Established in the year 2000 and now boasting over 580,000 active customers, Ocado is the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer. Its fourth Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC4) opened last year in Erith, South East London and at 563,000 sq ft is not only the largest in its network, but is also the largest automated warehouse for online grocery in the world.
Servicing Ocado’s growing customer base in London and the south-east of England, at full capacity it can process over 200,000 orders per week. It stocks both Ocado’s and Morrisons’ full range of groceries, and is divided into ambient, chilled and frozen zones.
Safety is always the most prominent consideration in a warehouse of such a scale and complexity, which is why Ocado consulted with Warrington-based ASG Services – a single-source supplier of warehouse safety solutions – to explore the most suitable line marking solutions.
Warehouse line marking provides powerful visual segregation for pedestrians as well as a visual guide to maximise storage areas.
In an application such as CFC4, the line marking required needed to be sufficiently durable to withstand the most aggressive warehouse vehicle traffic and to retain its long-term visual integrity.
ASG was able to amend the programme to work around the operation. They were dynamic and reacted if they weren’t able to gain access to a certain area and needed to change the plans at the last moment. It was very well organised.
Avin Pertab Project Engineer – Ocado Erith DC
Having provided durable internal line marking for Ocado at its CFC3 site near Andover, ASG was again entrusted to provide around 3.5 km of diamond shaved line marking at Erith. Diamond shaved line marking is the most durable and accurate form of line marking available in the UK.
It involves using specialised equipment to ‘shave’ an area of the concrete floor surface to a depth of 1-4mm. This removes any seal or powerfloat coating and reveals virgin concrete and a rough surface which helps the paint system to key more firmly.
The line edge created during this method provides a very accurate and clean finish, significantly increasing its ability to withstand constant overrunning by materials handling equipment, and guaranteeing its performance even at temperatures of -20°C in the freezer section. Once painted, the surface is then coated with a fast-curing resin, enabling rapid handover of the site.
Additionally, ASG supplied and installed clatter bars to prevent materials handling equipment such as fork lift trucks from damaging racking, low ceiling areas and doorways at Erith.
Avin Pertab, Ocado’s Project Engineer at the Erith site, says he would “definitely recommend ASG to my peers”.
“ASG was able to amend the programme to work around the operation. They were dynamic and reacted if they weren’t able to gain access to a certain area and needed to change the plans at the last moment. It was very well organised.”
Russell Bôbin, UK Sales Manager for ASG Services, adds: “The main challenge was to work around the live operational site, allowing Ocado staff to continue to work whilst keeping them away from the drying paint. To overcome this, we created a clear works plan so all parties knew what areas could and couldn’t be accessed at various times.”
Poundworld is one of the UK’s leading discount retailers and is owned by US private equity firm TPG. Operating under the Poundworld and Bargain Buys brand names, the business serves over two million customers and sells around 11 million products a week.
In 2017, Poundworld moved in to a purpose-built 524,000 sq ft national distribution centre (NDC) in Normanton, West Yorkshire. Following its construction stage, the multi-million-pound Normanton NDC required a range of equipment to bring it to an operational level, several aspects of which were to be bespoke to this particular facility.
The equipment and services required at this stage of the project included: racking location labels; internal shot-blast line marking; external line marking; external galvanised security cages; internal mesh cages; internal and external pedestrian and vehicle barriers; and supervisor workstation plinths.
With the client being a low-margin discount retailer, a particular challenge of the contract was to ensure the work was delivered within budget.
Having worked together on a previous contract, supply chain consultant Hatmill Ltd again chose ASG Services to help deliver the required aspects of the fit-out to its client, Poundworld.
ASG has worked on projects of a similar scale for other retailers – including Next, Regatta, Co-Op and Ocado – and clearly demonstrated its ability to provide a variety of products from one company and install them within the given timescale.
I would absolutely work with ASG again. They ‘get’ what customers want, in terms of a one-stop shop, and they are very good at managing the customer relationship.
John Hayward Logistics and Supply Chain Consultant, Hatmill Ltd
“We are unique in what we provide,” says ASG’s Sales Director Chris Hopkirk. “No one else can provide such a range of labelling and safety products and services from one company. We make delivery of these easy for the customer.”
Hatmill’s logistics and Supply Chain Consultant John Hayward adds: “We invited ASG to tender for the job, and Chris Hopkirk and (UK Sales Manager) Andy Burns were by far the most proactive and attentive, and were also commercially keen. The key part behind our decision to award the
business to ASG was their capability to provide a one-stop shop for the works involved.”
Poundworld’s new NDC services its entire network of 350 retail stores across the UK. The job was completed on time, on budget, and to the customer’s satisfaction.
One of the more impressive aspects of the project was the installation of five bespoke observation plinths – designed and supplied by ASG – which offered supervisor colleagues a
desking and IT solution whilst providing visibility across the shop floor.
Hopkirk says: “In order to demonstrate that we could deliver accurately and efficiently, we provided clear AutoCAD drawings of the scheme to allow the customer to fully understand the extent of the work involved.”
“They proved to be a good solution,” says Hayward, “and ASG worked well with our M&E contractors to ensure that the designs fitted in with capabilities in areas such as cable access. That was a really good piece of work. I would absolutely work with ASG again. They ‘get’ what customers want, in terms of a one-stop shop, and they are very good at managing the customer relationship.”
