When radiator supplies company Kartell UK started experiencing rapid growth, the increase in business was mirrored with a huge hike in its transport and distribution costs.
So when the company appointed Richard Arrowsmith as Transport Manager one of the very first tasks he set himself was to move all distribution in-house, substantially reducing costs.
It was a move which was fairly unique in the industry. Until Richard's appointment, Kartell – like its competitors – had always outsourced its transport and distribution requirements so employees could focus on the core business.
But the decision reaped dividends, so much so that the Kartell has now also joined the Fortec Distribution Network. This has not only helped cut costs further but also played a significant role in bringing in new business.
Richard, who joined Kartell in August 2012 – some four years after the company was first established – said: "The growth had been dramatic and Kartell was spending a lot of money on transport, delivering its products to wholesalers and retailers around the UK.
"We took the decision to move into the third party market to meet the ongoing requirements of the business. I had had dealings with Fortec as far back as 2002 and so was very aware of the network. When the opportunity arose to join it was agreed we should take it."
Within two weeks of joining Fortec Kartell was inputting a significant number of pallets a night into the network and today that figure has increased by 20 per cent, with the input still fast growing.
Richard added: "The overall plan is to continue expanding our business and our operations. Fortec is ideal as a method to market but it brings many other advantages too. The hub is in good proximity – about 1hr 15min away from our Bedford depot. Their IT system is really good as is the co-operation between members. We have gained more customers through being a part of the network and the aim is to increase this side of the business over time."
Established in the UK in 2008 Kartell is based in Bedford. But with next-day deliveries going from Newcastle to Southampton, from Hull to Liverpool and from Norwich to Oxford, it was decided to open a second branch in Wigan.
Today the company operates with 43 staff, 39 vehicles, 140,000 sq ft of space in Bedford and a further 155,000 sq ft in Wigan.