Exel will provide a complete temperature-controlled supply and distribution service to Nisa-Today's 3,500 stores across Southern England and manage a new, 80,000 sq ft, multi-temperature, distribution centre in the southeast.
The contract reflects Nisa-Today's drive to increase its share in the UK convenience store market and builds upon a 15-year relationship between the two organisations, including the company's management of Nisa-Today's distribution centre in Stoke-on-Trent.
The new distribution centre will increase the capacity of Nisa-Today's UK transport and distribution network and is the latest step in improving its supply chain. It also supports the nationwide expansion of its Premier Service of deliveries from three days to six days a week.
For Nisa-Today's, committing to new logistics processes is critical in reaching a 10-15 per cent per annum growth in business and competing with the large, multiple retailers who are penetratingthe convenience store market.
The operation at Harlow will replicate operations at the Stoke-on-Trent distribution centre. Exel will use the supply chain manager warehouse management system and voice-picking technology that, in just 12 months, increased warehouse productivity by 10 per cent andpick accuracy levels to 99.8 per cent at the Stoke-on-Trent distribution centre.
Overall, the volumes handled by Exel on behalf of Nisa-Today's will now rise by 11 million cases per annum to 37 million by the end of 2006.
"Our experience with Exel has been that it does not just deliver on its promises but adds value by working in partnership to support our business strategy," said Stephen Hunter, managing director of Logistics at Nisa-Today's.
"This is particularly important to us at a time when our business is growing rapidly and we need to manage our warehousing and transport operation to handle increased service levels with continued quality assurance and without increased costs."
Both companies are placing great emphasis on a seamless migration ofNisa-Today's customers to the new facility and this move will be phased over several months. Once volumes have been transferred, there will be the potential for new product ranges to be introduced to the Stoke facility.
"Our partnership has enabled Nisa-Today's to extend its service and product offering, cost-effectively, at a time of significant expansion and greater competition," said Simon Payne, business unit director at Exel.
"Now, our preparations for the new centre, as well as for the future operation at Stoke, are focused on ensuring that we continue to provide Nisa-Today's with a platform for successful growth."