Judged by the industry’s leading experts, these new awards are dedicated to the retail supply chain network, but who was nominated and which companies snagged the top prizes?

Distribution Development sponsored by Yusen Group

Category Winner - Travis Perkins

The warehouse is the core of a wider project that reinvented an end-to-end supply chain approach for bulky, complex and low value building materials, from supplier through to branch. The retailer has used the warehouse to maximum effectiveness to add value, improve customer service and competitiveness and to achieve all this while controlling costs and investments during a recession. Travis Perkins won for the concept of a regional heavyside Customer Range Centre (CRC) – which offered a next day service for customer orders – to maintain high availability for collection by customers, to “point” branches to the CRC or direct to suppliers and to avoid double handling products where the hub would not add value.

Also nominated:

  • Gazeley for B&Q
  • Gazeley for Tesco

Green Supply Chain Initiative sponsored by Damco

Category Winner - Puma

Puma’s Environmental Profit and Loss Account (EP&L) represents a shift in how companies can account for and, ultimately how they can deal with and integrate the impacts of business on the environment into their business model. Puma’s initial EP&L looked at the environmental impacts caused by emissions and water consumption as these were considered to cause the most significant impacts. Puma applied this approach to measuring and costing its use of ecosystem services and its ecological footprint as the initial step to measuring the full economic impact on ecosystem services across the company’s entire supply chain. The judges praised it for assessing its environmental footprint in the broadest possible sense.

Also nominated:

  • DHL for BAA Heathrow Consolidation Centre
  • Superdrug Stores

Multichannel project sponsored by Hermes

Category Winner - Clipper Logistics with John Lewis

Clipper Logistics has been working in partnership with John Lewis since January 2010, providing an e-fulfilment clothing solution from its 500,000 sq ft Centre of e-fulfilment Excellence facility. Clipper was approached to manage John Lewis’ entire online clothing requirement, with the challenge to commence live operations in just 14 weeks. The Clipper ‘go live’ launch was a seamless operation, completed significantly ahead of target and quicker than the industry standard. This project was praised by the judges for making a success of a particularly challenging type of project, and working very quickly to deliver results for the retailer.

Also nominated:

  • Sony Europe
  • Wincanton with Marks & Spencer

Online Fulfilment sponsored by BLG logistics

Category Winner - Shutl for Argos

Delivery is still the single biggest inhibiter to online retailers. Shutl has solved this problem by providing two innovative options – ‘Shutl Now’ for immediately delivery in as little as 90 minutes, or ‘Shutl Later’, selecting a convenient one hour delivery window, same-day or any-day. In August 2010, Argos began a trial of Shutl’s delivery options; the service was offered to their ‘Check and Reserve’ customers across 12 London stores. In February 2011 Shutl successfully completed the six-month pilot and the service is being rolled out across the wider store network. The judges said that this project has broken the mould and that products such as Shutl are shaping the next stage in the evolution of the supply chain.

Also nominated:

  • CitySprint
  • Clipper Logistics for John Lewis
  • Collect+ for Asos

Sourcing Initiative sponsored by Kurt Salmon

Category Winner - Yusen Logistics for Kingfisher

Kingfisher continues to grow as a multichannel retailer, making innovative and cost-effective routes to market pivotal to its sustained growth in DIY retail. With a kitchen sales promotion planned for its Brico Depot stores in France, Kingfisher turned to Yusen Logistics for a solution. Using Kingfisher’s knowledge of the DIY sector and Yusen Logistics’ supply chain expertise, an innovative solution was designed that challenged the traditional purchasing channels for kitchen components.

Rather than buying domestically, the designed solution enabled all kitchen components to be purchased from the low-cost sourcing region of South China and packed at origin as a single kitchen for delivery direct to store. The project was the first of its kind and was a sell-out success for Brico Depot. The venture also allowed product damage and obsolescence to be almost entirely removed.

Also nominated:

  • Coop Cooperative (Switzerland)
  • TradeStone Software for JD Williams

Supply Chain Technology sponsored by Clipper Logistics

Category Winner - Gist for retailers including Waitrose

Gist has recently introduced a unique, custom built scheduling package, known as GistDXS, to plan its multi-nodal UK primary distribution network. GistDXS is a step-change is supply chain technology, automating the complex manual decisions traditionally made by planners. The software schedules in live time, conservatively assessing more than a billion combinations of vehicle, capacity and timeline constraints each day, and can confidently be claimed to have been ‘solving the unsolvable’ 24 hours a day since its introduction. The software is given the goal of minimising cost while maximising successful automatic scheduling to the final point of receipt and complying with all supply chain rules.

Also nominated:

  • Boots UK
  • Damco UK
  • Toyota Material Handling

Supply Chain Team sponsored by Ligentia

Category Winner - World Duty Free

World Duty Free’s small supply chain team deals with a unique set of supply chain challenges, which over the past year have included volcanic disruption, industrial action and adverse weather conditions, as well as ongoing heightened sensitivity to security, seasonality, bonded goods and a diversity of customers.

