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Logistics Reply’s quick-to-adopt Supply Chain software offers Business Continuity & Scalability to Food / Retail / 3PL / Manufacturing / Automotive sectors

In a world of Lockdown/Social Distancing; of Restrictions on Movement Of Goods; and the sudden rise of ‘Do or Die’ eCommerce as a survival tool – Italian technology firm Logistics Reply (part of the Reply Group) is a refreshing change.

Its award-winning Supply Chain Fulfilment software is sought out by the likes of M&S, Costco, Eddie Stobart, Ocado – and has been at the forefront of developing revolutionary agile/micro-serviced software to solve the problem of Inbound Product/Transport Visibility, ASN/SSCC Supplier Collaboration Tools and eCommerce Customer Fulfilment (whether Ship-From-Store, Dark Store or Dropship / ‘Supplier Direct Fulfilment’).

Logistics Reply has spent the Pandemic providing quick-to-adopt / instantly useable software to its home sectors of Food / Retail / 3PLs / Manufacturing / Automotive – and its software has kept the Nation’s supply chains up and running by allowing the use of Temporary/Agile despatch locations to enable business continuity and scalability (Temporary DCs, Pop-up Despatch Stores, Urban Fulfilment Hubs).

The company’s ultra-agile software platform LEA (’Logistics Execution Architecture’) is composed of a catalogue of ready-to-use business services which can be quickly combined as microserviced building blocks to quickly develop / realise new solutions for flexible business needs. 

This modular ‘business services’ approach allows Logistics Reply’s development teams to swiftly deploy and modify individual services and create new software applications at an unprecedented rate – offering a flexible, interconnected platform for all activities along the supply chain:

LOGISTICS REPLY SOFTWARE PRODUCTS

• “Scan & Despatch” – Instant Supplier/3PL/Retailer Compliance for ASNs/SSCCs

• Yard Management

• Dock/Bay Appointment Scheduling

• Warehouse Management System

• Parcel Warehouse / Urban Fulfilment Hub

• Electronic POD / Last-Mile Execution

• Dropship / ‘Supplier Direct Fulfilment’

• Dark-Store / In-Store Picking

• In-Store Retail Product Tracking (RFID)

• Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility Radar

• ‘Create Your Own Software Solution’

Logistics Reply’s website is https://www.reply.com/lea-reply – for further information please contact Pat Barlow on p.barlow@reply.com or 020 7730 6000.

UniCarriers: Your business, from every angle

By UniCarriers

UniCarriers are a global supplier of forklift trucks and have over 50 years’ experience of supplying trucks and storage solutions to the UK market. Totally committed to developing the most efficient and cost-efficient materials handling and storage solutions, by providing a complete solution for your business, covering service, fleet information, health & safety, training, tools, equipment, and financing.

How we meet your expectations:

Service guarantee with no hidden costs.  
Throughout the materials handling process with our customers, UniCarriers endeavour to convey exceptional service, by building trust, brand awareness, in turn reduce problems and costs. Our engineers can provide First Time Fix rate measurement in conjunction with Response Time.

Fleet Information for operational overview & cost control.
Unexpected truck damage can be a frustration that increases costs and downtime.  UniCarriers can provide you with the technology that makes fleet management much simpler and reduces accidents for your operation.

Health & Safety for safe & efficient operation and handling.
We can help you inspect and analyse risks and weak points in your processes, working towards a safe workplace. The information collected in a health and safety analysis is the basis for changes that can minimise employee sick leave, damage to goods and equipment and excessive use of spare parts.

The right Tools to ensure a profitable workflow.
We model your resources and activities as well as warehouse layout and workflow to give you an accurate picture of your system’s performance and costs.

We have a full range of Equipment and trucks that make a difference.
We offer warehouse and counterbalance trucks as well as specialised solutions for specific applications.

Providing flexible & reliable Finance solutions for all your logistics needs.
Reduce your capital commitment, with tailor-made leasing solutions provided by our in-house leasing company, offering flexible, competitive, and varied leasing contracts.

From project planning and implementation, to service and support – it’s UniCarriers ambition to improve the efficiency of our customers material handling operation. 

www.unicarrierseurope.com
T: 01844 215501
E: sales-marketing-uk@logisnext.eu

Collaboration in the supply chain: working together to help tackle unnecessary recycling of plastic returnable transit packaging

By Paul Empson, General Manager, Bakers Basco

Many products used in logistics across the supply chain are designed to be reused multiple times rather than being disposed of after a single use – known as the ‘circular economy’ – but a lack of education and awareness might be hindering businesses’ chances at building towards a more environmentally-friendly future.

