Homebase, part of Home Retail Group, has been using MaxLoad Pro load planning software on an initiative to deliver festive stock directly to store from two of their Northern China factories, bypassing their central consolidation centre in Southern China and their UK distribution centres at their busiest time of year.
Homebase produced detailed loading plans for the factories so they could deliver the stock directly to over 300 stores in the UK. Previously the products would be sent from the factories to a central consolidation centre in Southern China, and from there to the UK distribution centre who would then distribute the products to the stores.
Philip Mann, Direct Import Operations Manager at Homebase comments: “MaxLoad Pro was invaluable in this instance as the factories had no experience of pick and pack and had to be sent a step by step guide.”
MaxLoad Pro was used to plan how many pallet boxes or trays would be required for each store. To ensure maximum fill, quantities were then adjusted as required.
Philip continues: “We sent the factories step by step instructions on how to build each pallet box or tray so they could follow the procedure exactly. Without this, it would have been a much harder project to get off the ground. Also, as the factories are quite isolated from the main consolidation centre, it would have been less manageable.
“MaxLoad Pro allows us to review our options and plan our deliveries in good time to assist the consolidation building. The results we achieved in terms of pallet box utilisation could not be bettered, even by an experienced consolidation team. Similar opportunities like this will now be investigated.”