Go Supply Chain Consulting helps Pukka Herbs double the size of its warehouse and distribution capacity, as well as designing a future proofed multichannel fulfilment operation.
Achieving 30% growth year on year, supplier of organic herbal teas and Wellbeing products Pukka Herbs is growing fast. In fact it was stretching the limits of its 9000 sq ft of warehouses at Hawkfield Business Park, Bristol. “We were stuffed to the gills and needed to find somewhere bigger,” says David Anderson, Head of Projects and IT at Pukka Herbs, although, due to the rapid growth, it was more complex than that, as the existing space was split across two warehouses and a third party facility 15 miles away.
Pukka Herbs produces a range of ethically sourced, organic herbal products that are sold in the UK and internationally through supermarkets, wholesale, specialist shops and direct to consumer via online and mail order channels. Pukka’s range of 40 different herbal teas are now available in 41 countries.
At the heart of this operation is Pukka’s warehouse, which receives its bulk herbs and finished products, which are then picked and despatched to customers via the company’s multiple channels. In March 2014 Pukka decided to conduct a review to examine its processes and ensure they keep in line with best practice into the future.
To determine its requirements for warehousing over the next 5-8 years and to design an appropriate solution, Pukka engaged specialist supply chain consultancy Go Supply Chain Consulting.
“Given the relatively high level of complexity in the operation it was important to combine our data analysis with a good level of client engagement to ensure requirements were fully understood,” says Go Supply Chain director Gavin Parnell. “We applied growth at SKU level and allocated SKUs to appropriate picking and storage media based on their physical characteristics, rate of movement and stockholding. We then designed the warehouse layout, producing CAD drawings. We combined industry standards with our knowledge gained on the project to produce an operational design tailored to the client’s specific requirements.”
The picking operation required efficient movement for the team, which was a problem with the tight space in Pukka’s existing warehouse. Anderson adds: “We also needed sufficient space for our business to expand, with the Teas and Wellbeing ranges between them growing at up to 30% year on year for the last ten years. So we weren’t just thinking of the how much space we needed now; we were taking continued growth into account and building for the future.”
\ GSC plotted a ‘strategic roadmap’ for the future of the distribution operations as the business continues its growth. The consultancy presented its findings To Pukka at the beginning of September 2014 and with backing from the board, David Anderson’s team and GSC together set about searching for a warehouse that suited the plan. This turned out to be a 19,000 sq ft facility at Quadrant Industrial Estate in Bristol. It would expand Pukka’s capacity to just under 1400 pallet spaces – doubling the number of pallet spaces in its existing warehouse.
\ Pukka Herbs’ co-founders Tim Westwell and Sebastian Pole officially opened the new fully operational warehouse in May 2016. The project however was about more than just the building, it was also about finding new, best practice, ways to work inside it to maximise efficiency.
Pukka’s multichannel operation fulfils a range of different orders: some very small, some very large. GSC created a labour model to show what level of resourcing would be required in the improved layout and with new ways of working. Anderson says: “Thanks to the improved productivity and efficient layout of the new warehouse, we are in a position now where we can maintain our headcount without the need to bring in temps for long periods.”
Pukka Herbs can look forward to reaping the benefits of the consultancy project. “It will lead to better productivity and the potential to reduce cost per unit, resulting from having a welldesigned layout in one building and improved ways of working. As a result of using external logistics consulting expertise, Pukka will also be gaining a more structured approach to managing the warehouse and confidence in the warehousing solution as a platform for continued growth.”
David Anderson concludes: “At Pukka we see ourselves as different to other businesses. We focus on the ‘fit’ when we first meet people and we felt that Go Supply Chain understood us. They have great experience in the field, including the food sector, and bring a lot of expertise with them. The price worked for us too – making Go Supply Chain the straightforward choice for this project – which was carried out with tremendous efficiency. Gavin and the Go Supply Chain team laid out a plan for us, setting out what they needed from us and what they would deliver. The end result is that our new warehousing operation will be significantly more productive and provides a platform for the continued growth of Pukka Herbs.”
GO SUPPLY CHAIN CONSULTING
Craig Ryder or Gavin Parnell, Directors
Tel: 01753 722060