Wickes, a member of the Travis Perkins group of companies, is one of the UK’s most successful retailers of home improvement products for both the trade and DIY. It has appeal to home owners and trade contractors alike. The company has over 220 stores in the UK and offers next day delivery service on thousands of product lines, including big and bulky items. Indeed the excellence of its multi-channel offer is key to its continued success.
Customers, whether trade or DIY, have a wide choice of ordering and delivery channels which provide an efficient, flexible and convenient service. An order can be placed by phone, on the internet or in person in the store, and delivery can be made to any suitable location, including a home and a contractor’s current place of work, or can be collected in-store.
The facilities needed to provide the high standard of service which Wickes has achieved are extensive and have developed over time as the business has grown and more choices have been offered. These facilities are therefore under constant review to ensure that they, and the processes used to operate them, are working as effectively as possible. As a part of this on-going review The Logistics Business was appointed to help develop a strategy for multi-channel operations which would allow for new customer services to be introduced and for overall growth in sales, whilst ensuring that the cost to serve customers was kept as low as possible.
We worked closely with senior members of the Wickes development team to review current operations and understand the expectations for new customer offers. This included obtaining input from key operations managers through personal interviews and team workshops. Together with the Wickes team we developed an interactive model of the multi-channel network, providing some new insights into the implications of growth on future requirements. We also helped the team develop a Cost-to-Serve model in order to understand the most cost effective route to market for the wide range of product categories.
The output of our work was presented to the Wickes Directors and the recommendations we made have become the basis for further development of the ever improving Wickes customer service offer. According to Robin Proctor, Supply Chain Director for Travis Perkins, ‘The Logistics Business were able to bring new thinking to the table relating to our cost to serve approach, which added real value to our decision making’.