Weekly news summary 30th July 2015




Creed Foodservice claims to have achieved ‘major performance improvements’ at its Ilkeston (Derbyshire) site, including 20% extra productivity, following a £175,000 investment in Accord Voice Directed WMS from supply chain software specialist BCP (Business Computer Projects).

The Country Range Group member delivers branded and own-label goods to more than 2,000 UK caterers from the 55,000 sq ft depot and from its Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, headquarters, using over 70 multi-temperature vehicles.

Referring to the new technology, managing director Philip de Ternant commented: “As we continue to grow, we are continually looking at further improvements in our supply chain and delivering quality to our customers.

“To underpin this, we identified the need to give our managers better visibility of workloads and improved controls, and enhance productivity, pick accuracy and stock integrity.”

Voice technology was seen as the natural accompaniment to its suite of WMS software in order to deliver the improvements required. It was first applied to the frozen foods department, then the chilled section, and finally ambient goods and non-food.

Ilkeston is now managed entirely by Voice WMS, operating 24 hours a day, six days a week and handling over 200 deliveries a day, picked from over 6,000 SKUs, in addition to inter-branch transfers and nightly sub supply.

Some 25 workers use the system across three shifts – goods-in, replenishment and PI during the day and picking and loading on the night shifts.

De Ternant said: “Voice has transformed operations at Ilkeston. Efficiency has improved across all operations, while real time information from the system has changed visibility and traceability throughout the business, improving stock integrity and replenishment.”

Picking accuracy has also improved, with less than one error recorded per 1,000 items. A double pick checking procedure, previously used at Ilkeston, has been discontinued.

Creed operations controller, Neil Corfield, added: “Initially, the roll-out took around four weeks to fully utilise the full functionality for the team. Now new staff can be trained to pick in hours, not days.”

It is now planned to implement Voice picking at the Cheltenham site towards the end of the year.

Tel: Creed Foodservice (01452) 857555
Tel: BCP 0161-355 3000

Creed Foodservice


Dumfries-based Thomsons Foodservice has lauded the impact of its new 15,000 sq ft warehouse depot and membership with Fairway Foodservice, after announcing a 20% increase in turnover over the past year.

The wholesaler, which has been supplying the Dumfries and Galloway region for 27 years, recently joined forces with Fairway Foodservice to expand its offering of frozen and ambient produce.

Michael Watt, general manager of Thomsons Foodservice, located at Dumfries Enterprise Park, said: “We had been looking to grow the business for five or six years, and took a bit of a risk investing in our new site. Joining a buying group was absolutely essential to growing the business and making the new warehouse work.

“Fortunately an opportunity came up to join Fairway; this allowed us to expand in both the frozen and ambient sector, complementing our existing experience in fresh and chilled food.

Frozen and ambient sales have risen from an estimated 5% of the business to 25% since June 2014.

Watt added: “In order to move forward, independent wholesalers simply have to be part of a buying group to survive. It has made a massive difference both to the business and our customers.”

Thomsons Foodservice is one of 17 wholesalers in Fairway Foodservice, whose turnover last year was £556 million.

Tel: Thomsons Foodservice (01387) 250533

Thomsons Foodservice depot


Birchall Foodservice has joined the Soil Association’s Catering Mark Supplier Scheme, which claims to ‘help to provide meals that are better for people, the planet and animal welfare’.

Justin BirchallThe Catering Mark is an independent endorsement that foodservice operators and caterers are taking steps to improve the food they serve. Nearly 150 million Catering Mark standard meals are served in the UK every year in workplaces, schools, nurseries, universities, hospitals, restaurants and other settings outside the home.

Growth of the insignia has led to increased demand for wholesalers, such as Birchall Foodservice, to meet its requirements.

Managing director Justin Birchall said: “We are committed to providing healthy, sustainable products to our customers and our Catering Mark Supplier Scheme membership will allow us to work even closer with schools and hospitals to help them improve the food they serve.”

Tel: Birchall Foodservice (01282) 429446

Published Date: July 30, 2015
Category: Wholesale Industry News