Halspan is one of the world’s leading suppliers of quality door components. In the early 1990s the company developed an entirely new way of constructing a door using door blanks made from 3-layer particle board. The door blanks are delivered to a network of distributors throughout the UK who, in turn, supply them to door manufacturers to convert into finished doors.
When Halspan was in need of a centrally based UK distributor and logistics facility, they found that the best and most cost effective solution was to take out a three year contract with the Widdowson Group based in Glenfield, Leicester.
Since the start of the contract, Widdowson has become the main UK haulier for Halspan. Many thousands of blanks are delivered by the company’s suppliers or collected by Widdowson and stored in its 550,000 sq ft of modern warehousing every month.
A centrally located logistics facility
Alistair Martindale is the UK Sales Manager of Halspan, he explains, “Before working with Widdowson all stock went from the port of Harwich to our main stockholder nearby in the town. Our business however, is pretty much spread all around the UK so it made more sense to have a centrally based logistics function to supply our customers.
“I had looked at several other options of haulage companies that were near to the Harwich port, but it was swings and roundabouts – the delivery costs of going from there up to our customers in Manchester or Liverpool negated any savings that we might have been making.”
Handle with care
“It was very important for Widdowson to understand how our stock has to be handled, the separate stock lines that we run and the difficulties some of our customers have with receiving the goods.
“Our product is quite heavy and difficult to manoeuvre and in the past we have suffered with damage problems. But Widdowson has done a fantastic job so far, especially considering that the company is usually storing in the region of £1.5m worth of stock for us.
“Not only are our door blanks hard to move, they are also very susceptible to temperature change and moisture content. Consequently, it was vital that we had a facility that was clean, dry and maintained at a fairly constant temperature. I was very impressed with the operation and facilities Widdowson had to offer,” adds Martindale.
Flexible collection and delivery
“Widdowson has the capability to deliver either full or part loads, and they even allow our customers to collect from them,” concludes Martindale. “This is very helpful as some clients don’t want to hold stock of door blanks like they used to; for cash flow purposes they just want to collect them as and when they are needed.
“The company’s administrative operation is very good too; on the rare occasion that a problem does occur they give us instant feedback. Overall we are more than happy with the logistics service we receive from Widdowson.”
John Hawksworth, Commercial Director of the Widdowson Group comments, “Over time we have built a close and productive relationship with Halspan and we are continually looking for opportunities to improve the efficiencies of their warehousing and distribution operation.”
The Widdowson Group transport division offers national distribution from one pallet to a full load either on a dedicated, contractual, shared user or ad hoc basis. Its modern fleet is in excess of 120 vehicles which extends from panic vans to 44 tonne artics and includes almost 200 trailers.
A.M. Widdowson & Son
Tel: 0116 232 2666