The strong partnership
Wincanton’s strong relationship with a global FMCG business spans 23 years. This long-term partnership journey has seen Wincanton win four contract renewals as the brand’s dedicated supply chain partner for its leading pet food brand. Wincanton runs the customer’s UK national distribution centre, handling over 65 million products of pet food each year. It was crowned Supplier of the Year in 2019 for its operational excellence, continuous improvement, and sustainability initiatives.
As the partnership goes from strength to strength, Wincanton’s responsibilities have grown to include fulfilment operations for this customer’s entire direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel, a growth area for the brand. This involves Wincanton fulfilling orders at the brand’s purpose-built 250,000 sq ft UK site. Mobilised in May 2023, the D2C operation is housed within a dedicated part of the DC, run by a specialist team to manage the operation, including stock replenishment, picking and packing, and carrier management to fulfil 4,000 orders per week.
Wincanton hosted the customer for a dedicated tour of its eFulfilment shared-user facilities in April 2022. The customer saw for themselves Wincanton’s strong expertise with leading eCommerce brands. Within just a year, in April 2023, they decided to award their D2C operations to Wincanton with the remit to mobilise and manage a dedicated D2C space in their existing DC, which was already managed by Wincanton, building on the long-term trusted partnership.
Agility, flexibility and sustainability
The convenience and efficiency of replenishing stock directly for the D2C operation from within the DC a matter of metres away enables a lean ‘just in time’ approach and the customer can be more certain of the integrity of their stock. Basing the new operation at the DC also provides an opportunity to reduce annual mileage and carbon emissions, achieving an emission saving of over 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, a valuable contribution towards the pet food brand’s global sustainability goals.
The flexible operating model means that the customer can confidently grow their business, safe in the knowledge that the operations are agile and able to cope with dramatic increases in volumes as their D2C offer gains popularity and grows. And part of Wincanton’s added value is branded packaging - paw prints included - with the addition of samples and promotional materials to increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
A personal partnership
Wincanton's partnership with this successful brand is a win-win for end-consumers too – people and pets. They receive their favourite products to their home when they want them (improved order service level agreements by up to 60%), in perfect condition (27% reduction in returns). To reinforce the brand, customers also get the chance to personalise their delivery with their pet’s name and picker and packer details for complete delivery personalisation.
Paul Durkin, Wincanton’s Chief Customer and Innovation Officer, commented:
“This development in our long-term partnership with one of the world’s leading brands is testament to Wincanton’s agility and ability to respond to ever-changing consumer demands and preferences.”
With the UK pet food market worth £3.8 billion in 2023 (UK Pet Population | UK Pet Food), the value of an agile supply chain partner is more crucial than ever.