Under the guidance of the Warehouse and Operations Managers, Chris Padbury and Keeley Huss, HELLA UK has completed a radical overhaul and upgrade of its warehouse facility to ensure it provides flexible solution to be able to respond to the needs of its many wholesale customers, not just in 2021, but the foreseeable future.
“Although we were successfully serving our valued customers, operating within the confines of the previous system and warehouse layout, we were not optimising either the space we have or the staff we employ, so things had to change,” said Chris.
“The original layout was not so much designed, but evolved over the years and therefore didn’t reflect the needs of the staff working in the warehouse or the efficiencies that are now central to the modern facility. We therefore carried out a top-to-bottom review, assessing everything from the suitability of the mechanical devices we use to the specialist tools required at the packing benches.
“A key requirement to ensure any refit is a success is to make the process inclusive of the men and women that work in the facility, so we collaborated with them and, with the help of a design consultancy, we implemented a comprehensive overhaul of the complete warehouse.
“As a result, each bench now has a PC in situ, is multi-adjustable in terms of its layout and has labour saving features, designed ergonomically to ensure the wellbeing of the staff that operate from it. Each is also located to maximise the workflow and allow the products that are picked to be packed and despatched in the most efficient and safe manner. This ensures that the entire facility now conforms to the highest Health & Safety Standards and delivers expected improvements of £4,000 per annum.
“When it comes to the mechanical handling equipment we now use, we also undertook a thorough review and then entered into a service agreement with Jungheinrich, which provides us with the most up-to-date equipment on the most efficient terms and in conjunction with the other improvements we’ve implemented, will reduce our annual operating costs by more than £12,000.
“However, although the cost savings are important, the wellbeing of our staff and the efficiency of the service we provide to our customers are the true measures of success, and in these terms, we’ve already seen the benefits.
“The whole experience confirms that the power of teamwork can drive change. Engaging with people helps mutual understanding to allow us to make the right changes, which enhances the working environment and delivers efficiency gains that ultimately drive down costs.”