This is a very real issue that came to light in a recent YouGov survey that polled 2,106 UK adults to uncover public awareness about plastic bread baskets and other food goods delivery trays/containers. We commissioned the research to shine a light on what has become an increasingly important environmental issue impacting the food industry and, more specifically, the bakery sector. It found that almost half (46%) of the UK public feel that too much multi-use plastic is recycled unnecessarily. 

While it also highlighted that 61% of respondents were sure that bread baskets and food delivery trays go back to the factories they came from and are used over and over again, sadly more often than not this is not the case. Just 3% showed awareness of the “dark side” of plastic recycling where they are stolen and recycled illegally by a third party, or shredded for sale back to the plastics manufacturing industry by unscrupulous recycling operations (5%) and only 9% are aware that this equipment can also often end up in landfill.

Any business operating in the ‘circular economy’ will be well aware that much of this equipment is designed to last many years. Our bread baskets and dollies, for example, are made using sturdy, reusable plastic, with each piece of kit recycled potentially 400 times and the resulting raw plastic used to make more baskets before it reaches the end of its useful life. And of course we aren’t the only supplier of RTP to the food and drink industry. There are probably tens of millions of baskets, crates and pallets made out of heavy-duty plastic and designed to last for years, shuttling backwards and forwards from food manufacturer to depot to retailer, saving a fortune in disposable packaging and never going into landfill. 

The trouble is that, despite our equipment carrying embossed warnings that clearly state who the owner of the property is, the general public, certain businesses and even refuse collectors don’t understand the value of these baskets. All too often they are diverted out of the supply chain, whether that’s being left abandoned on the street before ending up in landfill or people stealing the baskets and using them for their own benefit. In some cases, they are being sold on to unscrupulous recycling operations or, something that has more recently come onto our radar: individuals attempting to sell them unlawfully via online auction sites, ecommerce marketplaces and social media channels. Despite numerous polite attempts to ensure the safe return of our property – which even has our name on it – these individuals still refuse to give them back. Now that’s just plain, outright theft. 

And we’re not just talking about a few trays here and there. Millions of these baskets and other food delivery equipment like pallets, food containers, bottles, drums and crates go missing every year presenting a growing problem for the UK’s transport and logistics industries, and the unethical recycling of stolen plastic items that don’t need to be recycled. It’s not just a business problem, it’s an environmental one too. 

Tracking down missing RTP may not sound the most glamorous of occupations, but diversion and theft of reusable delivery equipment is a growing problem. At the end of the day, if packaging which is meant to be reused goes missing, then it means extra costs for the food producer which they have to pass on to the retailers who will then pass them on to the shoppers. Plus, of course, there are additional costs in terms of harm to the environment – people who misuse returnable packaging tend to dump surplus items at the side of the road or in canals, rather than disposing of them responsibly. The abuse and neglect of product pallets, trays and baskets can help swell landfill sites and damage a sector’s green credentials. So it’s up to us, as a broader industry, to take a stand and ensure we aren’t fuelling this negative impact on the environment. 

We’ve taken our own steps to track down and reclaim any missing equipment that gets diverted out of the supply chain – through glitter additives and GPS tracking technology. Plus, we have a national investigations team dedicated solely to ensuring the safe return of misappropriated bread baskets to their rightful owners. But this alone isn’t enough and what this new research has highlighted is that the UK public believe that local councils (56%), the government (46%), individuals (48%), businesses (58%), industry trade associations (49%) and recycling companies (44%) all have a part to play in tackling unnecessary recycling.

We all have a responsibility to play our part but it requires a collaborative effort by all parties to help tackle the problem, before we undo all the positive steps already taken in the global fight against plastic. Plastic isn’t actually the villain it’s made out to be. The real issue is how we use it, how we keep tabs on ensuring it is being used responsibly, and what happens to it when we’ve finished with it. That’s why we all need to work together to help curb it once and for all. 

Post Brexit Supply Chain execution – managing disruption, testing resilience

By Elanders

The supply chain operational challenges caused by Brexit, compounded with the COVID-19 pandemic, have really tested the effectiveness and resilience of some current supply chain solutions. Managing the extra customs documentation; working out now what UK operational supply chain solutions are best for an organisation, the cost of getting things wrong – these and more challenges are raising the importance today of effective and agile supply chain operations.

