Smethwick Fire Update And Decentralised Logistics

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You may have seen in the news over the last few days about a large fire in Smethwick. The fire at a major recycling plant was sparked by a Chinese lantern and caused a fire involving over 100,000 tones of plastic materials.

Over 200 firefighters fought the blaze, describing it as the largest they had seen in the West Midlands.  The fire, which produced a 6,000ft smoke plume, is said estimated to have caused approximately £6m damage. The fire also damaged the adjacent warehouses and depots.

These adjacent facilities were the location of our Midlands Regional Distribution Centre (RDC).

For many supply chain and logistics firms and business supplies and services firm’s this would cause critical issues. Indeed our RDC was down for the entirety of the 1st of July, with stock unable to be dispatched from the facility and IT systems down.

However OfficeTeam and Tail Management Team operate a unique non centralised distribution system. Rather than have a single large central depot we operate a national distribution from 3 RDC’s which stocking 17 LDC’s (Local Distribution Centres) and sales support offices.

With the Birmingham facility disrupted, operations were quickly moved and workloads and inventory dispersed across our other RDC and LDC’s.

This non centralised solution has resulted in minimum downtime and disruption to our business and the service we deliver to our clients.

Our decentralised distribution network is more expensive to run and operate than a centralised system. It also requires a strong experienced national, regional and local management team and well developed IT systems to run effectively however it delivers further benefits to us and our customers.

As well as the enhanced disaster recovery, a decentralised system provides:

  • Greater efficiency across the supply chain
  • Service delivery based on local needs
  • Product selection and inventory based on local needs
  • Inventory forecasting and procurement based on local customer demands
  • Average faster delivery to clients across the national network
  • Reduced on the road times and CO2 emissions with intelligent route planning and scaled inventory space

If you are interested in finding out more about decentralised distribution systems, or how our Tail Management solution can benefit reduce costs and enhance supply chain efficiency then contact us today.


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