McColl's looks inward to boost market dominance

McColl's sharpens focus to cut waste and position itself to increase market presence in 2010

By Brad Gardner | March 30, 2010

Bulk specialist McColl’s has looked inward to boost productivity and increase its market presence in 2010.

In an exclusive interview with ATN McColl’s CEO Simon Thornton details the operator’s plans to cut waste and prepare itself for new contracts after an exhaustive internal review.

The review highlighted how to achieve significant savings in the administrative and operational side of McColl’s.

As reported previously by ATN, McColl’s will end its leases on warehouses in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide which were signed when the operator was part of the Pure Logistics brand.

"These are literally legacy things that we’ve been paying $1.5 million a year for. It’s a pain in the arse. So I’m very happy to be announcing they’re not going to be around anymore," Thornton says.

The review also recommended ending partial and mixed loads in favour of a sole focus on full-load linehaul to increase efficiency.

Thornton says the review found examples of multiple back and forth deliveries to different clients only to find pallets had gone missing.

The operator is also paying more attention to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software program that manages costs, orders, scheduling and accounts.

"Previously we had almost done things manually and then put them into the ERP system later which means you don’t really get the benefit of the ERP system," he says.

McColl’s began as a single vehicle operation in 1952. According to the company, it now boasts a fleet of more than 300 vehicles and a 450-strong workforce.

McColl's was swooped on by private equity group ABN AMRO Capital in 2005 and combined with Scott’s Refrigerated under the banner of Pure Logistics.

The cold chain division largely made up of the former Scott’s Refrigerated business went into administration in 2008 and McColl’s returned to the market as an independent entity.

See the April edition of ATN for the full story on how McColl’s is cutting waste and priming itself for a big 2010. Secure your copy here.

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