Over the space of 18 months annualised stock turn was improved from under five (75 days) to the current 7.02 turns (52 days.) Over £10m of working capital has been freed up. End-to-end supply chain efficiency has been done in an agile way – the supply chain for each supplier has been mapped and well documented.

Also nominated:

  • DHL and Homebase
  • Dixons Retail
  • Travis Perkins

Supply chain project sponsored by Unipart

Category Winner - The Co-operative Food with Manhattan Associates

The integration programme of the Somerfield business and the Co-operative Food Supply Chain had set a challenge of over 500 store conversions, transforming stores to The Co-operative brand and systems. During the year the team implemented ‘depot in depot’ solutions to provide much needed short-term capacity. The teams then delivered the ‘swaps’ solution, enabling any depot to service any store fascia, regardless of IT systems. The judges thought this project stood out as one where a massive transformation has taken place. The risks were high, but it’s been done successfully and delivered real business benefits.

Also nominated:

  • Best Buy
  • Boots UK
  • Gist for Eat

Third Party Logistics provider sponsored by Bis

Category Winner - Collect+

Returns are a vital part of the online logistics picture, and until recently the only way for a customer to make a return was via Royal Mail, which many customers, such as those who work full time, found inconvenient. During 2010 Collect + commercially launched an alternative returns service for online, mail and phone order retailers enabling customers to return their order via a local corner shop.

 Convenience is guaranteed by ensuring that there is a Collect + outlet within one mile of most people in the UK, and by giving the customer a choice of pre-paid or post-paid. Both Asos and M and M Direct are using Collect + – the choice of payment options, clarity of pricing and convenience of the systems means that these retailers and several other major online retailers see Collect + as a key part of the returns equation. The judges believe that the multichannel age is changing logistics and this innovative company points the way in which logistics is heading.

Also nominated:

  • Clipper Logistics Group
  • Damco UK
  • DPD UK
  • Wincanton

Transport Initiative sponsored by Red Prairie

Category Winner - DHL Supply Chain with Marks & Spencer

Historically Marks & Spencer transported hanging garments to Scotland via road, as the cost of a round trip journey using rail would be far more expensive. The containers would have to be returned as the only racking suitable for hanging garments was difficult to assemble or needed to be permanently fixed to the container. These solutions were not cost effective or environmentally friendly so a new solution had to be found.

The solution was designed by a project team within DHL including engineers, loaders and unloaders, healthy and safety staff and drivers. The solution, dubbed ‘The Rail Kit’, allowed the loading teams to assemble the kit quickly and safely in the containers. The kit is fully re-usable and is disassembled when it reaches its destination. 

The project was a huge success and allowed roughly 25 trailer loads per week to be transferred from road to rail. The project significantly reduced environmental impacts, removed five vehicles per week from the roads, provides an opportunity for the Rail Freight Industry and provides retail benefits for Marks & Spencer by making £158,000 a year cost savings on transport. The judges praised the project as a genuinely innovative solution, which has delivered real cost benefits and environmental benefits too.

Also nominated:

  • Travis Perkins

Supply Chain Leader of the Year sponsored by Norbert Dentressangle

Category Winner - Dino Rocos, operations director, John Lewis

Retail Week did not invite entries for this category, but the winner was decided upon by the judging panel of leading supply chain directors of major retailers. This group of his peers wanted to recognise Dino Rocos, an unsung hero in the transformation of John Lewis into a model of modern retailing.

Rocos is a Partnership veteran, having spent 35 years in the organisation, 25 of those in logistics. The department store chain’s logistics operation has been transformed in recent years, and an efficient and responsive supply chain has been vital in its emergence as a leader of multichannel retailing.

He is a man who is passionate and committed to the role of logistics in retailing and takes pride in having changed the perception of it from being a “necessary evil” to “a critical function which adds real value”.

The judges recognised his huge contribution to the success of John Lewis. “He’s done a hell of a lot for John Lewis – it’s been a sustained effort on his part for many years,” said one judge, while another summed it up by saying “a lot of the success of John Lewis is down to logistics”.

Grand Prix Award sponsored by Ligentia

Category Winner - Co-operative Group

The Co-op’s acquisition of Somerfield was one of the biggest retail deals of recent years and involved a huge logistics transformation. With disparate systems, and a network that was close to capacity, this was not just about integration, but coming up with a best-in-class solution for the merged business, which gave it an efficient platform for future growth, and did so in a tight time frame.

The judges felt that the scale of the changes and their effective implementation really stood out as a uniquely noteworthy achievement in the supply chain world over the past year and deserved special recognition. It is a fine example of the pivotal role of the supply chain in retail businesses and of where it can make a real difference in transforming an organisation.