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The veterinary wholesaler

Founded in 1989, NVS is now the largest veterinary wholesaler in the UK, with over 460 employees and a market share in excess of 40 per cent.

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The company offers 18,000 product lines; everything that vets use on a day to day basis from washing up liquid and cans of soft drink through to flea powder, pharmaceuticals and controlled drugs. NVS delivers daily to around 1950 vets’ practices throughout the UK.

An efficient warehousing, logistics and trunking operation is at the heart of NVS’s success and the company’s UK supply chain model is based on a National Distribution Centre (NDC) near Stoke on Trent which feeds nine smaller hubs strategically located from Larkhall to Tiverton.

The materials handling and storage operation at the Stoke on Trent NDC recently underwent a major restructuring process which has resulted in significant improvements in picking efficiency and productivity, as well as a reduction in manpower.

“With the growth of the business we needed to look at capacities within the warehousing operation. We recognized the bulk warehouse as an area that could be improved from an efficiency perspective. Jungheinrich helped us to develop and implement a plan to achieve this” says Danny Roberts, NVS’s Logistics Manager.

With help from Jungheinrich UK Ltd’s Systems & Projects Division, Danny undertook an extensive stock profiling process before reengineering the existing racking to offer different beam heights throughout the store based on the dimensions of the palletized loads stored. An additional 200 pallet locations were created this way.

Picking efficiency was further increased with the introduction of Jungheinrich high and low level order pickers.

The low level order pickers have reduced the need for manual handling and have resulted in faster throughput. In some cases, staff are now picking up to 33% quicker than they were using the manual system.

The introduction of the low level order pickers has also coincided with a dramatic reduction in absenteeism at the site. “Our staff’s work has become significantly less physically demanding and sickness has dropped notably as a result,” says Danny.

Jungheinrich supplied NVS with a fleet of 12 EKS 110 medium level order pickers.

The EKS 110 is an ideal truck for stock-picking between the first and third levels. The platform and load section can be raised up to a height of 1000 mm which allows for picking up to a height of 2800 mm.

Jungheinrich UK Ltd

Tel: 01908 363100