Security-clearance, timed, Covid-safe with reduced packaging waste

The background
Engineers and operations teams face a number of different challenges on a daily basis. Having the right parts - on time and in full - to maintain assets and keep lines running is critical not only to the productivity of the plant, but the viability of the overall business. If stock deliveries arrive later than expected it can significantly impact on scheduled jobs and potentially lead to unexpected downtime.

The Coronavirus pandemic has added further complexities to shopfloor challenges with the introduction of COVID-secure workplace guidelines - Health and Safety measures that are necessary to keep the workforce safe during the pandemic. There is also a continued drive from firms to meet environmental targets in line with their corporate social responsibility aims, both areas that need to be balanced and achieved alongside the core daily activities of the business.

As one of the largest providers of industrial supplies, RS Components strives to understand the individual and often complex needs of its customers and tailors its service offering accordingly; aligning with the customer’s objectives, helping to improve efficiency and reduce costs, and adding value in other areas even outside of the original remit.

The challenge
QinetiQ is a leading science and engineering company, operating mainly in the defence, security and critical infrastructure markets. It is the UK’s sixth largest defence contractor, providing innovative technology-based products and services for a range of global customers, including the Ministry of Defence.

The initial challenge for the QinetiQ site at Portsdown Hill was two-fold. Multiple online orders placed throughout the week could be delivered at any time the next day, resulting in deliveries that might arrive late afternoon, thereby potentially delaying scheduled maintenance by up to 24 hours. In addition, different drivers were regularly making the deliveries, and given the high security nature of QinetiQ’s business, extra time is required to process security passes for drivers arriving onsite. In some cases, if the security requirements weren’t met, deliveries were being rejected.

“I was actually in store when the first delivery arrived, and it was very professional, in line with social distancing, the driver placed the box of items on the floor and stepped back, and our guy unloaded it. The driver then took the box away with him again”Paul Greenleaf, Mechanical Engineering Team Leader, QinetiQ

The solution
RS met with QinetiQ to better understand their challenges and determine a solution that would optimise the delivery process and best suit the customer’s needs. Guaranteed delivery times were agreed and have since been put in place to ensure orders arrive prior to 11am, ahead of any scheduled work planned for the next day. To make the booking in process more efficient, RS has put in place a designated driver to make the deliveries via its local and trusted courier service.

Both solutions have reduced the time QinetiQ spend waiting for parts and made the whole delivery process much more efficient. As well as servicing its markets, QinetiQ is passionate about operating responsibly and safely, both for its people and its communities, and sets annual targets to reduce waste.

In recognition of this and in line with RS’s constantly evolving service proposition, RS proposed an ‘eco’ delivery with the use of tote boxes, consolidating their orders and removing the need for packaging. This proactively supports QinetiQ’s sustainability targets on the reduction of waste and improves the efficiency of the ‘goods in’ process by removing the need for QinetiQ to unpack goods themselves. The totes are also cleaned prior to and after delivery, reducing the risk of potential transfer of COVID-19.

The outcome
QinetiQ’s Mechanical Engineering Team Leader, Paul Greenleaf, is delighted with the results so far. By delivering the orders at the allotted time using a designated driver, RS has enabled QinetiQ’s team to work to planned schedules, making better use of their time and improving productivity. In addition, RS has added value in line with QinetiQ’s wider responsibilities to the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees, and its impact on the environment.

“RS has been able to give us figures demonstrating the weight of packaging saved. We’re delighted by this and the fact we have a regular driver, at a regular time. It shows a real understanding of our needs”Paul Greenleaf, Mechanical Engineering Team Leader, QinetiQ

Tailoring services to better meet the needs of QinetiQ has also meant RS has been able to make a notable contribution to the customer’s waste reduction targets, saving 37kg of packaging in less than six months.

To find out more about how consolidated deliveries can support your business, please contact us here.