The Tesco business relies on one of the largest distribution networks handling a vast range of products from food and household goods to electrical and clothing. The network literally relies on hundreds of thousands of racked locations across the whole of the country. The new Tesco Distribution facilities commissioned over the past 12 months are now routinely over 1,000,000 square feet (100,000 sq m) and are fitted out with massive racking complexes.
The safe and effective management of these racking installations in the fast moving Tesco environment is a demanding responsibility for the Tesco maintenance team. The Tesco safety ethos dictates the very strict application of the racking safety standards, with a minimum of weekly inspections. This is combined with the need for fast return to service of any location lost to damage.
Tesco had identified that the RackCare on-line racking management process offered a real time control of racking safety and maintenance. Tesco understandably, incur significant expense in maintaining their racking and recognised that early remedial actions would generate savings across the Tesco business. The instantaneous reporting by RackCare of both safety and operational issues results in not only improved visibility and understanding of racking status but also speedier rectification and return to service.
Tesco introduced RackCare in two sites for evaluation trials. After only a few weeks it became very apparent that the process was not only quicker, but was delivering an integrated management control at both site and a National level. The Tesco maintenance development project team assigned to the RackCare implementation identified some enhancements that helped with both inspection recording and specific key performance reporting. These have already been implemented and are fully operational.
James Fenton, Tesco Maintenance Manager Network Development said “The RackCare process allows us to have a corporate system that gives us full compliance to our strict Health and Safety policy whilst offering our site maintenance teams a simpler more user friendly management tool. Not only has it reduced administration it is generating meaningful information that both the maintenance and operational teams use to improve our business performance.”
After months of trials Tesco began full scale National implementation of the RackCare process and plan to have all Tesco racked environments operating on the RackCare process by November this year.
The RackCare process will then also provide an on line consolidated view of ALL Tesco sites accessed via the internet. This will enable both regional and national management access to individual site records and real time performance.
James Fenton says: “This aspect of overview means I can be assured that racking is controlled to our standard throughout our network and issues are immediately identified. Racking is a fundamental part of our business; we need to know it is working for us.”
Chris Cooper, Managing Director of RackCare, says: “We genuinely enjoy working with the Tesco team. They have taken on the RackCare process at a strategic level and it is rewarding for both of us to see how quickly the benefits are being delivered throughout the Tesco operation. We continue to learn from the partnership. Tesco recognise that pallet racking is a crucial component in any major retail or finished goods supply chain and RackCare provides a unique process to allow for total racking management.”
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