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Driving innovation: the road so far

Written by Marcos Hart

Business Optimisation and Transformation Director at Wincanton

16th June 2017

We launched our W2 Labs start-up programme in March this year with the aim of finding and developing innovative solutions to supply chain challenges. We’ve now entered the most exciting part of the process where our selected start-ups join our business to explore how they can deploy their ideas. I’m excited to open Wincanton’s doors and welcome the start ups in to the heart of our operations.

Initially we received 92 submissions from 12 countries. These were subsequently whittled down to the 28 start-ups that presented at our pitch day in May and from which we selected the seven that have progressed to the final stage. These seven start-ups are the ones in which our mentors saw the most potential and an ability to fundamentally change our business. The final seven are: Synaptiv, CinChapi, Routeique, ZigZag, Storekat, Quicargo and Street Stream.

Over the course of the next 10 weeks experts in our business, as well as our key customers, will work with these seven start-ups to help develop and prove their concepts in the real world of our day-to-day logistics. As a business we’re really trying to challenge ourselves to not just explore new ideas but also to find new ways of working. Since we’ve selected start-ups from around the world, including the Netherlands, the US, Canada and Australia, it’s going to be as much about how we communicate and work collaboratively as it is the concepts that we can establish together. All of these efforts will culminate in a showcase event in September where the best ideas will be demonstrated to the wider business.

W2 Labs is changing the way we think about our business and is already creating new opportunities. We believe that the programme will generate value for us and our customers, help us be smarter in our operations and provide the best possible support for our employees.