Automated material handling systems integrator wins contract to maintain optimum efficiency for the distribution centre facilities of George at Asda
Asda recently awarded a three-year contract to SDI Group to maintain all three of George at Asda’s automated distribution centres (DCs) in the UK.
The £2-million contract was signed in May this year and sees SDI Group take on responsibility for the 24-hour maintenance of all materials handling equipment across the three George at Asda DC sites at Lymedale, Brackmills and Washington – including the maintenance of systems originally installed by other automated systems providers.
“We wanted to ensure maximum reliability, uptime and throughput across all our three distribution facilities for our clothing and accessories ranges and that meant introducing greater continuity for maintenance process at Lymedale, Brackmills and Washington,” stated Ant Everett, head of network development for Asda Distribution.
“As a retail business our focus is not engineering. Outsourcing maintenance to SDI Group – experts in warehouse automation – allows us to focus on our core business confident in the knowledge that our automated fulfilment operations will be run to close-on 100% efficiency levels.”
Successful existing relationship
SDI Group said the decision to hand responsibility for the maintenance of the three sites over came out of a long working relationship between the two companies and following a ten-year phased development programme at the Lymedale site, which included the integration of a series of automated systems. These encompassed a four-storey mezzanine, an automated hanging garment system, a high-speed tilt tray sorter, a stacker crane solution and boom conveyors. As the supermarket retailer’s flagship site, Lymedale receives, processes and delivers the full range of George clothing and accessories to some 170 stores and is responsible for picking and dispatching all stock for the brand’s expanding e-commerce channel.
Since 2007 SDI Group has managed the maintenance of the Lymedale DC on an outsourced basis, with ten engineers and an onsite manager. Maintenance at the Brackmills facility was run as an in-house operation and Washington’s was previously outsourced to another company. Following the implementation of a single maintenance contract, SDI Group has taken on staff at Brackmills and Washington, according to Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) regulations.