Many market surveys in recent weeks constantly seem to report back that supply chain solutions and effectiveness post Brexit have the strong possibility of impacting overall business performance. For some organisations post Brexit, maintaining the customer market promise and service support when things go wrong for some has been a massive challenge. What was thought to be an effective supply chain solution pre-Brexit (and COVID-19) – for some, has rapidly been exposed. Global economies and extended supply chains are now seriously being challenged and recreated:

  • Brexit itself has been a one-off challenge for organisations to understand, navigate and maintain business continuity in the short term. 
  • Brexit for many has now identified that today’s supply chain solution needs a complete rethink, with a revised strategy now required that has an agile operational solution behind it. 
  • Brexit may be a unique challenge to manage today – but supply chain change and disruption will be a constant part of every business’s focus from now on. 

Elanders UK Supply Chain solutions provide businesses with an alternative. Global coverage but delivered locally to the specific customer needs. Managing the post Brexit challenges on documentation, visibility and movements; working out for your business what the new storage strategy and the associated operational solution should now be all requires a combination of executional capability, practical experience and business partnership. 

Our bonded warehouse solutions in mainland Europe and in the UK with dedicated customs experts; our end-to-end global supply chain execution solutions – these all combine to support many leading global organisations create and maintain their post-Brexit supply chain operational solution for today’s needs – but we are also agile and innovative to meet tomorrow’s challenges. 

To find out more please visit www.elanders.co.uk/brexit-services/ or contact us at addingvalue@elanders.com.

WEBINAR REWIND: How Haribo is ensuring high performance in a world disrupted by Covid-19

Don’t worry if you missed last week’s excellent webinar from FuturMaster and Haribo – You can now watch the entire session again online!

In order to meet ambitious growth challenges, Haribo France is leading a major supply chain transformation which focuses on forecasting and planning management processes, using FuturMaster’s solutions.

In the context of the global pandemic, Elsa CROS, S&OP Manager at Haribo France, and Baptiste Saissac, Demand Manager at Haribo France, detail how the company has navigated extreme volatility without compromising on their forecast reliability, service rate, or obsolescence.

You can click here or simply scroll down to watch the full session:

WEBINAR: Managing cost volatility with forecasting – a practical roadmap with SLG Brands

By Zencargo

With global shipping costs inflated to unprecedented highs, getting a total view of the costs of your supply chain has never been more important for a business.

In fact, in a recent roundtable of 25 supply chain leaders[1], 56% said that ‘improving overall data quality for more informed decisions’ was the one approach that would make the most impact on their business.

But building out a forecasting process that delivers results takes time – not to mention the PO management foundations you need to lay before you even start to implement forecasting. To make implementation as smooth as possible, you need a roadmap.

Over the last six months, SLG Brands, the company behind some of the high street’s most fashionable beauty brands,has undertaken extensive work around PO management, as well as forecasting freight spend and container usage – all of which has helped to manage a lot of risk and uncertainty. 

In this upcoming webinar, Devinder Chana, SLG’s Director of Supply Chain, explains to Zencargo’s Scott Irvine exactly how they are tackling their forecasting project: from planning the project to focusing on data health.

In the webinar, Scott and Devinder will cover:

  • Why SLG wanted to implement better PO management and cost forecasting
  • What you need to get started on your path to better cost visibility
  • The main stages in your forecasting roadmap
  • The advice Devinder would give to other businesses that are expanding their forecasting ability

If you’re looking to cut the risk of cost volatility, make sure you book your place now.

HARIBO SUPPLY CHAIN WEBINAR: Ensuring high performance in a world disrupted by Covid-19

In order to meet ambitious growth challenges, Haribo France is leading a major supply chain transformation which focuses on forecasting and planning management processes, using FuturMaster’s solutions.

In the context of the global pandemic, learn how Haribo has navigated extreme volatility without compromising on their forecast reliability, service rate, or obsolescence.

Date: Thursday 18th March at 11.00-11.45 am CET (30-min presentation + 15-min Q&A)

The recording of the webinar will be sent to all the registrants by email.

This webinar will be in English and presented by:

– Elsa CROS, S&OP Manager at Haribo France.

– Baptiste SAISSAC, Demand Manager at Haribo France.

Click here to register.

New low lifting pallet trucks by UniCarriers: Safe and comfortable loading and unloading

UniCarriers introduces three new low lifting pallet truck models with a special focus on ergonomics and a multitude of customisation options. The global manufacturer of industrial trucks now offers the PLF, PLR and PLS models in three distinct lengths and with two different load capacities. The trucks were designed to assist loading and unloading, cross-docking, internal transports and order picking processes. Thanks to the TDS concept, for which a patent is already pending, the models also achieve high performance in sub-zero temperatures and other challenging conditions. Long service intervals result in low total costs of operation and maximum uptime. 

