Crosswater Case Study

Crosswater ‘Taps’ Into External Expertise For Logistics Network Review

Crosswater, founded in 1998, is a bathroom furniture, brassware and showers wholesaler and distributor which has been operating across Great Britain out of Lake View House, Dartford since July 2014 in a purpose built Headquarters, which includes a 8,735 square metre footprint, 14 metre high, warehouse and distribution centre.  

Crosswater particularly focuses on supplying 1,600 independent retailers with circa 3,000 delivery addresses across the UK and has developed a contracts business, serving the house builder/development and hotel markets. 

A critical part of the business is the logistics and distribution of a wide range of products to retailers across the country. This is done using an in-house fleet of 25 Mercedes Sprinters and five Cargo 7.5 tonne box vans, a third party provider (3PL) trunking service to the North and Scotland and couriers for smaller items and for deliveries twice a week to Ireland.   

Crosswater wanted to optimise the efficiency and effectiveness of its logistics and distribution functions to secure cost savings, balanced with maintaining or improving levels of customer service. The company chose to enlist The Supply Chain Consulting Group (SCCG) due to their expertise, to review and optimise their logistics operations. 

The SCCG team conducted an initial review of the transport operation, analysed business data and utilised route optimisation software to develop the solutions and recommendations for the distribution network. Additionally, SCCG reviewed the warehouse operation, analysing product profiles, sales and stock information, identifying opportunities to improve productivity, service quality and safety in the warehouse.  

SCCG provided a set of recommendations, with an estimated saving of up to 2,000 staff working hours per annum, to improve the logistics network. SCCG predicted the following benefits; savings in transport cost; improved delivery service (majority ‘next day’, except the Highlands and Islands); improved customer experience (track and trace, SMS notifications, flexible re-delivery); reduced time to plan, quicker availability of routes to warehouse for picking; smoother workload to simplify shifts and reduce/remove night shift requirements; improved flexibility e.g. easy to prioritise urgent orders.

Implementing the suggestions would empower team leaders/managers to manage workload; improve picking productivity; improve productivity and accuracy in packing; improve productivity in the inbound area, ensure products are stowed quicker into stock and available for sale; decrease picker travel distance; reduce fork lift truck movements during picking; reduce management time; increase longevity of the warehouse and release working capital through a revised inventory policy.  

“At Crosswater, we are keen to continually improve our performance, to maximise the throughput of the operation, control the costs and improve customer service. Insofar as our logistics activities are concerned, we engaged SCCG to look in depth at the operation, offer ‘out of the box’ thinking and challenge our working models. SCCG engaged with the business at all levels to generate a full and clear basis upon which to offer a good range of helpful opinions, recommendations and options. We would recommend their experience and professionalism to any companies in similar positions with the same requirements.” Group Managing Director – Crosswater

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