Eddie Stobart's Chilled Division delivers temperature controlled logistics solutions, tailored to major Fast Moving Customer Goods (FMCG) manufacturing and retail clients. Handling tens of thousands of pallets every week, the division's network of chilled cross-docking facilities have eight locations across the UK.
The cross-docking process is centred on the transfer, picking and consolidation of chilled loads of fresh produce, and it relies on the latest IT to ensure that loads match the orders from individual supermarkets. As the warehouse operation works 24 hours a day, it cannot afford any downtime as it would have a massive impact on the entire retail supply chain.
"As we deal with fresh produce, we rely on our WMS and EDI infrastructure to support this fast moving element of our business. If our IT systems fail orders will not be sent out on time and our large retail customers' operations will be adversely effected," says Vince Sparks, IT Director for the Stobart Group.
Servo remotely monitors Stobart's Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and provides hardware break fix support for the system on which the picking operation relies. The warehouse management system allows the Stobart team to effectively monitor where pallets are within the warehouse and their progress during the delivery cycle. The EDI system also proactively communicates with customers, including order updates and expected delivery times, to ensure that they are ready to take delivery of goods at stores.
Sparks continues: "For such a fast moving operation it's essential that we can effectively communicate with our customers to keep them informed to ensure that they are primed to take deliveries. We rely on EDI for inbound and outbound messaging to communicate with their systems, and such proactive monitoring identifies any message issues, avoiding problems.
Servo also supports Stobart's UK chilled sites with a managed IT service for all core hardware, such as servers, with a break-fix service across the warehousing and administrative parts of the business. Stobart's internal helpdesk escalates user queries to Servo's nationwide network of engineers. They then rectify the problem on site within agreed Service Level Agreements (SLA's) that are prioritised according to the hardware's operational necessity to the business.