Pedigree Wholesale has switched to Atlet warehouse trucks in a combination of contract hire and outright purchase at its main distribution centre near Nottingham. By aligning the make-up of the fleet to its precise materials handling requirements, the pet and aquatic products supplier has reduced the number of trucks required, increased efficiency and cut downtime as well as saving at least 25 per cent on its previous repair and maintenance bill.
Pedigree Wholesale is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of pet and aquatic products, including live fish, to the independent retail sector. Its operations are carried out from a national network of five distribution centres strategically located throughout the UK with the main site and head office at Gamston, Nottingham. The company also owns a seed mill for preparing bird food. The business has grown significantly in recent years and when Pedigree Wholesale reviewed the materials handling operations at the main distribution centre it decided to make some significant changes. Trucks had always been purchased in the past but over time this had led to the fleet comprising models of differing ages from multiple suppliers.
Before selecting Atlet, Pedigree Wholesale made a thorough investigation of the market. Atlet worked with Pedigree Wholesale to understand its requirements. A fleet replacement programme was proposed. Because it kept detailed records of truck operations Pedigree Wholesale realised that there was very little difference between the monthly cost of ownership for outright purchase and contract hire. Putting the trucks that are used intensively – order pickers and powered pallet transporters – onto contract hire made economic and practical sense, although larger trucks have been purchased outright. This suited the business model and provided a high degree of protection against unexpected servicing and maintenance costs because this is now covered by Atlet’s monthly hire charge. The previous system of a call-out charge and hourly rate for service operations had made it very difficult for Pedigree Wholesale to predict and manage its costs.
Atlet provides service on a call-out basis and its local engineer is located in the area which means that response can be very quick. Routine inspection and maintenance is completed at times convenient to Pedigree Wholesale and the Atlet engineer uses technology, expertise and understanding of the operation to pre-empt any emerging problems before they impact on the warehouse operation.
“We never need to contact Atlet because they call me when they need to come. The engineer is only four miles away.”
Tel: 01844 215501