Chatsworth Bathrooms – Flushed with success
Chatsworth Bathrooms is a subsidiary company and a new and exciting brand of Heritage Bathrooms PLC, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and distributors of high quality, bathroom products.
The Heritage Group is extremely successful, turning over more than £25 million a year. Chatsworth Bathrooms has a significant growth strategy and in order to accommodate expansion recently invested more than £4 million in a new National Distribution Centre based in Stafford.
Centrally located, and next to the M6 motorway, the new 88,000 sq. ft. facility has been operational since January this year. From Stafford, Chatsworth supplies a network of prestige, bathroom retailers and stockists throughout the UK. The company will also be exporting to a number of overseas markets from Stafford.
Ron Hattersley, Logistics Director at Chatsworth Bathrooms says: “When we moved into the new warehouse we didn’t have any racking installed at all. While we were sourcing a supplier, we block stacked our pallets on the floor, and eventually filled all three bays of the building. In total we could only accommodate about 1,500 pallets.”
One of the companies Ron contacted was Redirack, having dealt with us in the past. However, as he points out, for the Chatsworth order, Redirack along with two other suppliers was given just one shot at winning the contract. “Basically, I wasn’t interested in a Dutch auction. I was looking for a company that had the experience and expertise to project manage the entire installation at the right price.”
“Redirack made a superb presentation” he continues ” Not only were they able to provide us with a high quality and innovative product but they knew exactly what we were trying to achieve.” A deciding factor in choosing Redirack was our innovative sacrificial leg. “The sacrificial leg is an ingenious idea.” continues Ron. “Having an easily replaceable section in the front upright will enable us to make substantial savings on repair time and ultimately costs. It is also particularly useful to us at the moment as we are training new staff with new equipment so the occasional knock tends to be more prevalent!”
The system Ron finally went for was a block of wide aisle racking installed in the centre of the warehouse. Six double runs of racking each have fourteen bays and each bay has three beam levels. On each level are stored three pallet racking, with pallets in the bottom location sitting on the floor. In total the racking system provides 2,088 pallet positions, utilising just one third of the warehouse floor space.
Working the system are reach and counter balance trucks, and powered pallet trucks are used for order-picking. A central tunnel across the racking block makes access to the storage system easier for the trucks and reduces journey times. Completing the installation is the sacrificial leg, rack end protectors and timber decking. “I went for timber decking as a safety measure.” Explains Ron. “I cannot always guarantee the quality of incoming pallets. Decking the racking means that any unnoticed damaged pallets cannot slip through the racking, so this potential hazard does not become a safety issue.”
The finishing touch is the rack’s smart green and yellow paint finish. “We wanted a colour that would look good and not clash with the other colours in the building.” Explains Ron. He goes on “the installation went extremely well. We were very impressed by the service provided by Redirack and we are delighted with the end result.” Would it be OK to say we are flushed with the success?