Gideon Hillman Consulting, an Industry Award Winning business established in 2004, is one of the UKs leading Supply Chain and Logistics Consultancies servicing clients throughout the UK and Europe.

Gideon Hillman
Managing Director, Gideon Hillman, Consulting

Our head office is in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, 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 250 plus clients who range from SMEs to major corporations and public sector organisations. Gideon Hillman, Managing Director at Gideon Hillman Consulting, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.

WLN – What are your best-known products and services?

We are widely recognised as one of (if not the) leading Logistics and Distribution Network Design and Warehouse / Distribution Centre design and process optimisation specialist consultancies in the UK.

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 – Which market sectors and countries 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.

The fastest growing route to market is ecommerce and therefore e-fulfilment in most sectors and in the last 12 months we have been working for them in the UK, Poland, Cyprus, Germany and East Africa.

WLN – Who are your major customers and what do you do for them?

In 2017 we have added some great new clients to our already established portfolio including Beiersdorf, Knighton Foods, KP Snacks, Zorbas Bakeries, Bestway, Travis Perkins PLC, Wiggle, Hallis Hudson, Scope, LED Group, Annaghmore, PEPCO (part of the Steinhoff International Group), Equip Outdoor Technologies, PJH Group, Accolade Wines, Johnstone Logistics, Drystack, Weston Homes PLC, Otter Nurseries, Swift Industrial Supplies, Import Services, The Pen Shop and NGK Spark Plugs (UK).

This is in addition to more project work for our existing clients including British Gypsum, Greene King, NISA Retail, Diageo, Srixon Sports, Menzies Distribution, ABB and Diageo. 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; and Warehouse and Traffic Management System Operational Requirements Specifications.

WLN – How do your services benefit your customers’ businesses?

We can quickly identify the reasons behind a sub-optimised 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 – Why should customers choose you as their main supplier in your area?

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 all for a fixed cost. 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 – What’s business been like in the past year? How have conditions changed over this period and how have you reacted?

We have once again experienced significant growth in the last 12 months in what is becoming a more competitive market. Despite this we have achieved in excess of 25% year on year revenue growth in 2017 on the previous 12 months.

The growth for us has been greatest in the Logistics Network Design and Warehousing side of the business particularly within 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 a similar level of growth in 2015 and 2016, having 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. Our business strategy developed over the last 24 months which includes investment into the right people, systems and infrastructure, which always pays off when implemented and managed correctly.

WLN – How have you fine-tuned your offering in the last 12 months and why?

We are always looking at innovative ways of adding to our service offering and ensure we keep on top of all current and future developments in technology and trends within the industry. 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 are constantly refining what we do and identifying client needs and requirements to manage continual improvement.

Whatever we do we focus on and remain true to our established core values:

• To be the best we can be through the delivery of pragmatic and implementable solutions to our clients.

• To engage fully with our clients and to be as passionate about their business as we are about our own.

• To be the first port of call when our clients need specialist expertise to help achieve their objectives.

• To maintain our reputation for providing real and measurable value in our client’s Supply Chain

WLN – What recent enhancements have you made in customer service?

We are in the process of implementing our developed strategy to enhance the whole customer experience of working with us right through from initial enquiry to successful completion of a project and of course continuing to repeat business with our clients. This includes much improved software systems and customer focused support staff.

We have successfully implemented the new HubSpot CRM and Sales Pro system to enhance our business and project management capabilities and provide a much more efficient client interface.

WLN – What new products and services have you brought out?

This year we have successfully started to use our 3D warehouse simulation for implementing and routing of robots in the warehouse environment for specific clients. We are continuing to develop and refine various Inventory models and also continue to enhance ‘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 – Are you investing in new premises and extra staff? What about staff development and training?

As previously mentioned we are implementing our enhanced customer service strategy and as part of this we are in the process of hiring a Commercial Manager to join the senior team in early 2018 and have moved to bigger offices to accommodate the office based and improved client focused team supporting our consultants and clients. Our Marketing Executive, Natasha Raymond have just completed her first year with us during which she has successfully gained her Certification of ‘Digital Marketing Award’ from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and in addition is now Sales Software Certified by the HubSpot Academy.

WLN – Are you involved in any major trade shows or other industry events over the next year?

We currently have stands booked at IntraLogistex at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry and a at Multimodal at the NEC 2018. In addition, we are already booked in for IMHX in 2019.

WLN – What big news from Gideon Hillman can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News in 2018?

We always have service and system developments in the pipeline and no doubt some of these will be released during 2018, of which we will of course keep you and your readers informed!

WLN – And finally, if you had to sum up your company in a tweet what would it be?

@gidhillman – The #Logistics #supplychain & #warehousing #specialistconsultants

GIDEON HILLMAN

01926 430 883

info@hillman-consulting.co.uk

www.hillman-consulting.co.uk