front-nov1508.jpgWelcome to the 15 November Warehouse & Logistics News. With Christmas looming, it’s the busiest time of year for many readers. So here’s to all of you out there working flat out to keep the supply chain moving smoothly for Christmas 2008 in warehouses, distribution centres and all points in between. For children Father Christmas is of course the ultimate parcel carrier, delivering presents to the whole world in just one night. But the reality is that parcel carriers work hard all year round, and in the present climate face ever growing pressure to perform. In our interview City Link, the express parcel carrier, is undergoing a new lease of life as part of Rentokil Initial and is midway through a £2.5 million investment in IT. As IT Director Linda van As reports, this marks an exciting new development, putting the infrastructure in place to meet customers’ future needs.

Warehousing and logistics is all about customer service and performance. We’ve got two features, Security and Single Source Suppliers, to help you work smarter and faster. ‘Single Source Suppliers’ as diverse as Stanley Handling, Witron, FKI Logistex, A-Plant and HSS Group share the common goal of helping customers work better by providing broad product portfolios that reduce time spent in selection and sourcing of essential products and equipment. As Jerry Woodhouse, MD – FKI Logistex Europe, puts it, cost-down is always a major focus for customers, but has gained a sharper edge in recent months.

Climate change initiatives to reduce energy consumption have been given added impetus by rising energy costs, and the recent change in the economic climate has galvanised customers to search for additional ways to minimise overheads.Single-source suppliers’ commitment to service pays dividends: both A-Plant and FTSE-250 listed parent company Ashtead Group continue to out-perform the market. Their 2007/8 turnover hit £214.8m and operating profits increased 46% to £30.2m. Long may it continue!In hard times, companies want to protect their assets, as our second feature, Security, bears out.

According to Xtralis the convergence of physical security and IT across the security market is a ‘very powerful’ trend, driving more organisations to seek IT-friendly solutions that integrate with their existing networks and leverage their previous investments. Meanwhile employees and visitors’ physical security remains crucial and many blue chip companies are turning to Castell Safety International’s Salvo system to provide loading bay safety by preventing unscheduled vehicle departure.We’re back on December 15 with our Review of The Year: meanwhile, have a good month, and stay smiling.

Charles Smith

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