Capacity Almost Doubled at Exide Distribution Centre
Having recently centralised its distribution activities on Trafford Park, Manchester, Exide Batteries has just completed a six figure refurbishment of its distribution centre that will virtually double its stockholding to 150,000 units. The warehouse’s footprint has increased 25 per cent to 23,000 square feet and the facility now has 3,500 locations compared to the original figure of 1,920. Exide reports this increase was largely achieved through narrowing aisle width from 3.2 metres to 2.3 metres, a measure that in turn necessitated the replacement of its existing fleet of standard reach trucks with narrow aisle, articulated types better suited to this new environment. Existing racking was further supplemented by new installations with nine tiers instead of six in order to maximise utilisation of roof space.
All warehouse operatives have been retrained to handle the new trucks the newly installed requisition, stock control and pick system, Exide reports. The result of this is, the company claims, a faster turnaround of orders involving stock from its European manufacturing facilities. As Sean Middleton, Exide’s UK logistics manager, explains, “we had been aware for some time that our distribution service could and should be improved if we were to retain a competitive edge and satisfy customer demand. An increase in warehouse area and the introduction of the latest administration systems obviously helps but by being in Manchester we have quick access to a strong infrastructure of motorways, trunk roads and airports which will result in faster deliveries to customers, primarily next day for mainland UK.
“I’m particularly impressed by the team effort that all employees adopted in making these changes, whilst ensuring the smooth operation of existing service, and proud of the fact that the UK distribution team have been chosen by EU headquarters to develop and implement the pilot warehouse management system for the all Exide Transportation’s European distribution centres,” Middleton continued. Sales and Marketing director Andy Bevington added that “to meet our goal of establishing Exide as the industry’s preferred supplier, and as a result the premier battery brand in the UK, then our distribution offering has to be first class. This new facility gives us the ability to provide this and is a further example of how, even in a difficult economic climate Exide continues to invest in growth.”