WH Smith has extended its transport management contract with Wincanton by three years.
The extension, which builds upon the 20-year relationship, will see the roll-out of new technology to unlock collaborative opportunities and optimise vehicle efficiency.
According to David McKinlay, supply chain director at WH Smith, crucial to the contract extension was the way in which Wincanton demonstrated its ability to not only reduce operational costs, but also further cut WH Smith’s carbon emissions – a key corporate social responsibility target for the retailer.
“With an increase in stores, currently 1,042 locations on high streets and at motorway services and airports, together with aggressive fuel inflation, we needed fresh ideas and innovation to create a step-change in the way we were utilising transport,” he said.
“I’m delighted to say Wincanton has met this challenge head on, creating significant economies of scale by combining our transport operations with those of other retailers and manufacturers.”
To find the efficiencies, Wincanton deployed its TMC (Transport Management Centre) telematics technology, simplifying the management of journeys and routes by optimising resources usage and productivity.
In essence the system allows transport schedules to be run on a “bus stop” basis, with drivers and trucks allocated to pre-planned routes, giving greater management of overall fleet performance and the ability to pre-advise stores of impending arrivals or delays.
In addition, Wincanton has also implemented a new component into the TMS (Transport Management System), giving greater visibility to the outbound high street deliveries and inbound “supplier collection” loads, allowing the business to manage the overall transport operation more efficiently.
The contract covers Wincanton’s work for WH Smith hubs in Swindon, Dunstable and Birmingham, as well as managing the performance of collaborative partners in the South West, North West and Scotland.
Eric Born, Wincanton chief executive, said: “WHSmith is a business synonymous with astute cost management and innovation and our long, successful partnership is built upon aligning with these goals.”
“By leveraging our own experience, technologies, in-house scale and partnerships we can continually adapt to enable WHSmith to achieve its commercial strategy and corporate targets.”