Halfords Launches Supply Chain for Growth.
Halfords sources products from around the world as well as the UK, with high participation of own brand products. Halfords CEO, David Wild has announced a series of initiatives aimed at delivering competitive advantage for Halfords. “Reducing our cost of sourcing and delivery is a significant route for us to create value for customers in the year ahead,” he said. “We have looked for efficiencies in every area of our supply chain to help give us competitive advantage and deliver a better service.”
A leading project has been the reconfiguration of Halfords logistics infrastructure. A new super distribution centre (DC) is opening at Coventry in July to ensure more efficient delivery of stock to Halfords’ 440 stores in the UK. The new DC will be equipped with the latest logistics technology, e.g. Pick by Light and Voice Pick, save 2.1 million road kilometres a year and deliver cost savings in excess of £4 million annually.
The second area of focus is delivery for web purchases. Rather than direct to home – which many customers find expensive and inconvenient - Halfords has launched Free Delivery to Store. This means customers can order direct from suppliers through Halfords dot com and then pick up their purchase from their local store, at their convenience. This is a revolutionary concept as it gives customers access to a much wider range than held in store, visibility of stock availability in the supply chain and details of their purchase as it travels toward delivery.
In addition to these changes Halfords is also working to streamline sourcing and increase supplier participation from areas like the Far East. Suppliers will now hold more buffer stocks and will deliver smaller quantities of products, i.e. according to customer demand, rather than large consignments of products that need warehousing.
Wild added, “Too often a supply chain is viewed as a separate part of the business, yet our supply chain is as important for our customers as our stores. We have returned to first principles and tested what we need for the best possible customer service. The initiatives we are announcing will ensure we reduce costs and have better value products on our shelves when customers need them.”
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