Peaks and troughs in supply and demand are a factor in many businesses, but the pre-Christmas peak for Poundland, Europe’s biggest single price discount retailer, is a huge challenge.
The company, founded in 1990, is one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK with an average of two new shops opening every month. Poundland now has over 280 stores throughout the UK which serve almost 3 million customers every week.
In the three months before Christmas, Poundland faces many extra challenges when demand for its 4,000 product lines increases significantly. The products are all handled through two purpose-built warehouses, totalling 517,050 sq metres, close to Wolverhampton, and Linde Material Handling supplies the forklift trucks.
“We have worked with Poundland since it first opened.” says Kevin Gillespie, Corporate Account Manager of Linde Creighton Ltd. “We supply the company with more than 120 trucks in ‘normal’ conditions and an additional 60 or so trucks to cope with its peak demand for Christmas orders.”
The Poundland warehouse team uses about 45 low-level order pickers and 15 x 12 metre reach trucks most of the year. To bring in another 60 trucks on short term rental from October to December is no simple task – not least because the trucks have specialist features.
“We fit radio data terminals (RDTs) to the order pickers, which are configured to carry two pallets at once. We also send a team to the warehouses to fit the masts on the reach trucks as they are too high to be transported in one piece,” explains Kevin Gillespie.
Linde also organises and supplies the additional batteries and battery charging stations which are needed for the peak period.
“We match the STR trucks as closely as possible to the existing fleet and we supply the trucks early to train the operators on any differences.” Kevin continues.
Jim McCarthy, Chief Executive, Poundland, says: “We have always had a strong relationship with Linde and know we can always rely on them to help us through the year, but especially when we have higher demand during the Christmas season. At Poundland we understand how difficult it can be to step up to consumer demands during the festive period but we know we can always count on Linde to step up to our increased expectations.”
Linde Material Handling has been developing its fork lift truck rental service over the last 20 years. It operates the largest fork lift truck rental fleet in the UK with over 10,000 units. The fleet covers the widest range of truck types including powered pallet trucks, order pickers, reach trucks and engine/electric counterbalance trucks and the Linde national network offers an easy one stop shop to meet any company’s peak demand needs.
For more information, please call 0845 608 5000 or go to www.forktruckrentals.co.uk.