skip to main content
  • *
  • *
  • *
Find Insight DIY on
* * *


Travis Perkins shares office with key suppliers

Supplier relations at Travis Perkins have seen a marked improvement since staff from key vendors have been based at its head office.

The ‘supplier colleague programme’, which currently consists of 10 people with plans to increase that number, was launched as part of a four-year plan to improve supply chain at the company. As a result, representatives from key suppliers transferred to work full time in Travis Perkins’ HQ in Milton Keynes to look for efficiencies and ways to improve the working relationship between their companies.

Alastair Charatan, director of supply chain programme, Travis Perkins, told SM: “What we’ve done is to say ‘Look, we want a colleague, someone from you, the supplier, working full time in our head office’. We know that person has got an absolute focus on that supplier’s business and performance with us.”

The programme hasn’t drastically reshaped how the supply chain is managed, it was never intended to, but it has had a marked impact. “It’s not as if they’ve been saying, ‘look here’s a totally different way of doing things’, it’s not one sort of big bang opportunity.” Charatan sees the change as having changed the dynamic between buyer and supplier. “You’re going to respond a lot more to someone you’re literally looking at across the office, than someone who’s a remote figure on e-mail.”

Giving an example of the benefits, he said: “One supplier spotted that there seemed to be very poor availability of stock, so he was trying to work out what was going wrong. He identified that one of the main problems was late receipt, so the stock hadn’t been booked in on the system. If the system doesn’t see it, we don’t know it’s there. That’s the level of detail they get to, it tends to be nitty-gritty sorts of things.”

Charatan said the idea has been used elsewhere but not in the building merchants sector. “I don’t know whether we took the idea from retail or whether we just thought we needed to get closer to our suppliers but it’s something that Tesco and Wal-Mart have done for quite a while. It’s definitely unprecedented in a builders merchant.”

Source : Adam Leach - Supply Management

16 January 2012
view more UK DIY News

Insight provides a host of information I need on many of our company’s largest customers. I use this information regularly with my team, both at a local level as well as with our other international operations. It’s extremely useful when sharing market intelligence information with our corporate office.

Paul Boyce - European CEO, QEP Ltd.

Don't miss out on all the latest, breaking news from the DIY industry