Gideon Hillman Consulting, an Industry Award Winning Business established in 2004, is one of the UK’s leading Supply Chain and Logistics Consultancies servicing clients throughout the UK and Europe. It is an ISO 9001:2008 registered company, a recognised member practice of the Institute of Consulting and a corporate member of UKWA.
Our head office is in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, (close to Birmingham and Coventry) supporting a team of consultants highly experienced in all aspects of Supply Chain and Logistics Operations; Distribution Network Strategy Development; Warehousing Operations, e-fulfilment and Distribution Centre Design.
We are proud of our team, and our approach, in providing clear and concise project deliverables with fact-based pragmatic solutions to our clients who range from SMEs to major corporations and public sector organisations.
WLN – As a top Consultancy supplier, what have conditions been like in the past year for your business?
2016 has been outstanding for us with another 46% year on year revenue growth on the previous 12 months. The growth for us has been greatest in the Logistics Network Design and Warehousing side of the business particularly in the e-commerce, FMCG, Retail and Construction sectors; which is consistent with the developments in the UK Logistics and Warehousing sector. Adapting to the steep increase in business has been easier for us this year as we had already experienced the same level of growth in 2015 and had therefore implemented the resource and strategic infrastructure to react quickly to new and existing client demands and the increases in the number and size of projects undertaken.
This year is yielding record results every quarter and has proven that our business strategy developed over the last 24 months which includes investment into the right people, systems and infrastructure will always pay off if implemented and managed correctly.
However, that does not diminish the effort and hard work that each individual team member has contributed to meet each challenge head on and we have successfully managed that level of business and ensured customer satisfaction.
WLN – How have recent international developments affected you and how have you responded?
Some of our clients in the UK that rely on imported goods, components and finished products are feeling the impact on the sterling exchange rate. However there has been no direct negative knock on effect to us of the dreaded ‘B’ word. Let’s face it apart from exchange rates nothing has changed yet and it may not at all, or at least not for a very long time, with the recent High Court ruling that the UK government must consult MPs before triggering Article 50 to leave the EU.
This seems to have left everyone wondering what will happen next, apart from the Bank of England which at the beginning of November announced that it expects inflation to hit 2.7% in 2017 and increased its prediction for economic growth from 0.8% to 1.4% for 2017, but cutting the 2018 forecast from 1.8% to 1.5%. We have noticed an increase in international enquires and have successfully secured more overseas business. This may or may not be a direct correlation with the international developments and exchange rates – we don’t really know; however, I would guess it is more about our increased brand awareness as we continue to grow.
We can respond to our clients’ requirements as they themselves are affected by international developments; as with any economic change impacting a business there are usually new challenges for logistics networks and supply chain operations that need addressing.
WLN – What are your flagship products and services?
We are widely recognised as one of (if not the) leading Logistics and Distribution Network Design and Warehouse / Distribution Centre design specialist consultancies in the UK, having been finalists for seven industry awards in the last few years (two of which in 2016) and the 2016 Winner of The UKWA Technical Innovation Award.
Our standing in the market is verified and validated by the numerous customer testimonials that we have and that can be seen on our website and the major brand names within our client portfolio.
WLN – What makes you the ‘go to’ supplier in your category?
We are known for our ‘hands-on’ approach and ability to provide strategic solutions through an analytical and practical process, with a strong bias towards resource optimisation and manageable implementation.
Through an operational focused approach, we provide practical and implementable solutions with the lowest investment options considered first. For example, if someone needs a warehouse improved, we don’t consider full or part automation until we first ensure that the manual operation is optimised. Once that cannot be improved any further, we then consider whether alternatives such as automation will make any improvement and provide an acceptable return on investment for the client.
The analysis and solutions specific to client requirements are presented with clear and concise rationale and where appropriate costed and tested.
WLN – How do you help customers improve their business performance?
We can quickly identify the reasons a suboptimised complete logistics network or single warehouse. Once the reasons have been identified then we develop the optimal solution and support the client with implementation on the basis that the client takes ownership for the ongoing strategy. This is a critical part of clients improving business performance. We can provide them with the strategy and the tools and they must embrace the changes as after all it is their business.