Where goods are loaded, picked and transported, safety and efficiency are often two competing factors. The new UniCarriers low lift pallet trucks are designed to ensure fast and safe working at the same time. This is where the PLF model’s Side Protection Bars and the driver protected platform from the PLR and PLS help to guarantee safety even when driving at maximum operational speeds. The new pallet truck models reach maximum speeds of 10 to 12.5 km/h, depending on the chosen steering type. The models are available with a load capacity between 2,000 and 2,500 kg and in “Mini”, “Junior” or “Senior” chassis lengths. Users can choose between lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries.  Furthermore, as an alternative to the standard lift-out batteries, battery rollers can be selected as an option to speed up battery change in multi-shift operations.

The many repetitive movements when operating a pallet truck can impact upon operators with regard to repetitive strain over prolonged periods of use. UniCarriers prevents this with a variety of ergonomic features such as a low vehicle entry and ergonomically shaped tiller heads. They allow employees to operate the vehicle safely with easily accessible controls. In addition, the folding platform of the PLF model and the driver protection platforms with side and rear entrances of the PLS and PLR offer a high degree of damping, which can also be electronically adjusted for better comfort while driving.

TDS concept guarantees high performance without safety risk

The aim of UniCarriers’ patent-pending TDS concept is maximum traction, damping and stability. Even on wet and uneven surfaces, the braking distance remains short and high driving speeds are possible without the wheels spinning, no matter how heavily the pallet truck is loaded. Specially developed castor wheels combined with the damping effect of the traction wheel minimise impact vibrations. The asymmetrical positioning of the castor wheels extends the damping, as not all wheels are hit simultaneously in the event of an impact. At the same time, the design of the castor wheels combines damping with good side stability. Therefore, even fully loaded pallet trucks can be driven around corners without loss of performance. Thanks to easily accessible maintenance parts and long service intervals, the new models ensure maximum uptime and low total costs of operation.

For more detailed information about the new pallet trucks, please visit UniCarriers’ website.

Main Image: The PLR is a reliable rear-entry pallet truck with a fixed, well-dampened platform for intense loading and unloading, cross docking operations and internal transport.

How Smart Technology is Helping the Manufacturing Industry

In the world of manufacturing, the way things are produced has changed dramatically over the years. From the first moving assembly line created, through to the modern-day invention of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it’s safe to say that manufacturing methods have evolved quickly.

The secret to this progression is advances in technology. Not only has it allowed businesses to speed up production and increase efficiency it has brought greater profit margins too. In today’s market, it’s all about ‘smart technology’ or more accurately ‘enablers’.

Businesses now use technology to optimise their operations — from automated sales and distribution processes to energy management software. Here’s a list of the benefits smart technology can bring.

Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a computer science that can help the capabilities of humans. Voice recognition for example, allows processes to be carried out without being manually entered into a computer. AI also uses algorithms that can record and react to changes in data to help businesses achieve more and increase efficiency. 

Blockchain

Block chain is essentially a programme that helps keep track of goods, logs transactions and manages supply chains, following a ‘chain-like’ process. For businesses, this information is essential – allowing them to record data and deliver real-time analytics on their stock and supply chain without manual input. 

The Industrial Internet of Things 

The collection of data has now become a significant priority for businesses looking to gain a deeper insight into their production processes. With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), companies can ensure that every device, machine and process is connected through data communication systems. This gives them a greater understanding of their business and can look at ways of enhancing efficiencies and increasing profits. 

Industrial Robotics

An extension of AI, industrial robotics have now become a focal element of the manufacturing process. Modern robotics can now carry out a range of tasks, whilst reducing the risk of injury to workers. Although robotics is a modern invention, they’re intelligent enough to learn human tasks.

More recently ‘collaborative robots’ or ‘cobots’ have been designed to work together with humans. Cobots have become prominent in the automotive industries to help build vehicles. 

Digital Twin

Manufacturers can create a ‘digital twin’ when creating a new product — this allows them to virtually forecast its cost and production. Using this technology, they can evaluate production, visualise products in different environments, track and monitor systems and troubleshoot equipment. This results in a more streamlined development process. 

