Caroline Benton, US Market Director
Typically, when a business finds itself running behind its customer demand, the job of strengthening its supply chain operations fall on the shoulders of third-party logistics (3PL) firms. Today, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt conventional supply chain processes, organizations across multiple industry sectors are seeking 3PL partners capable of remotely offering world-class service, short lead times, and timely delivery of products and services. Naturally, the acceleration of digital adoption is driving a systemic transition for businesses with respect to adapting their supply chains to the new ‘pandemic-struck’ ecosystem. However, owing to the sudden emergence of newer safety protocols driven by the coronavirus outbreak, most 3PLs are struggling to take the next step toward replacing their existing supply chain processes with more sophisticated avenues. Addressing these challenges with its comprehensive portfolio of digital tools and expert-backed consultancy services is UK-based Unipart Logistics. “We go beyond traditional 3PL offerings and unlock digital supply chain opportunities to help our clients gain complete control of their supply chains,” says Jon Zeslawski, head of business development at Unipart Logistics.
Founded in 1987 by a management buy-out, Unipart has gathered deep industrial expertise and know-how over the years as it worked with organizations from several different market sectors, including automotive, commercial retail, and healthcare, among others. Initially started as a tier 1 manufacturer and seller of components within the automotive industry, the company has since grown to diversify into several other areas such as customer retail, healthcare, technology and more, using continuous improvement principles, including Lean and Six Sigma.
With respect to COVID-19, Unipart Logistics moved fast to implement new safety protocols ahead of the government, which further illustrates the company’s laser-focus on business continuity and customer success. In fact, at the start of the pandemic, when one of Unipart’s clients had to shut down their warehouse, the company took on all of the customer’s orders and ensured timely delivery. Consequently, The British Safety Council awarded Unipart with several accolades for its quick decision-making and adoption of stringent safety measures. A key part of successes like this is Unipart’s team of highly experienced and competent professionals, which have been cultivated on Unipart’s mantra, ‘to meet the real and perceived needs of our customers better than anyone else and serve them better than anyone else.’ To maintain their workforce’s productivity and satisfaction, the company annually benchmarks its employee engagement against leading businesses across the world and periodically implements best-in-breed engagement activities. “We have a passionate and dedicated team with top-quartile Employee Engagement scores; this leads to a lower turnover of staff and engaged people solving problems at every level, day in day out,” adds Caroline.
Currently, the company’s offerings comprise inventory optimization, lifecycle management, packing, repair, refurbishment, and consultancy services.
“Unlike conventional 3PL solution providers that offer solutions specific to certain processes, we deliver end-to-end services from warehouse management to tracking and delivery, which allows us to find innovative ways to significantly improve their supply chain operations,” explains Zeslawski. In its digital suite, the company has developed a proprietary inhouse Warehouse Management System, Digital Enterprise System (UDES), a dedicated Data Science team who use its Dragonf ly product to forecast and simulate supply chain optimization opportunities and an inventory management system, UIS. Together, these offerings support the digitalization of legacy warehouse and inventory processes, enable seamless tracking of all shipments, and ensure high-quality packaging and effective reporting of any discrepancies. At the same time, with its consultancy services, the company leverages its extensive depth of experience to help its clients truly innovate their logistics processes, thereby enhancing their ability to offer services that align with the end-consumers’ needs.
Unlike conventional 3PL solution providers that offer solutions specific to certain processes, we deliver end-to-end services from warehouse management to tracking and delivery enhanced by a growing portfolio of digital products
Highlighting the impact of Unipart’s services is a customer success story where the company assisted the distribution arm of Serck, a leading global radiator manufacturer, to upscale its inventory management. Initially, when Serck expanded its manufacturing and supply capabilities, the radiator manufacturer witnessed excess stock and slow-moving products, as well as storage discrepancies, which impeded rapid delivery to customers. Subsequently, Serck approached Unipart Logistics owing to its deep seated expertise in inventory management through long-term logistics partnerships with market leaders such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, and more. With Unipart Logistics, Serck was able to optimize ERP technology and enable review of historical sales and demand data and future planning to ensure accurate availability of saleable products. At the end of this project, Serck reduced excess stock by 16 percent while increasing the overall sales by 23 percent.
According to Caroline Benton, US Market Director at Unipart, the core of the company’s widespread customer success is its proprietary approach to operational excellence, termed ‘The Unipart Way.’ With the set of principles put under this mantra, the company offers market-leading quality, productivity, and lead time benefits to its customers. “We’re always finding ways through continuous improvement to optimize processes with the customer benefit at the heart of all that we do. The Unipart Way also enabled us to continually improve our health and safety practices to receive more awards from the British Safety Council than almost any other company in the world.” states Caroline.
Presently, Unipart is a leader in global logistics owing to its ability to create long term partnerships with its customers by going beyond traditional logistics and bringing experience, advantage, and innovation to their supply chain operations. Looking ahead, Unipart aims to continue to expand its footprint in the US over the next two years with a strong focus on digitising supply chains. “We will continue to develop our digital and technology propositions while enhancing the problem-solving capabilities in our customer centric approach,” concludes Zeslawski.