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Clugston Distribution leading the way in supply chain collaboration
Clugston Distribution, one of the UK’s leading specialist logistics companies operating out of the North of England has made a major investment to expand its client base nationally and grow its supply chain partnerships in 2014.
The logistics arm of the Clugston Group of companies, Clugston Distribution, has built a strong reputation for delivering quality of service and for developing long-term blue chip customer relationships. These have in turn helped the company grow revenues by over 20% in the last year and fuelled recent investment strategies, including taking a number of Clugston’s specialised transport service offerings national.
In 2013 the company strategically increased its presence in the fuels, intermodal, bulk powder and bulk ash movement markets with a £1.5 million fleet expansion investment. Following an impressive 2013, it has now chosen to invest a further £2.15 million towards national expansion plans in specialist markets which will bring total fleet strength up to nearly 100 trucks.
Clugston Distribution recognises the importance of collaborating directly with companies in the supply chain and has established long-term partnerships with internationally renowned companies like InterBulk. As part of the work, specialist trailers were procured specifically for InterBulk deliveries. The success of the relationship is leading to a further 2 vehicles being purchased specifically for InterBulk in 2014 which will make the final leg delivery of product landed at UK ports.
Clugston Distribution also collaborate as key partners for some of the UK’s biggest 3PL logistics companies providing quality solutions within the 3PL’s customer platforms where specialist vehicles and training skills are required. Two of Clugston’s largest customers fit this category; long term partner Wincanton on the Lafarge Tarmac supply chain in cementitious powders and Norbert Dentressangle where Clugston collaborate on their KeyPL platform for Tata steel with Clugston delivering long products nationwide on their behalf.
As part of the company’s strategic plan, Clugston Distribution is looking to significantly increase its direct customer base. This will involve identifying new direct customer opportunities in specialised supply chain areas such as food and fuel logistics. An approach that has proven to be extremely successful in previous years, as it resulted in the fuel delivery side of the business growing to nearly £3m in only two years.
In order to secure new direct customers, providing enhanced services is high on the company’s agenda. When it comes to fuel deliveries it offers a day one for day two fuel delivery service, which allows customers to optimise stock holding and reduce inventory levels. Customers have the flexibility to amend products on their loads up to 4pm on the day before a delivery.
As a major operator in delivery of bulk food powders such as flour and rusk, Clugston Distribution also uses Vendor Management Inventory (VMI) systems. VMI enables customers to provide information to the supplier of a product. The logistics partner for the supplier in turn, takes full responsibility for maintaining the agreed inventory. VMI systems remotely monitor customer bulk food silos around the UK, coordinating deliveries using real time stock levels and tank usage information, alongside vehicle location data from satellite tracking systems.
Recently, Clugston Distribution took control of the management of a customer’s food grade end silo in Greater Manchester, which in turn allowed a flour-milling client to no longer require a stand trailer, resulting in an annual saving of £15,000. By using VMI, not only do customers benefit from greater control, but the standard of service provided is enhanced by using just in time delivery methods.
“Partnerships are important to us and investing in them is key to the company’s success”, David Heath, head of logistics at Clugston Distribution said. He added, “Our specialist knowledge, safety standards and customer care procedures, together with a long tradition of working directly with end users, all demonstrate our commitment to maintaining and developing relationships whilst meeting customers’ requirements.”