Condition monitoring

Broken or machinery that needs repair can have significant impact on production. With condition monitoring, businesses can monitor a range of performance conditions, including vibration, temperature, pressure and oil condition. This can help manufacturers prevent breakdowns in equipment by noticing changes and faults at an early stage.

Cyber security

The rise in technology means businesses are open to digital malfunction, including the risk of cyber-attacks — which have been common in several industries. Cyber security is important as it protects computer systems from theft or damage to their software and electronic data. As the manufacturing sector is the third most hit sector in the UK for cyber-attacks, companies to ensure they are adequately protected.

A ‘smart’ way of working

As ‘smart technology’ continues to improve the way manufacturers can do business, evidence suggests that introducing new methods can have a positive impact on a company’s output and profit margins. With energy at the heart of manufacturing processes, it’s important that energy supply is efficient and automated. If you’re switching from oil to gas, such as Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), speak to an expert for help with the process of becoming greener. 

Hazel 4D are stretching to meet the plastic waste challenge

By Hazel 4D

Pallet-wrapping in the UK uses over 140,000 tonnes of plastic each year and a huge percentage of that is waste. The cost is massive, in money and environmental impact.

So, what can we do to minimise plastic usage and waste without compromising stability? Our retail and logistic customers look to us to blend materials, machines and monitoring into a perfect solution. Hazel 4D’s commitment to cutting waste and enhancing stability at the same time is already reaping results for many of them, like Micronized Food Products Ltd.

“With our old machine, tests showed we were using 810g of stretch film per pallet. The Hazel 4D team were able to get this down to 167g per pallet by optimising the new machine’s settings. That’s a plastic reduction of 79%, a major environmental win as well as a substantial annual cost saving” says general manager Andrew Shentall.

Consultations always comes first, carrying out extensive testing using our FEF200 mobile testing unit, to really understand a customer’s current set-up and make recommendations that we know will make a difference.

“Typically, our consultants see customers wrap pallets using 17-23 micron cast stretch film, stretching between 0-200% depending on the quality of the film”, explains Kevin Oliver, H4D technical sales manager.

“So when we can go in, optimise or replace machines, introduce a great nano-film like Extremus which can achieve over 300% stretch that means we’re taking 1m of film and stretching it to 4m. We train everyone to make the best of it, we’re making immediate impact on waste and cost.”

Savings are not just on direct materials costs, either, but Packaging Recovery Notes which really add to the bill for many of the customers who we see for a consultation. This table shows how we made a difference to a pet food manufacturer, reducing their PRN costs by 81%.

*Per pallet wrapped, ** these numbers are based on a company wrapping 250,000 pallets annually, with 62,500 pallets per each example in the table

In spite of significant opportunities to save, many businesses continue to miss out. The weakness could come at any point of the chain, explains Kevin. “They might be using a great film with a machine not configured to make the best of it. Or they might be using a great machine with poor film, or their staff aren’t trained to optimise the set-up and to maintain it. Or they’re working with very heavy, or awkwardly shaped items and think extra wrap is the only way to achieve stability. So our consultation finds those weaknesses and we respond with a complete Intelligent Load Stability system designed to lower cost, lower waste and optimise stability, no matter what you’re packaging.”

Our waste saving solutions consistently deliver a more stable pallet, too. Our recent Intelligent Load Stability review for a bathroom manufacturer reduced their plastic usage by around 80% and their costs by £60,000. Our consultation found that they spent significant time and money applying heavy shrink hoods to bulky pallets for stability, using costly propane shrink guns.

Installing energy efficient pallet-wrappers, switching to Extremus film and removing the need for shrink hoods and guns streamlines the whole operation, takes a fraction of time per pallet and makes a huge cut to their plastic wastage – our customer saved 16.64 tonnes of plastic per year!

“Hazel 4D have proven to be a partner we can rely on and we have now placed an order for a permanent custom pallet wrapping machine. It’s nice knowing that we have a responsive partner that we won’t have to chase should we need maintenance in the future.

I would not hesitate in recommending Hazel 4D, their pallet wrapping machinery or Extremus Nano film technology to any potential client wishing to upgrade their pallet wrapping systems and make improvements to their operation.”

Micronized Food Products Ltd.

COULD WE HELP YOU CUT COSTS AND PLASTIC WASTE, TOO?
When we work with you to understand your needs, recommend a tailored solution and optimise machines and material, you get total load stability and a real weight off your mind. Plus, we’ll make sure it stays that way with regular visits to ensure your system is always on top form.

Click here to book a free consultation and find out more.

Call a packaging expert on 0113 242 6999 or email us at wecar@hazel4d.com