Supplier manual

This UK furniture retailer experienced significant changes in supplier relationships, with a high number of new suppliers alongside SAP implementation. Commissioning of a new distribution centre with resulting changes to all supplier related processes. Crimson & Co was engaged to create a supplier manual to manage and advise suppliers through changes.


  • Single, coordinated message to suppliers
  • Improved business understanding of key processes
  • Common way of working for suppliers
  • Successful implementation with minimal supplier errors
  • Reduced communication on administration issues

Supplier management – supplier capability assessment

This UK retail distributor underwent significant growth of over 40% in 3 years. This growth created concerns over ability of suppliers to meet future demands. The client asked Crimson & Co to develop a review process to understand supplier capabilities, identify cost benefits & improve joint processes. The scope included raw material stock levels, manufacturing flow, quality control and ordering processes.


  • Improved quality generates £200k savings
  • Increased production lines to meet needs
  • Improved processes reduced workload by 15%
  • Automated processes improved data accuracy
  • Quick wins resolved immediate issues

Distribution centre closure

Crimson & Co had delivered a strategy for this UK supermarket chain citing the conditions for removing a DC from the network. When the conditions were met, we were asked to plan and deliver the closure. The scope was the DC closure, including all assets re-deployed or sold, work assigned across the network, staff redundancies, remaining network operating steadily and no bad PR. Crimson & Co managed a client team and external specialists, such as property and PR, to deliver the total state change for the client over six months.


  • DC closed on time, below budget
  • Asset disposal programme delivered better than budgeted returns
  • All redundancies occurred with no major HR issues
  • Store service levels remained constant throughout
  • Client: “the most successful closure programme we’ve run”

Distribution strategy

We worked with Australia’s largest retailer on their distribution strategy. They had six different brands with different needs and small orders were currently fulfilled outside of their main network. We were tasked to prepare a strategy that met the requirements of each brand, containing high level DC requirements and identifying the lowest cost with existing service levels.


  • Changed opinion in the business
  • Drove savings by pooling volume by order size not brand
  • Reduced liquor business fulfilment cost by 30%
  • Recommended keeping the existing convenience network
  • Our high level DC design was tendered and implemented to cost

Christmas planning & control

This 190-store retailer experiences 25% of turnover and 30%+ of annual profits in the November and December trading period. Historically the client had failed to maximise trading in this period due to poor planning and distribution leading to stock-outs. The client requested an external review of its Christmas plan and associated distribution capacity to ensure Christmas was a complete success.


  • Christmas 2008 was “the best Christmas ever”
  • Introduced robust planning & control processes to the business
  • Set up critical KPIs for monitoring
  • Client recognises and now uses an integrated supply chain approach
  • Sustainability for future peak trading periods

Logistics outsourcing

This retailer wanted to outsource their logistics operation. We combined logistics knowledge with procurement expertise and best practice to assist the client in outsourcing operations. Following a proven process and structure for outsourcing warehousing and transport we undertook rapid analysis and quantification of the benefit potential. We prepared a detailed, logical statement of requirements and managed the tender process and responses. We analysed tenders to identify additional benefits and recommended the optimal combination of solutions.


  • 20% cut in transport expenditure from previous year
  • Doubled profit for wholesale operation
  • Tenders confirm predicted costs
  • 15% saving in DC operations
  • 8% cost saving in UK transportation already “optimised” cost base