and to ensure that the client has the right mix of 3.5t, 7.5t and 18t vehicles at each site. The client then took these routes and held workshops with its local transport management team to examine the suggested routes from the modelling, to ascertain what was achievable and what was unrealistic by adding specific details such as opening times and congestion zones – this turned the theoretical model into a real life, workable routeing schedule.


  • Catering Supplies Distributor


  • Due to the 15-20% increase in volume, the client required a new warehouse, in an optimal location.
  • Go Supply Chain needed to determine the size of warehouse space required and options to deliver this e.g. over a combination of ground and mezzanine floors, utilising alternative technologies e.g. vertical lifts.
  • Take on data from the client, including customer locations, delivery locations, distribution locations and routing to enable us to determine the location of the new warehouse.
  • Define the most appropriate location for the new warehouse in order to accommodate the 15-20% increase in volume.
  • Develop an appropriate and efficient routing schedule based upon customer locations and distribution centre locations.

Business Benefits

  • By using the customer locations and distribution points, we were able to determine a location for the new warehouse wherein it would be in an optimal location for delivery.
  • Costs of vehicles and will be reduce due to the changes made to the routing schedule.
  • The project was delivered on time and on budget by Go Supply Chain’s Warehouse Consultants.

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