Operations management: the Wincanton way
A Wincanton case study

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Page 2: Operations

When planning a new warehouse, Wincanton must first clearly establish the client's requirements. The first major decision is where to locate the warehouse. The best location will depend on factors such as:

  • the ease of access to transport links such as motorways, rail networks, ports and airports
  • costs e.g. land prices
  • the availability of a suitable workforce.

When developing the warehouse, Wincanton has various options. It can:

  • develop an existing facility
  • build a new, specially designed facility
  • share facilities within an existing warehouse.

Wincanton will discuss with its client the costs and time required to deliver each of these options.

As part of its service to clients, Wincanton will:

  • decide whether to buy the land and facilities or to lease them
  • organise insurance for the warehouse and goods
  • manage contractors during the building phase to ensure completion on time and within budget
  • develop, introduce and manage a Health and Safety plan (including staff training)
  • handle the transfer of the client's existing operations to this new facility if required
  • test the system before "going live". This may involve running an old system and a new system in parallel until all risks associated with the switch-over are fully understood and completely under control.

It is clear from this that setting up a new warehouse facility is a complex project requiring specialist skills for its successful completion.

Project management tools, such as critical path (or network) analysis, help to organise activities in the right order. They also enable managers to focus on the key activities that must not be allowed to over-run. These critical activities have no float time - even the slightest delay with them would cause delay to the whole project.

Wincanton | Operations management: the Wincanton way