WLN – How have you changed your offering to customers in the last 12 months and why? Have you added anything new?
This links directly to your question about helping customers improve their business performance as we are always looking at innovative ways of adding to our service offering. This does not detract from (on the contrary it enhances) our core areas of expertise in reviewing current process and operations and developing strategy and solutions for all aspects of Supply Chain and Logistics.
We don’t change our core offering and message to clients as the basic principles and factors that make up successful logistics operations remain constant; however, we have developed, tested and launched two software tools this year to help identify needs and requirements and to manage continual improvement.
Firstly, in March 2016 we launched our Award-Winning App ‘The Warehouse Auditor’ which negates the need for paper and /or PC based auditing and among many features provides photographic evidence based auditing using a smart phone or tablet on Android, IOS and Windows platforms.
The second development this year has been another software tool ‘The Resource Optimiser’ Activity Based Planning Tool which enables the forward forecasting of labour requirements for all functions within Warehouse and Distribution Centre (DC) operations. By producing a long term labour forecast the recruitment process can be managed efficiently and eliminates the need for immediate knee-jerk reaction to flex capability.
WLN – Which markets are your customers in? Which ones are growing fastest?
We continue to work across a range of industries with clients in Multi-channel Retail (including e-commerce), FMCG, Drinks Retail, Food Processing and Production, Utilities and Construction, General Industrial and Manufacturing, Third Party Logistics and Outsourcing, Automotive and Aerospace and the Public Sector.
WLN – Can you name some of your major customers and tell us what do you do for them?
In 2016 we have added some great new clients to our already established portfolio including Greene King, NISA Retail, Diageo, Sofology, Kerry Group, WICOR Group, Menzies Distribution, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery, Fine Décor Wallcoverings, Home Innovations, Coach House, Frequency Telecom, John Pointon & Sons, XL Joinery, APD, Bryson Products, National Autistic Society, Conwy Borough Council, Supreme Imports and PD Bannister Haulage.
This is in addition to more project work for our existing clients including British Gypsum, The Cooperative Group, Premier Foods, Wall Family Europe, Brewed by Hand, DASCO Shoe Care, Electrium and PWS Distributors.
As usual the types of projects we have carried out have been varied and all well within our core areas of expertise including Optimised distribution network design and appropriate cost modelling; Logistics Network Centre of Gravity Analysis to optimise resource and infrastructure; Multiple and individual Distribution Centre capacity assessments and Vehicle fleet profiling and resource requirements aligned with DC and customer requirements; new build design and re-configuration of existing warehouse, picking and distribution facilities; Optimised facility design/ layout, handling practices and workflows; Cost to serve, travel times and pick rate modelling to support the optimised layouts and workflows; Automation and Materials Handling Systems design, development, and implementation management; Warehouse and inventory management techniques to optimise workflow and costs; Optimised target inventories (holding cost vs. ordering cost vs. service); Tactical stock location(s) and picking strategies; Improved demand forecasting to allow for optimised inventories; Warehouse and Traffic Management System Operational Requirements Specifications.
WLN – How important is staff development and training to your growth and are you taking on more people?
With over 12 years of consistent growth, well over 200 clients and more than 600 projects Gideon Hillman Consulting reached its twelve-year anniversary in October this year.
Our strategy for the last 24 months has been one of expansion in our office support team and investment into improved IT infrastructure. We have standardised the collaborative working relationships with our suppliers making the whole business more efficient as we continue to grow year on year. We have grown the core team and supporting infrastructure this year, including the recent addition of an experienced Marketing Executive, to ensure that we can continue to maintain the increase in demand and expectations of our clients. With all of this going on training and staff development is crucial and a continual process as we develop.
WLN – Which major trade shows and other industry events are you involved in over the next year?
We currently have a stand booked at IntraLogisteX at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry in March 2017 and a stand at Multimodal at the NEC in April.
We sponsored the UKWA National Conference in 2016 and will look to do that again for the next one subject to confirmation of dates from UKWA.
WLN – What headline news from Gideon Hillman Consulting can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News in 2017?
We always have service and system developments in the pipeline and no doubt some of these will be released during 2017 and will of course keep you and your readers informed!
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