Alliance Flooring Distribution is one of the many haulage companies that is benefitting from Merridale’s FuelWorks management system. CVW finds out how.
Alliance Flooring Distribution is the UK delivery organisation for carpets and underlay products manufactured by subsidiaries of Victoria plc, an international enterprise specialising in premium flooring products. The carpet rolls woven by the group factory in South Wales are marketed into the UK through three regional distribution centres. Alliance also works with a thirdparty carrier to process orders for Ireland.
Operations from Kidderminster and Hemel Hempstead are managed by Alliance Flooring Distribution. The third regional distribution centre is run by View Logistics in Hartlepool, another group company covering sales outlets in the North of England and Scotland.
Each of these sites is a fully equipped transport hub with both warehouse and bespoke handling facilities for the storage of carpet rolls. Orders from retail outlets throughout the country are processed by cutting the stock carpet rolls to size and wrapping them for despatch. This is a 24- hour operation as customer orders are consolidated for bulk deliveries overnight.
Fuel management solution
With these operational hours in mind, Alliance Flooring needed a suitable fuel management solution; FuelWorks, Merridale’s hosted Fuel Management service. The fuelling points for the centres at Kidderminster and Hemel Hempstead are monitored by this system. It provides a web-based dashboard giving current stock levels at each site, allowing centralized procurement.
“Alliance Flooring operates a fleet of around 60 HGVs, including 12 articulated units for long distance trunking,” explained National Distribution Manager, Kevin Waters.
“All our fleet vehicles are fitted with long range tanks, so that external fuelling is really just a contingency measure. In addition to stock management, the Merridale system captures all the data we require for cost accounting and vehicle mpg performance. This is essential because the Alliance Fleet is accredited to the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), which means we have to show that we have procedures in place to measure CO2 emissions.
“As with most fleet operators, fuel is a major cost factor. Our annual fuel bill is currently running at around £1.3million. Therefore, it is important that we have effective fuel management procedures in place to ensure we measure usage down to the last drop.”
Adapting to expansion
Kevin continued, “With the expansion of our business, we have recently completed two major development milestones. First is the relocation of the Kidderminster depot to a bigger site, which necessitated the relocation of the fuelling point. Second is that we have replicated these facilities, together with a new storage tank and fuelling point, at Hemel Hempstead.
“So, now we have Merridale FuelWorks, I can review our re-order stock levels at both sites. We use this visibility to take advantage of spot prices on the day. Generally, we are taking delivery of fuel supplies at Kidderminster every week and we benefit by being able to compare best offers between our two regular suppliers.”