Storage & Distribution Consolidator

Storage & Distribution Consolidator

Storage & Distribution Consolidator image

Our client is a family owned specialist in ambient grocery and FMCG storage and distribution. One of the UK’s leading consolidators in the sector based in the south east of England, with over 1 million square feet of ambient, shared-user warehousing.

The company has a range of high profile, long term clients, and as a key supplier to many retail organisations is depended upon to deliver irrespective of the circumstances.

The client had developed response plans for incident management/response and business continuity with checklists designed to meet a range of scenarios, for example, people unavailability, road closures, pandemic, Brexit.

Some events were not covered and if exposed the organisation could not necessarily satisfy customer expectations. It was important to raise awareness of business continuity in terms of supporting defined scenarios and those yet to be considered. Quality expectations also needed to be factored in for the contract packing arm of the business.

In order for the response documents to work together rather than as isolated procedures, the client  recognised that engaging an external specialist would achieve this more satisfactorily than endeavouring to crack it themselves.

Teed’s consultant, David Teed, developed a business impact analysis (BIA) method that allowed critical services to be identified and appropriate contingencies and workarounds to be defined.

Working with what was largely in place, David identified that the client already had robust options available, such as use of other sites if one was impacted and extra vehicles that could be diverted to cover for any affected by an incident. Pre-incident actions to be taken to ensure strategies worked in practice were documented for tracking through to completion.

With Brexit and the pandemic happening at the time of the project, the company found themselves dealing with a driver shortage and supply chain disruptions. Business continuity strategies were defined for situations that might not have been considered in detail previously.

Once the business continuity plan was drafted, based on the BIA and strategy information obtained, the plan was validated during a table top business continuity exercise for response teams and individuals likely to have a role in the recovery from an incident. The loss of the main site was the focus of the exercise, with participants having to make decisions to enable key customers to be serviced and quality checks to be maintained, whilst grappling with the potential long-term unavailability of facilities. Awareness of roles and responsibilities was a key outcome for the client.

The client particularly appreciated the advice given on how to improve IT resilience and recovery capabilities, taking account of their increasing dependence on technology to ensure smooth warehouse and transport operations.

Teed’s input to the client’s response capability provided a clear understanding of the escalation process from incident management to business continuity to business recovery. The client had a list of pre-incident actions, a business continuity plan with checklists and responsibilities and an incident management/response template part-completed with specific scenarios and threats.

The client was now in a much better place; having been worried about being exposed to threats, they now knew the areas of concern and how to address them. Importantly they now had an understanding of how to apply business continuity to new or changing situations. An added benefit for the client was being able to provide the exercise outcome report during a BRC assessment which showed they had maintained food safety standards to meet regulatory expectations.