Case Study
Thornton & Ross

Case Study

Thornton & Ross: Enhancing Efficiency through Process Streamlining

A fresh approach to print, merchandise and storage

Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Number of employees: 370+

#print #merchandise #storage #fulfilment #stockmanagement #pharmaceuticals

The client

Leading producer of household pharmaceutical products Thornton & Ross manufactures a growing range of branded pharmaceutical, healthcare and hygiene products including over-the-counter and specialist medicines.

From its headquarters in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the business has grown to become one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the UK. Thornton & Ross has been in business for around 100 years and is responsible for some of the UK’s leading brands including Covonia®, Hedrin®, and Cetraben® as well as the popular disinfectant Zoflora®. The business is also a trusted provider of prescription products to the NHS.

The challenge

Thornton & Ross developed an increasingly broad and complex portfolio of printed items from information leaflets, product literature and user guides to retail point-of-sale material and promotional merchandise items as its business has grown.

Thornton & Ross had been working with multiple suppliers, storing their materials at several locations. Thornton & Ross needed to improve the visibility of what had been produced and were keen to consolidate production, streamline processes and rationalise their storage and warehousing capacity.

The business also wanted to explore a more efficient process for collating and issuing product samples to end users such as healthcare practitioners, GP surgeries, and online influencers keen to test product benefits.

PDS was delighted when its bid to support Thornton & Ross was given the green light and it has been working with the business to provide a fresh approach to print merchandise, and storage.

Key challenges

  • Broad and complex portfolio of printed items.

  • Multiple suppliers and storage locations impacted production visibility.

  • Need for consolidated production and rationalisation of storage.

  • Required a more efficient process for collating and issuing product samples.

The solution

PDS has taken on responsibility for Thornton & Ross’s print requirements, ensuring that the business derives the best value across all types of print. In addition, PDS now stores every item in its secure warehouse, where stock can be closely monitored and supplied to Thornton & Ross and its stakeholders as required.

At the start of the journey, PDS met with the team for a detailed discussion to fully understand its stock lines and volumes. PDS then arranged to collect assorted stock items from its previous suppliers, bringing everything together in one location for audit and review. All incoming stock was checked, counted, and then fully documented by photographing each item type. Next, PDS set up a bespoke version of its PDS+ online stock management system for Thornton & Ross, following a use-journey mapping exercise to ensure that all types of requests could be met.

A photographic record and detailed description of each print material and merchandise item was uploaded to the PDS+ system, providing a searchable database and transparent form of stock visibility.

PDS worked closely with colleagues at Thornton & Ross on an induction programme to ensure that colleagues felt comfortable with the new system, providing each of them with onboarding welcome kits and a training manual and user guide. When the system was launched, the marketing team, brand managers and field sales team were set up with their accounts enabling them to log in according to individual access level permissions.

With oversight of all current stock in an easy-to-access format online, the Thornton & Ross team can now order stock items and request that they be delivered to a client, their work location, or their home address.

The project team

Jayne Gowan (Relationship Manager), David Nelson (Lead Creative), Kate Shelton (Finance Director), Rob Shaw (Client Services Manager), Rosalyn Payne (Account Executive), Ben Holley (Logistics Manager), Monika Zukowska (Mailing & Fulfilment Manager)

Jayne Gowan

Jayne Gowan

Relationship Manager

David Nelson

David Nelson

Lead Creative

Kate Shelton

Kate Shelton

Finance Director

Rob Shaw

Rob Shaw

Client Services Manager

Ros Payne Account Exec

Rosalyn Payne

Account Executive

Ben Holley

Ben Holley

Logistics Manager


Monika Zukowska

Mailing & Fulfilment Manager

Interested in how PDS can help you deliver solutions across our service pillars?

Key outcomes

  • PDS provided a more effective approach to print, merchandise and storage.

  • Stock managed by PDS, supplied and closely monitored.

  • Online visibility of current stock via an easy-to-access system.

  • Cost savings through efficient print management.

The results

PDS has brought increased clarity and efficiency to Thornton & Ross by bringing all its printed material and promotional merchandise together under one roof where it can easily be monitored and controlled.

The PDS+ online stock management system ensures that stock items are easily accessible by showcasing real-time availability, reminding colleagues about what is available, and enabling colleagues to request their despatch to any UK location in just a few clicks.

Cost savings have been made through a print management approach that sees items produced by the most efficient process providing the best value and maximising budgets.

Consolidating the supply of items with a single supplier has brought efficiencies by freeing up resources within the marketing and sales teams who no longer need to get involved in the physical handling of printed materials. PDS takes responsibility for stock quantities, storage, and distribution so Thornton & Ross can focus on delivering value to their clients, responding to the market’s demands, and continuing to grow their business.

Looking to streamline your print management?

With our bespoke PDS+ online stock management system, we’ll ensure that all of your print requirements are met efficiently and effectively. Our secure warehouse will store all of your items and closely monitor your stock, so you can focus on your business. Plus, with a searchable database and transparent stock visibility, you’ll always be in control.