Meeting customer need during a pandemic is a situation most hope to never find their business in. Add to that, the product was amongst those most in demand and you have a perfect storm.

Sofidel Group has been operating for over 50 years and produces more than one million tonnes of paper every year. It is one of the leading manufacturers of paper for hygienic and domestic use worldwide (including toilet paper and kitchen towels) and is well known for a number of its brands – including Regina and Thirst Pockets.

LPR has been working with Sofidel for a number of years, to ensure that the supply of Sofidel products meets the demands of the marketplace.

Modern supply chains have to be run as very tight ships, with little room for maneuver, however, that’s not to say that they lack flexibility or struggle to cope with changes – particularly when they are well supported by partners who work to assist them in meeting need.

As we all saw, demand for household supplies and longlife staples increased exponentially hitting its peak during March this year. So, how do you support a business which sees volumes increase beyond those usually seen ahead of Christmas peak – especially when there is no warning and the ability to forecast becomes limited?

We started by working with Sofidel to review the current position, to understand what the best possible increased forecast could look like, and then assessed the increases in activity we were seeing with our other customers in similar sectors. Once this was complete, both businesses created a forecast and looked to prepare their teams to respond.

For LPR, the first stop was to ensure that our systems were ready to cope with the additional orders and to ensure that all parties were informed and ready. The team at LPR prides itself on ‘doing what it takes’ to meet and exceed customer requirements and we were determined that this time would be no different. Indeed, the fact that the demand was led by something that could, and would, affect everyone, meant that the teams were doubly determined.

Alycia McQuillin, the Sofidel Strategic Account Manager at LPR was the first port of call when Sofidel were looking for assurance that LPR could meet the likely demand, especially as it was expected that volume may more than double.

By working with our Operations and Assets teams to consider current capacity, Alycia was able to confidently assure Sofidel that we had sufficient pallet availability to support the anticipated demand. The next step was to review the transport element of the service to ensure that it would support the increases in volume. LPR has always worked in partnership with its haulage partners, and it was these relationships which enabled us to support Sofidel’s demand. Each and every delivery was met, loaded with pallets and ready for use, when and where they were needed.

Alycia McQuillin, Strategic Account Manager at LPR comments “From the first announcement of a pandemic, and the very first reports of bulk buying in the supermarkets, we knew that things were about to get very serious. I knew then that I could rely on our team to support our customers, who were themselves pulling out the stops to keep retailers stocked”.

Francesco Gilhardi -Country Logistics Manager at Sofidel said “What we needed when the Covid-19 pandemic panic buying began was a partner that would support us, and LPR did just that. Their understanding of our business means that they were able to respond quickly and effectively. Every order was fulfilled on time and in full.”

Pallet pooling is a circular process. Once pallets have been delivered, loaded and dispatched with our customers goods to their final destination, they then need to be collected. Sofidel uses LPR’s proprietary software, MyLPR; which means that we were able to efficiently collect the pallets from their final destination and return them to our depot, ready for their next use, ensuring continuation of supply to Sofidel and our other customers.


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