Hopkirk concludes: “A warehouse cannot be operational without those elements we designed and installed, and yet these critical aspects are often an afterthought. We would encourage anyone working on major projects such as this to save themselves time and money by talking to us – a company that has experience and expertise in advising and delivering the right labelling and safety solutions – early in the process. That way enables us to work seamlessly during the fit-out to help ensure the project is handed over to the client to their specified budget and timescale.”
Established for more than 25 years, Acorn Storage Equipment Ltd is a supplier, installer and specialist in pallet racking, shelving and mezzanine flooring.
The Kent-based company provides a full pallet racking service: from off-the-shelf new and used pallet racking and storage through to professional design, supply and installation of pallet storage systems.
Acorn attributes its success to adaptability, long-standing expertise and bespoke approach; whether its customers require a complete design and build service or simply the supply of high quality new or used pallet racking, Acorn Storage Equipment is the company of choice.
Great Bear is one of the UK’s leading 3PL (third party logistics) companies, providing nationwide dedicated and shared user warehousing and distribution solutions for international
and blue chip clients.
Managing over 4.5 million sq ft of warehousing and operating a large modern commercial vehicle fleet, Great Bear has built up a reputation within the industry as a switched-on and innovative operator.
Great Bear’s commitment to sustainable expansion has been reflected in recent years with the opening of new sites including Northampton providing 475,000 sq ft, Chorley in Lancashire providing 230,000 sq ft and Bromborough in Merseyside providing 170,000 sq ft, amongst other Great Bear new site projects.
With ongoing expansion across the company in recent years, Great Bear needed a warehouse labelling and safety solutions provider that could complete projects cost effectively and to
As a reputable and reliable company with past experience working at Great Bear, ASG Services played a key role as supplier and installation expert for equipment fit-outs of Great Bear’s existing and new depots. Most recently, this included work at the new site in Sheffield, completed in late 2014.
Great Bear had no hesitation in approaching warehouse solutions specialist ASG, given the strong history of successful work completed on previous sites.
With a strong working relationship built up over a number of years, Great Bear was confident in working with ASG to ensure the project was completed to a high standard. Reliability and cost
were key factors that led Great Bear to choose ASG as a solutions provider.
Works undertaken by ASG on our projects have been completed safely, and in line with the project programmes in both unoccupied and live working environments.
Following initial contact with ASG, Great Bear liaised with the warehouse solutions provider to undertake a competitive tender/quotation process for supply & install projects, specifically at
Great Bear’s new Sheffield site depot.
Russell Bobin, UK sales manager at ASG, explained how the Sheffield site was a big project to undertake. The scope of work at the Sheffield warehouse included installation of Armco hand
barriers and safety systems, line-marking, signage and barcode labelling. Overall, the project timescale was phased around 8-12 weeks’ worth of work, including return visits and working on
different components of the job.
“Works undertaken by ASG on our projects have been completed safely, and in line with the project programmes in both unoccupied and live working environments,” said Chris Bell, facilities manager at Great Bear. All supply and installation project works at the Sheffield warehouse were completed as per agreed charges and orders.
For ASG, the Sheffield site project helped strengthen their working relationship with Great Bear through ensuring the work was completed on budget and in time. It also demonstrated the
benefits of working with a professional company, such as Great Bear, that meant all aspects of the project ran as smoothly as possible.
“Working with Chris Bell and Great Bear has been great,” said Russell. “There’s never been any ambiguity, and a professional crew were provided to help out, which ensured everything went
New SATECH solution installed at Kawasaki Robotics’ facility
Kawasaki Robotics (UK) Ltd is the UK robotics division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Japan, and a leading supplier of industrial robots and robotic automation systems with a broad product
portfolio, able to service a wide range of applications all around the world.
At the end of 2011, the UK division moved into its premises in Warrington, relocating from an old site that they had been situated at since 1999. The previous premises were 15,000 sq ft and split over two different sites.
Founded in Glasgow in 1988 as glass merchant and toughened glass manufacturer for the architectural glass market, Independent Glass offers a comprehensive range of toughened and laminated glass plus a stock glass merchanting service. The company operates from four UK sites, three in Scotland and one in England, and with its specialist packaging facilities and fleet of vehicles, Independent Glass understands the logistics of transporting glass.
As a responsible supplier committed to the growth of its business and safety of its employees, Independent Glass continuously invests in new technology and equipment to ensure its facilities
and working environment remain as hazard- and accident-free as possible.
Since its initial humble beginnings in 2006, leading third party logistics firm 3P Logistics (3PL) has firmly established itself as one of the UK’s leading providers of eCommerce and order
fulfilment services to manufacturers and online retailers trading via well-known channels such as ebay and Amazon.
Airwair International – or, as you may know them, Dr. Martens – is a British footwear brand, which also makes a range of accessories from shoe care products to clothing. Dr. Martens’ continuing success saw the recent opening of a new 104,000 sq ft distribution centre in Raunds, Northamptonshire.
The Roydon Group has over thirty years’ expertise in providing cost effective and responsible waste management and recycling solutions and is one of the UK’s largest recyclers of plastic materials. Based in Swinton, Greater Manchester, the Group has invested steadily in state-of-the art machinery and systems and serves industry, local authorities, materials recovery facilities and other commercial organisations across the UK.
Twelve months ago as part of its strategic investment plan, Roydon Group invested £3 million in a brand new Optical Bottle Sorting plant. Manufactured by McDonald International at Tullamore in the Irish Republic, the plant – regarded as the biggest of its kind in the North West of England – processes 200 tonnes of waste per day, segregating polymers by PET, HDPE PP and colour, as well as separating out Aluminium, Steel and Glass.
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