Sadiq Khan’s 'open-all-hours' vision of London means supply chains must adopt 'little and often' stocking system, says Crimson & Co.
Following the London mayor’s unveiling of plans to transform the city, management and supply chain consultancy, Crimson & Co, say that the warehouse industry is already open 24 hours, and has been for many years, meaning the retail and leisure industry will finally be catching up—but in doing so, must change their stocking procedures.
Sadiq Khan’s plans include promoting night-time culture and leisure, increasing opening hours, working closely with boroughs and police and ensuring the safety of night-time workers, saying that “we must create a life at night that works for everyone, showing the world that London is open for business, open for people and ideas, and open 24 hours a day.”
This extension of business hours will mean little to the hours of existing warehouses, but may put extra strain on supply chains as restocking becomes a 24-hour operation. With storage space at a minimum for leisure establishments, the process must adapt a “little and often” approach rather than focus on big daily deliveries.
The move to improve London’s night-time economy is intended to help combat challenges including the supply of workers from across the European Union, rising business rates, and competition from other cities. But these new plans are old news for the warehouse, with most being open-all-hours for many years due to the supply and demand retailers need.
Nick Miller, associate director at Crimson & Co comments: “Retailers and leisure businesses need to extend opening hours to work alongside warehouses. Getting the best use out of supply chain assets means using them as regularly as possible, but also having them change their stocking procedures to cope with smaller and more regular deliveries.”
He continues, “with the rise of online shopping and retail giants such as Tesco and Amazon providing overnight delivery services, warehouses are now comfortably running 24-hour operations. Throwing leisure businesses into the mix will allow all points in the supply chain, as well as the consumer, to benefit from convenience as well as minimising inventory points. This will mean transporting products overnight to maximise reach and reduce stock space used by businesses.”
Sadiq Khan’s plan for London has already begun with the night tube, and will also mean more business opportunities for every fibre of the UK supply chain.