Consolidation of operations and site closures are not easy tasks for any business. Yodel, the UK’s leading parcel delivery service, knew this when it embarked on a strategic operational review. The company was formed when Home Delivery Network Limited acquired DHL Domestic and rebranded as Yodel. Both original companies had numerous service centres throughout the UK, resulting in duplication in some areas. It made sound business sense to close some of these sites and expand others in order to focus operations and remove excess cost.
With around half the sites closing the remaining centres had to be adapted to handle the increase in parcel throughput and maintain service levels. It was at this point that Sovex was commissioned to adapt each site with minimal disruption, identifying and designing the conveyor’s requirements and configurations at optimum cost. In order to ensure a smooth transition it was essential that the project was delivered on time.
The Sovex Solution
Sovex engineers visited every service centre and presented a cost effective plan to meet the future needs of each site. In consultation with Yodel’s Engineering and Operational teams, Sovex identified the material handling equipment requirements and designed the optimal configuration to maximise parcel throughput within the limited space available in the Yodel service centres. Every design was approved by Yodel project team and the service centre manager (the end user) as part of Sovex’s management process.
Due to the scale of the project, Sovex set up a special project team dedicated to ensuring the smooth transition of operations. Over a period of eight months, parcel volume was transferred from closing sites and relocated to the new network. This required daily reviews by the Sovex project team to avoid any disruption to existing services. Not a single day of business was lost due to the transition from one site to another.
As part of the project Sovex designed and installed a variety of telescopic boom conveyors, lineshaft conveyors, mobile conveyors and vehicle loaders. Existing equipment was also relocated from site closures. Each service centre received the correct quantity and combination of machinery to efficiently service its projected throughput as cost effectively as possible.
“Sovex was key to the development of our new network, modifying 44 sites in total. They delivered on time, to brief and budget and enabled a smooth transition of our parcel volumes without impact to our service levels.”
Ken O’Rahilly, National Service Centre Director, Yodel