Foodservice distributor Thomas Ridley Foodservice is realising major performance improvements and savings exceeding £175,000 p.a. following its investment in Accord® Voice WMS from supply chain software and WMS specialist BCP (Business Computer Projects Ltd).

P1020677-(2)-300dpiFounded 200 years ago, Thomas Ridley is one of the UK’s leading independent delivered wholesalers, supplying caterers across England with a comprehensive product range of chilled, ambient, frozen, professional hygiene and catering sundries. Customers include schools, hospitals, pubs, restaurants, care and residential homes, and the leisure sector.

The investment was prompted by Thomas Ridley’s expanding customer base and, in particular, a desire to increase accuracy in order to improve the customer experience, ease out of stocks and reduce the costs associated with rectifying incorrect deliveries. Although using computerised stock control and RF scanning for Goods Receiving, manual, paper based procedures were still used for other warehouse operations. Though efficient, these were subject to human error – a significant factor for an operation the size of Thomas Ridley where 1000 deliveries per day are assembled from over 10,000 sku’s in its 100,000 sq ft warehouse.

Accord Voice WMS was phased in over a 12 month period and today, once checked in by RF scanning, goods are managed entirely by Voice.

Increased accuracy has been one of the greatest benefits with picking errors virtually eliminated and service levels running at over 99.99%. The company has been able to dispense with an expensive manual order checking operation and conservatively estimates direct savings of £150,000 p.a. from the reduction in mis-picks. “It’s phenomenal,” says MD Justin Godfrey, “We’ve virtually eradicated all errors and that leads to very happy customers – a massive intangible benefit we just can’t measure.”

Productivity has improved by around 10% and there have been major stationery and administration savings. Overall, Thomas Ridley estimates a massive 10% saving in labour costs with the introduction of Voice. “Moreover, the system allows us to analyse individual worker productivity,” explains Godfrey, “meaning we can spot potential bottlenecks, address any issues and schedule operations more efficiently.”

Godfrey concludes: “The use of Accord Voice has transformed operations, delivering even greater improvements and savings than we’d dreamed of. We now have full visibility and an accurate audit trail across the warehouse and I believe we now have the lowest cost of labour per unit of sale within the foodservice industry. We’re expecting to realise even greater efficiencies as we use data from the system to re-lay the warehouse to optimise the use of space and movements within it.”

Business Computer Projects Ltd

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