Current Issues

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Stowga helps get chicken back in stores after fixing KFC warehouse issue

26-Feb-2018
Stowga helps get chicken back in stores after fixing KFC warehouse issue
The #KFCCrisis may be an ongoing disaster for the nation, but for one UK-based startup it’s been a chance to test its technology to solve a very real world problem.

Stowga was contacted late on Tuesday night by a property consultant with an urgent enquiry on behalf of one of their clients. The question asked was whether Stowga could find a number of warehouses up and down the country 'at short notice'.

“How short?” asked Chief Commercial Officer Sanjeev Jeyakumar.

“Three days ago” came the reply.

This small startup has just had its ultimate test case. Stowga is an online warehouse marketplace allowing customers to access on-demand warehousing and logistics services which can be scaled up and down dynamically. By making warehousing a service, Stowga removes the static, long-term nature of real estate and in doing so allows its customers to build entirely fluid supply chains.

KFC uploaded its logistics requirements into Stowga’s platform which immediately located hundreds of potential sites across the UK and notified the managers of those warehouses. Within minutes bids came in for the business and within hours KFC had viable options for a freshly designed temporary network. The first location, near Bristol will become operational today with the others coming online over the next few days. KFC lovers can sleep easy tonight.

The interesting thing is what will be learnt from the fiasco. Experts have debated the causes for how this could happen, and likely it will be down to a series of unfortunate events, but the general consensus is that the reliance by DHL, KFC’s logistics partner, on one single warehouse for nationwide distribution and a lack of contingency planning is to blame. Both of these things could have been prevented by using the on-demand warehouse model.

Distributed warehousing is fast becoming an essential part of retailers supply chain strategy. The driver? Amazon. The incredible logistics network Amazon has developed to enable next day or even same day delivery has put enormous pressure on other retailers to compete.

When it comes to warehouses, the customers aren’t going to change, the geography isn’t going to change, traffic on the roads is not likely to get better - even with autonomous vehicles. So if delivery times are going to be reduced there’s only one way this can go - more distributed, regional warehouses so that the product is closer to the end customer to start with. The on-demand model allows retailers to ‘activate’ distribution hubs near customer demand, and switch it off if that demand dries up. The added bonus of the distributed model is that it removes the single source of failure issue. This leads us to contingency planning.

Because Stowga’s technology allows instant search and streamlined payments but without forcing customers in to long term leases, it gives game-changing flexibility to create new supply chains in very short time frames. This means companies can react very quickly to events such as a fashion trend or a stock market crash - or in KFC’s case, a motorway crash near its logistics partner’s only dedicated depot.

To plan for unknown unknowns, supply-chain strategists talk about running a ‘bimodal’ supply-chain strategy:

Mode 1: Designed for stability and operational efficiency.

Mode 2: Designed for agility, innovation and flexibility.

Almost every element of the supply chain is short-term and flexible, like planes, trains and automobiles. Traditional warehousing is not but the on-demand model is - which enables warehousing to be part of the bimodal strategy. It allows businesses to switch it on and off at short notice…and business will continue as usual. When disaster strikes those that can react quickest will do best. Running a purely Mode 1 supply chain designed purely to be rigid does not allow for any flexibility should disaster strike.

As boardrooms across the country ask themselves what they can learn from KFC what you know for sure is that warehousing as a service has come at the perfect time.

The Time to Modernize Your Artwork Management is Now
3 days ago
It’s time to bin receipts: ParcelHero calls for an end to wasteful paper receipts
5 days ago
Ocado sales jump thanks to 'automation done right'
6 days ago
Preparing your employees for Industry 4.0
6 days ago
How Do Product and Shipping Labels Affect Brand Visibility?
1 week ago
How will Brexit affect the events industry?
1 week ago
100 days to Christmas - ParcelCompare says it’s never too early to start planning those presents and orders
1 week ago
It’s time to blow up your business model and switch to DTC
1 week ago
How retailers can survive the death of the high street
1 week ago
ClickSoftware Announces Recent Customer Wins, Product Updates and Industry Accolades
1 week ago
Deloitte increases its focus on AI & Marketing Technology through new acquisition
1 week ago
How Centralized Labeling Helps QA Departments
1 week ago
How IoT is Changing the Waste Water Industry
1 week ago
M&A can put quality compliance at risk
2 weeks ago
Chinese traders must pay fair postal charges or more British retailers will collapse
2 weeks ago
Enhance real-time visibility across your operation with a proof of delivery system
2 weeks ago
Snapfulfil publishes top five tips for winning at warehousing
2 weeks ago
Government’s no-deal Brexit advice papers ‘are the equivalent of “duck and cover” nuclear warnings’
1 month ago
Brexit and Stockpiling: What’s the answer?
1 month ago
Peak? Which peak?
1 month ago
Empowering Your Supply Chain Workforce: 3 Tips for Manufacturing Directors
1 month ago
64 per cent of manufacturers rate their shop-floor IT capabilities as just average, weak or non-existent
1 month ago
The supply chain lessons of the modern grocer
1 month ago
Time to mitigate the risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit?
1 month ago
App Insights: How can artificial intelligence innovate supply chain management?
1 month ago
Managing Technological Change Without any Supply Chain Disruption
1 month ago
Moody’s Blues for House of Fraser; but Website Failings are Just as Damaging
1 month ago
Artificial Intelligence: What’s Now And Next In IoT-driven Supply Chain Innovation
1 month ago
Indiana Jones and the supply chain bullwhip effect
1 month ago
How Enterprise Labeling Helps You Conquer Regulatory Challenges
1 month ago
3 Tips for Empowering Millennial Warehouse Workers
1 month ago
More robots means easier delivery - but what about the infrastructure?
1 month ago
Safety in the warehouse: Five key risk areas for 360-degree protection
2 months ago
Automotive resilience, not just airbags and crash tests, but IT too
2 months ago
New High Street panel is facing a race against a terminal diagnosis
2 months ago
Delivering the supply chain revolution
2 months ago
A market of one: the potential of the personalized supply chain
2 months ago
5 EIS rules you are probably not aware of
2 months ago
TMS: an enterprise priority
2 months ago
Labeling Solutions for Global Expansion
2 months ago
Prime Day will be a $1.6bn loss-leader creating millions more Prime members, says e-commerce expert
2 months ago
Say what? The new possibilities of voice and machine driven retail
2 months ago
‘Peak faith’ in the cloud only 12-18 months away with slump to follow, warns 6point6 Cloud Gateway
2 months ago
As you were for UK manufacturing sector, but new business growth at three month high
2 months ago
Back to IoT basics: Automating outcomes to improve customer experience
2 months ago
Investigation of the "Fast Fashion" impact
2 months ago
Redefining Rental for Materials Handling Equipment
3 months ago
With the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP Creates “A Completely Different Kind of Flexibility”
3 months ago
The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link
3 months ago