M6toll puts the bite on biscuit manufacturer’s delivery demands
pladis Global is a confectionery and snack foods company encompassing United Biscuits, Ülker, Godiva Chocolatier and DeMet’s Candy Company. It operates across seven McVities and Jacobs UK manufacturing sites and is serviced by a transport fleet that delivers some of the best-known biscuit brands to a network of customers.
Guy Moore, UK Transport Operations Manager, discusses how when delivering some of the nation’s best loved biscuits, it’s never crunch time thanks to the M6toll.
As a manufacturer and supplier of some of the UK’s best known biscuit brands, pladis Global is delivering more biscuits than ever, fuelled in part in the past 18 months by a lockdown longing for comfort food. With such a hankering for hobnobs, demand for digestives and customers going crackers for their Jacob’s products, making delivery times is absolutely vital to the smooth operation of the business.
Guy said: “We have been flat out in the past two years and the demand for our products during the pandemic has just added to that. Our business is very time critical, and we have various KPIs in place that measure how well we are delivering on our commitments to our factories and customers.
“We don’t have any warehousing at our factories, so it’s vital that we complete our factory clearances each day on time. If we stop a factory because our trucks are delayed, that’s production hours lost, and thousands lost in costs.
“This is where the M6toll is so important. It brings critical connectivity across our network, from Tollcross in Scotland right down to London, and allows us to cut out Birmingham and avoid the congestion we always experience in that regional network.”
With 60 trucks running 24 hours a day, it’s an around the clock operation that sees the fleet’s drivers use the M6toll multiple times a day.
Guy said: “Our drivers use the M6toll all the time, even at weekends and during the night. It’s such an efficient and reliable route that the majority of them use it as a default route into the North-West.
“It’s also good for planning our driver hours. We don’t have to set our drivers off hours earlier than necessary to factor in delays or disruption to journeys. They can leave on schedule knowing they are going to get to their destination on time.
“The time savings we make by using the M6toll are crucial in avoiding time penalties, or in some case rejected loads, imposed by some customers if we fail to meet our dedicated delivery time slot. When you weigh up those benefits and set them against the cost of regularly using the M6toll, it’s easy to make the case for continuing to use it.”
One key benefit the M6toll provides is end to end connectivity, vital to a business that operates across seven sites, with many of those journeys starting and ending in the North and South of the country.
This is particularly the case when transporting one of the biscuit manufacturer’s most important commodities, chocolate carried in tankers from its refinery, based at its Manchester site.
Guy said: “One of our most important journeys, is the chocolate tankers driving from our refinery in Manchester to our Harlesden site in London. It’s a four-hour drive from Manchester to London, then the chocolate has to be tipped and then two hours back, so we can’t afford any disruption to the tanker’s journey.
“If the tanker gets held up or delayed, then the chocolate does not get to the factory, the biscuits don’t get made and everybody has to make do with plain biscuits, which is no good to anyone.
“It’s really important that the tankers get through Birmingham on time, whether its day or night, and the M6toll helps us to achieve that.”
Making sure the chocolate tankers enjoy smooth passage is just one of the many benefits the M6toll provides to pladis Global.
Guy said: “The M6toll helps us overcome so many business challenges. It helps cut out the unknown delays and disruption, enables us to plan ahead and make key savings, in time, fuel and driver hours, across the business. The reliability the M6toll offers also helps to reduce the stress points in our business, as we know we can always rely on it to deliver the operational efficiencies so key to us and our customers.”
“The biggest single benefit it provides to us, is it ensures we arrive on time at our customers and our factories when we say we would. It’s that time saving element that is so vital to our business operation.