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11th May 2017

Making smarter use of vehicles, warehouses and people through W2 Labs

By Liam McElroy, Managing Director, Retail & Consumer at Wincanton PLC

We operate thousands of “assets” – whether that’s our 17,500 people, 3,400 vehicles or over 200 sites –  both for our own business and on behalf of our customers. We want these to work as effectively as possible for the benefit of all involved.

We can do this, for example, by using the best planning and scheduling tools to deploy our vehicles not just during peak periods but also at quieter times. It can also include dynamic solutions to predict vehicle maintenance requirements; real-time tracking of vehicle locations and route optimisation.

Similarly, improved predictive modelling and forecasting could help plan and optimise warehouse capacity, simplifying operations and freeing up unused space. Advanced tracking would improve stock visibility and reduce waste. All valuable factors within complex supply chains.

One of our biggest assets are our people. We want to ensure they are deployed in the most effective areas, at the right time and we want to them be well trained and happy in their work.

To help find innovative business solutions we recently launched the W2 Labs programme seeking new and innovative ideas from start-up companies. We’re searching for disruptive ideas which change the way we view, plan and develop our business. Successful applicants will find logistics a hugely rewarding industry to work in as it’s the backbone of the global economy.

Our vision is to be both innovative and effective in the supply chain, and I look forward to seeing some new ideas that can deliver for us and our customers