Launching a supply chain that depends on transporting round tyres in rectangular roll cages might seem an unusual step, but for Kwik-Fit GB Ltd, the leading fast-fit supplier of tyres in the UK, the roll cages are a vital element in its new UK distribution strategy.
Along with the establishment of its first NDC (National Distribution Centre), the roll cages allow Kwik-Fit to assume far greater control of its supply chain and to offer a more environmentally-friendly solution for the transportation of old tyres. This innovative supply chain has been designed in partnership with CEVA Logistics, which has been awarded a contract to manage and operate the new Corby NDC and its transport operation.
Kwik-Fit currently has tyres delivered direct from the manufacturers into its centres nationwide. The new market changing initiative will enhance product availability, with retail centres able to order any of the 1,600 standard' tyres at the NDC until 5.30pm for next day delivery before 3pm.
Rob McWhirter, Managing Director Business Development for CEVA in the UK, says that the two sizes of roll cages have been designed to allow optimum tyre and vehicle fill reflecting the profile of the order from the individual centres. "We have a huge amount of experience in similar roll cage operations and we have worked closely with Kwik-Fit to understand their needs and design exactly the supply chain that meets their requirements - from the roll cages and vehicles to the NDC storage media and the IT systems," he explains. The use of roll cages and the more structured delivery patterns will streamline the unloading process at the retail centres as well as offering the opportunity for stock collections to be prioritised for transporting back to the NDC. "The reverse logistics operation will save more than 2.5 million miles per year," says Mr McWhirter.
Neil Arnott, Kwik-Fit Head of Supply Chain, says "the NDC is a strategic move for Kwik-Fit that will improve our stock availability, create considerable efficiencies within our business and introduce a reverse logistics capability. There are many firsts' in this project for our industry, the success of which are underpinned by CEVA's proven experience in the market, robust systems and strong management team with a can-do attitude. This solution helps future proof Kwik-Fit against industry challenges and will provide us with flexibility and control over our supply chain." We look forward to working with CEVA to deliver a best in class service for our customers."
The new system will be fully operational by the middle of 2008 after the NDC is fitted out, stocked and the deliveries phased into retail centres throughout May, June and July.