Wickes is the latest household name to cash in on the benefits MetaPack’s delivery management system offers. The likes of M&S, Asos, John Lewis and DGSi have already been successfully using it for months.

Wickes currently hold a very strong position within the DIY industry, one which is increasing rapidly in the market share. They continue to play a prominent part in their sector, Dean Heatlie, Operations General Manager at Wickes explains, “our market share is increasing rapidly, with our own brand goods putting us in a unique position.” He goes on to say, “the recession has been our friend. Home improvement is still happening. Where people aren’t buying at the moment, they choose to put what money they do have into renovating their current property.”

This enviable position, defying the downturn has meant the need to streamline processes to deal with the increase in sales. While Dean believes the nature of his products lead people to visit the stores, to see and touch the product, “they often come into the store to view the item, go away and think about it and then order online with the delivery.” And it’s this delivery they sought to improve. Their despatch process was time consuming and laborious, causing a drain on productivity and resources. Paperwork had to be completed manually, thus leading to higher a risk of human error. Using this manual method meant there was also no way of efficiently storing historical consignment data. The choice of carrier used was based on what product was being shipped which often led to a bottleneck at the appropriate carrier system, again encroaching on valuable time. Working with designated carrier systems meant that they were tied to a particular carrier, leaving it harder to move away if service was poor.

After moving to a consolidated warehouse, Wickes brought in MetaPack to solve these issues. The implementation was a smooth process, with the warehouse staff finding it very easy to use. They noticed a number of benefits immediately. Where they used numerous carrier systems before, the bottlenecks caused by operatives hanging around waiting to use a particular carrier system were eradicated. The visibility and reporting were also greatly improved, being able to view all the current, pending and historic consignment data, across carriers, on one screen.

Wickes are also taking advantage of some of MetaPack’s additional functionality: consumer email updates and consignment cloning, which has proved a massive benefit to them in terms of customer service improvement and reduction in allocation time. Different warehouses within Wickes are set up per carrier, so that they are able to see the manifest building throughout the day. Their carriers can then plan the resources required for the collection.

Dean has only praise for the new delivery management system, “MetaPack has alleviated a lot of time constraints and has allowed us to use our resources a lot more productively. Being able to access all carriers through one simple easy to use interface has streamlined our despatch completely. The reporting functions have proved extremely helpful to us when monitoring despatch, particularly the weekly despatch report. We’ve really noticed a massive benefit having MetaPack on board.”

Read the case study of how Wickes improved delivery through MetaPack:

Published on: 1:38PM on 27th August 2009