How Staples is striving to become a logistics titan
(Norwich, UK, 13/09/2019)
When consumers think of Staples, they might recall the company’s famous office essentials. From its ink and toner to its office furniture, the firm is renowned as a world-class, multi-channel retailer. However, after selling off its retail business in the UK, Staples is pivoting towards a new market: the world of third-party logistics (3PL).
Kevin Lewis, Supply Chain Director at Staples UK, has helped to steer the firm’s supply chain transformation, consolidating its six warehouses across the UK and Ireland into one cutting-edge facility. “We’ve moved into a state-of-the-art distribution centre in Corby, Northamptonshire. In retrospect, it was much larger than we needed and it pushed us to look at how we could better utilise this asset. Now, we have some large-scale brands that have closed their own warehouses and made use of ours as a shared-user facility.”
Staples may be known for its retail business but the firm is quickly making waves in the logistics sphere. This is partly thanks to its tech-savvy operations and global experience, but also its successful strategic partnerships. “We work with last-mile partners including TNT Fed Ex Group and Pallex. Both partnerships offer bespoke, tailored solutions exclusively for Staples,” says Lewis. This strong sense of collaboration can also be seen within the company too. By paying competitive, living wages rather than a minimum wage and investing in its team, Staples has worked hard to build a dynamic logistics business. “In the past, we relied on agency workers and temporary labourers, whereas now it’s predominantly a permanently employed workforce,” says Lewis. “There are fewer absences, more efficiency and a lower turnover of people because we’re investing in our team.”
You can find out more about Staples’ journey in the magazine.