RS Components has worked in partnership with an automated manufacturing systems provider to solve and enhance a previously problematic procurement process

The background
Procurement professionals are under pressure to source quality products and services from reliable and ethical suppliers, while balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders and budgets. So, in the quest for procurement excellence, what is the solution?

Joining forces with a proactive supplier who can help identify inefficiencies and replace them with streamlined working practices is one way to overcome such challenges. It’s an area leading industrial and electronics distributor RS Components takes seriously by combining its comprehensive product portfolio with added-value services that seek to transform the customer experience.

The challenge
Torus Measurement Systems supplies automated and static solutions for all manufacturing requirements including control systems, modular machine guarding and machine frames. As part of the global Torus Group, the Shropshire-based firm serves customers operating in a range of industries including packaging, pharmaceuticals, aerospace and automotive.

The annual delivery of workwear for Torus’s 110 UK-based employees was a laborious and protracted task for procurement administrator Amy Price and other personnel who could give time to help. They had to manually sort through multiple different boxes in order to locate the correct kit for each employee before repackaging it ready for the intended recipient. The workwear, ordered from a nearby firm, often took two weeks to sort through, eating up valuable time, resources and even office space in the meantime. Frustratingly, items were often erroneously packaged or incorrectly sent, which added to the time personnel were spending away from their usual day-to-day activities.


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The solution
RS’s Key Account Manager and RS Local Birmingham branch worked closely with the Torus Automation procurement team to identify where working practices could be streamlined in order to save time, money and admin.

By understanding the pinch points, RS identified a solution that meant RS Local Birmingham could deliver branded workwear to the customers’ exact specifications in the form of bespoke kits already packaged for individual recipients.

To achieve this, RS Local set up 26 SKUs with different sizes equating to 150 different product codes and have created a delivery schedule of a much more manageable 5-10 tote boxes a day. All the procurement team have to do upon receipt is open the tote box, check the person’s name and uniform against the original list and send it on to the employee.

This simple and effective approach to reducing a previously time consuming and onerous task has been further enhanced by the depth of RS’s product range. Combined with the simplicity of RS’s ordering system, employees are now able to choose from a greater range of footwear, with the procurement team able to then place an order for next-day delivery.

The outcome
Navigating bottlenecks and understanding the needs of the procurement team has transformed a previously inefficient working practice into a slick, streamlined and simple process. It has also delivered some impressive results for Torus, who are saving approximately 225 hours of time that would have been previously spent sorting through the deliveries.

Additionally, the use of tote boxes coupled with a manageable delivery schedule has led to a reduction in over 230kg of cardboard and helped to keep office space clear and free of potential health and safety hazards.

Torus Measurement Systems Procurement Office Manager, Joanne Western, is delighted with the results and says: “It was a task we would have approached with dread before. When the tote boxes arrive now, it’s quite exciting. The tote boxes are also a much more environmentally friendly solution and we’re saving so much time and effort now we don’t have to recycle the cardboard.”


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