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    Case Study - Retail Groupage Service: La-Z-Boy

    Andrew Porter Limited has helped American recliner brand La-z-boy to save considerable fixed overheads.

    The UK licensees formerly operated an 18,600 sq m dedicated warehouse in Leyland, Lancashire, and distributed via their own vehicle fleet.

    These generated fixed overheads, as well as the cost for staffing, administrating and managing the operation. La-z-boy wanted to reduce its running costs and in early 2008 approached Andrew Porter Limited, as a local company with furniture logistics expertise, for advice.

    Andrew Porter Limited suggested a pay-as-you-use storage scheme, using its purpose-built storage warehouse in Adlington, which would remove the need for La-z-boy to pay for dedicated warehousing and staff. Andrew Porter Limited's warehousing service has no minimum or maximum limits, providing a simple and flexible business solution. This option also helps counter the seasonality of the furniture retail business.

    La-z-boy's products are manufactured in China and Vietnam and between 25 and 30 containers each month are received at the Andrew Porter warehouse for consolidation into delivery loads. The team checks products and quantities against the shipping order as items are unloaded and booked into the warehouse computer system. They are delivered to retailers within seven working days.

    By using a groupage delivery service, Andrew Porter Limited was able to reduce La-z-boy's delivery costs by consolidating deliveries with other firms' products, rather than using dedicated vehicles. Andrew Porter Limited carries out 250-300 deliveries for La-z-boy each week, across the UK and Ireland, to more than 100 independent retailers.

    Andrew Porter Limited manages all liaison with retailers and shipping agents, to provide a fully outsourced logistics service. An integrated IT system between Andrew Porter Limited and La-z-boy ensures both parties are fully informed of proceedings.

    Since taking on logistics for La-z-boy, Andrew Porter Limited has also taken over management of returned goods, shop floor model distribution to 97 SCS stores, four times a year and home deliveries for the brand.

    In late 2008 La-z-boy's licence for UK distribution was taken over by Colne-based Furnico Ltd, which has helped establish a firm UK business presence for the La-z-boy brand. Furnico has continued to make use of and benefit from Andrew Porter Limited's furniture logistics expertise.

    Key Facts

    • One of the UK's largest independent furniture logistics & storage companies
    • Purpose built 300,000 sq ft warehouse complex
    • A fleet of 45 vehicles & 80 staff

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