During the Christmas period we experienced some significant delays with some major suppliers, which impacted our processing times. We did work tirelessly to meet demand as stock arrived, and to bring our service levels back in-line. However, this did cause delays right through the period. Generally, we had very good planning and fill-rates for BTS and the volume of orders volumes was significant.

This year, we implemented a supply link from our Melbourne DC to process Perth customers’ promotional orders. Although this worked well, we were impacted by the train derailment (thankfully the driver survived as this was a significant accident). The section of the track where the derailment occurred was very remote – so remote, in fact, that roads had to be built to gain access to clear and salvage the wreckage! Fortunately we did not have customers’ freight on the derailed train, but we did have freight on the train behind, which became locked-in for 2 weeks as a result of the accident.

Within 6 hours of the derailment, we secured priority road freight and service resumed very quickly. This was very lucky as the derailment impacted all freight for all industries to Perth and demand for alternative transportation increased dramatically. Many of our customers were impacted and it became very difficult to provide accurate updates as we were not provided very much information ourselves. We have since negotiated a new freight agreement with a logistics partner that will offer both rail and road services, with improved prioritisation.

We are currently working through sales planning for the next 12 months to improve our timelines and service levels to customers. In part due to the recent problems above, we’ve been through a really difficult period maintaining service levels. Planning for the future is helping us to resolve delays and establish new models and systems. This planning and review is also aimed to challenge our current management capacity and supervisor structures. We have recently started this review in our Victorian operation, which has experienced a decline in the level of service provided.

Through the review we have identified some important structural changes at a supervisor level and have commenced implementing those changes immediately.

We have commenced planning for our Mid-Year promotion already and in particular we are working to improve our logistics timelines, fill rates and quality assurance.

Jason McLeod
Chief Operating Officer jason.mcleod@gnswholesale.com.au