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Vimto embraces distributed warehousing network with Stowga 29 June 2018

Centralised model had resulted in significant transport costs

Century old drinks company Nichols is embracing a distributed warehousing network to deliver better customer experience and deliver the localised fulfilment mission of the modern age. Working with Stowga, they developed a flexible and efficient network of warehouses all over the country, removing the burden of finding, owning and managing the warehouses themselves.

Vimto is a soft drink originally invented and launched in 1908 by John Noel Nichols. The brand Vimto is owned by Nichols PLC which sells drinks to retailers throughout the UK in cans, bottles and as draught in pubs.

Over the years, Vimto had consolidated their logistics network into three central hubs of warehouses, one in the South, one in the golden triangle in the centre of England and one in the North, to distribute their product across the UK. The challenge with this centralised model is the significant transport costs associated with daily deliveries to towns across the UK.

Nichols came to Stowga because they wanted to construct a network of flexible warehouses across the UK to store and distribute their product from. This gives them the freedom to respond to changes in customer demand in a dynamic way and not be constrained by long-term leases.

For example, when wanting to test new markets, through Stowga, they are able to access a fast and low commitment way of setting up logistics infrastructure. Instead of having to drive around the area, search for warehouses on Google, meet an agent, organise follow up visits, negotiate a lease, and then be committed for several years, Stowga can match them with the best potential options within minutes.

In this example, Vimto used Stowga, found a warehouse, got a price within two hours and moved in less than two weeks later. Stowga gives Vimto the ability to add agility and drastically cut the time taken to find suitable options.

Following their first experience of Stowga, Nichols decided to use the platform to add sites all across the UK including Bournemouth, Rotherham, Swansea, Cannock, Southampton and Guildford. By constructing this flexible, warehousing network through Stowga they positioned their warehouses far closer to their end customer. This translated into reduced delivery times, reduced driver and fuel costs, and reduced CO2 and NOx emissions. In addition, by matching them with empty capacity within warehouses Stowga was able to cut the overall cost of warehousing, whilst giving them more operational flexibility.

The ability to store goods closer to the end customer is becoming increasingly important as companies are having to compete on delivery times to meet customer expectations. By leveraging technology to utilise high quality warehousing at the exact location required, businesses are able to bring down the costs of multiple components of their supply chain including: transport, staff wages, storage and building maintenance. Thus enabling a better customer experience at reduced cost.