Ensuring continuity in supply of business-critical operational materials
Booker Group is the UK’s largest food wholesale operator, offering branded and private-label goods to over 400,000 customers, including independent convenience stores, grocers, pubs, and restaurants. Based on a franchise model, Booker distributes goods to over 170 stores across the UK and Europe via regional distribution centres.
Operational efficiency is essential to Booker’s success and as a business, it commits to meeting the demands of its stores and customers. It is a core requirement of the company to ensure that essential branded and printed items never become out of stock.
This presents a challenge in a fast-moving environment where printed items and packaging are frequently subject to last-minute amendments, and lead times are short for fulfilling urgent stock replacement requests.
Advanced ordering, bulk storage, and distribution to stores across a wide geographical area present their challenges. Booker seeks to avoid the massive task of managing bulk deliveries from the Far East packed in containers containing 50 or more pallets each.
Taking accountability for the entire stock management process; from the order through to fulfilment, PDS purchase on behalf of Booker and facilitate secure storage, which enables all of Booker’s sites to confidently call off stock for fulfilment within a business-critical 24-hour window. Key items stored by PDS include; multi-colour shelf edge pricing labels and high-volume white labels, which are fulfilled and delivered monthly or quarterly in line with site demand, eradicating the need for central in-house storage.
In response to the pandemic, Booker introduced its range of directional materials to support the government guidance around social distancing, including; hazard tape and cleansing wipes, all of which were sourced and managed in bulk by PDS and fulfilled to Booker sites on demand – During 2020 PDS delivered 6,500 tubs of cleansing wipes and 1,500 rolls of tape.
In addition to sourcing, storage, and fulfilment of operational items, PDS are responsible for the creation of in-store signage and vehicle livery items extending across a range of approximately 50 articles; from First Aid to Health & Safety compliance, through to fixed indoor and outdoor signage produced on Dibond® aluminium composite sheeting and other specialist display products.
Through a network of global suppliers, PDS support Booker with three-ply freezer sacks required to keep products frozen during transit to stores and hospitality clients. PDS occupies space at one of Booker’s national distribution centres to enable items to be called off by the business as required. In 2020, PDS distributed in the region of 3.8 million freezer sacks and other UK-sourced stored and delivered consumables included; 2 million tobacco bags, 10,000 30kg cool bags and 350,000 boxes of corrugated beer trays.
In 2020, PDS distributed in the region of 3.8 million freezer sacks and other UK-sourced stored and delivered consumables included; 2 million tobacco bags, 10,000 30kg cool bags and 350,000 boxes of corrugated beer trays.
The storage call-off process is managed from end to end by PDS. Regular communication with Booker is essential to keep track of fast and slow-moving items and meet any fluctuation in demand. PDS are accountable for ensuring that no item becomes out of stock while maintaining quantities appropriate for specification changes.
Call-off requests come from multiple sources within Booker, therefore a robust and fit-for-purpose stock management system is required to meet the demand of the multi-site operation. Bespoke-built stock management system, PDS+ enables Booker’s users to see a single source of truth in relation to stock availability and fulfilment progress.
The team at PDS also factors in behavioural changes caused by a spell of warm weather, for example, or a seasonal sporting tournament, always ensuring that Booker stores can meet increased demand. PDS has been particularly agile in keeping abreast of purchasing patterns in response to the changing nature of the pandemic and its impact on the sector.
PDS has been working with Booker for over 15 years. By cementing its reputation for providing an excellent service to Booker, the business has more recently taken on the design requirements of its catering brand lines including Chef’s Larder, Chef’s Essential, CleanPro, Blackgate and its alcoholic beverage lines.
Kris Batley (Account Executive), David Nelson (Lead Creative), Rob Digby (Senior Artworker), Lynda Doggett (Studio Co-ordinator), Sarah Parker (Account Executive), Lee Anderson (Stock Manager), Ben Holley (Logistics Manager)
Interested in how PDS can help you deliver solutions across our service pillars?
Through partnering with PDS, Booker has improved overall efficiency in the management of their operational and consumable materials to enable them to meet and maintain the demands of their customers.
Simplify your project needs with PDS as your single-source supplier. Our end-to-end creative, sourcing, storage and fulfilment solutions provide maximum efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and high-quality service. Contact us today to learn more.