A significant income stream for this leading bird and environmental protection charity is the sale of products directly related to wild bird welfare (food, nest boxes etc.), as well as gifts, lifestyle and other items that its supporters demand. Traditionally this market has been served through licensing arrangements in which the RSPB Brand is used to sell the products with a proportion of the income given to the Charity. With significant growth forecast for this sector and recognising that their income for conservation could be increased by taking control of this activity, the RSPB proposed to set up their own operation for distance selling (catalogue, web site, fulfilment) and the supply of bird food and bird care to retailers, such as supermarkets and garden centres.
The role of The Logistics Business was to support the Society in setting up a completely new supply chain, which included sourcing bird seed and other products, packing of bird seed, pack design, account management, tendering for and implementation of new partners for a contact centre, fulfilment operation and trading web site. In addition, support was given to the structure and recruitment of a new team to manage the supply chain. The Logistics Business acted as project managers for the whole programme.
By combining the RSPB’s expert knowledge of bird care and its environmental credentials for seed sourcing, with The Logistics Business’ experience of supply chain management, the out-sourcing process and the market place for providers, a robust solution has been established and is beginning to achieve its aims.
- The new operation opened for business on schedule
- The service providers and suppliers were selected and appointed on time
- There was an effective change-over from the existing mail order licensee
- The new web site was in place on time
Contributions to success:
- A process to manage the project involved relevant functions directly and all others ‘touched by’ the new operation in regular consultation
- The use of a series of workgroups enabled people to focus on discrete areas in detail, maintaining interest and momentum
- Project team meetings were held at regular intervals, up to weekly, according to need
- The tendering process was managed by The Logistics Business, with RSPB staff not getting involved until the presentations received from selected service providers. This enabled providers to have a single point of contact, who understood their needs.