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Crosswater - Customer Case Study

'Tapping' into External Logistics Expertise for UK Distribution Network Review

Gideon Hillman Consulting UK - conduct Distribution Network ReviewCrosswater, founded in 1998, is a bathroom furniture, brassware and showers wholesaler and distributor which has been operating across Great Britain out of Lake View House, Dartford since July 2014 in a purpose built Headquarters, which includes a 8,735 square metre footprint, 14 metre high, warehouse and distribution centre.

Crosswater particularly focuses on supplying 1,600 independent retailers with circa 3,000 delivery addresses across the Gideon Hillman Consulting UK - conduct Distribution Network ReviewUK and has developed a Contracts business, serving the house builder/development and hotel markets.


The business has been built up on and has succeeded at providing high levels of customer care, including in most cases next day delivery and exemplary after sales support.

A critical part of the business is the logistics and distribution of a wide range of products to retailers across the country.


This is done using an in-house fleet of 25 Mercedes Sprinters and five Cargo 7.5 tonne box vans, a third party provider (3PL) trunking service to the North and Scotland and couriers for smaller items and for deliveries twice a week to Ireland.


In February 2015, having settled in to the relatively new building, Crosswater was keen to optimise the efficiency and effectiveness of its logistics and distribution functions to secure cost savings, balanced with maintaining or improving levels of customer service.

"At Crosswater, we are keen to continually improve our performance, to maximise the throughput of the operation, control the costs and improve customer service. Insofar as our logistics activities are concerned, we engaged Gideon Hillman to look in depth at the operation, offer ‘out of the box’ thinking and challenge our working models. GH engaged with the business at all levels to generate a full and clear basis upon which to offer a good range of helpful opinions, recommendations and options. We would recommend their experience and professionalism to any companies in similar positions with the same requirements." Michael Coughlin, Group Managing Director (UK).

Crosswater management concluded that the most appropriate way to do this was to engage a Logistics Consultancy to provide specialist advice and guidance on what measures Crosswater could take to achieve this.


After carrying out a tender selection process Crosswater awarded the contract to Logistics Specialists (and Associate Member of UKWA) Gideon Hillman Consulting (GH) as they best demonstrated the ability to meet the required deliverables i.e. clarifying the methodology used and presenting the key findings and recommendations prioritised for implementation according to anticipated cost reduction, ease of implementation and business benefit.


The consultant team from GH spent time understanding the transport operation, analysed business data and utilised the DPS route optimisation software to develop the solutions and recommendations for the distribution network. Alongside this study the team reviewed the warehouse operation analysing product profiles, sales and stock information, along with speaking to key personnel, to develop solutions and recommendations to improve productivity, service quality and safety in the warehouse.


The result of the project was over 30 recommendations (with an estimated saving of up to 2,000 staff working hours per annum) made by GH for improvement to the logistics network resulting in the following benefits; Savings in transport cost; improved delivery service (majority ‘next day’ except the Highlands and Islands); improved customer experience (track and trace, sms notifications, flexible re-delivery); reduced time to plan, quicker availability of routes to warehouse for picking; smoother workload to simplify shifts and reduce/remove night shift requirements; improved flexibility e.g. easy to prioritise urgent orders;  empowering team leaders/managers to manage workload; improved picking productivity; improved productivity and accuracy in packing; improved productivity in inbound area, ensuring products are stowed quicker into stock and available for sale; decreased picker travel distance; reduced fork lift truck movements during picking; reduced management time; increased longevity of the warehouse and released working capital through a revised inventory policy.

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Gideon Hillman Consulting is a trading name of The Supply Chain Consulting Group Ltd is registered in England and Wales.
Company Registration No: 09751027. Registered office at Highdown House, 11 Highdown Road, Leamington Spa, CV31 1XT. UK
A supply chain and logistics specialist with knowledge of material requirements planning, inventory optimisation and materials specification

CMI Awards Finalist 2010 SHD Logistics Awards UKWA Customer Service Award Finalist 2014 SHD Logistics Awards Finalist 2016 UKWA Winner 2016 SHD Logistics Awards Finalist 2015 ISO 9001 RegisteredLogistics Awards Finalist 2018Supply Chain Excellence Awards 2018