A new concept

In July this year, Breville recorded its biggest ever month.  Concept Logistics tells MHD how it standardised its operation with Microlistics WMS, enabling it to be an innovative 3PL provider to Breville and other leading household names.

Confined to their homes during recent lockdown restrictions, many Australians turned to baking as the number one way to pass time.  Social media has been flooded with photos of “isolation loaves” and “quarantine cookies” and, prominent home appliance company, Breville has experienced record sales of its products; specifically blenders, coffee machines, toasters, kettles, microwaves and toaster ovens, to Aussie home chefs.

In July, Breville enjoyed its largest month on record with stock output up an impressive 100 per cent on the previous year.  As part of its tailor-made solution for Breville, Concept Logistics utilised the Microlistics Warehouse Management System (WMS), enabling it to double Breville’s output with only a 25 per cent increase in manual labour.

Phil Crowe, Concept Logistics’ Operations Manager – ANZ, was instrumental in establishing the Concept Logistics site at Minto, in 2017, to specifically accommodate Breville appliances.  Phil is pleased to report, “Since then, we’ve continually met Breville’s requirements and have been flexible to seasonal demands and significant volume increases due to extenuating circumstances; such as Covid.  This was in no small way possible due to the benefits of the Microlistics WMS.”

Concept Logistics is privately owned and operated and currently manages five 3PL locations; Victoria, two in New South Wales, one in Queensland and one in Western Australia.  All sites are well serviced by Concept Logistics Interstate Transport.  Concept Logistics provides distribution and warehousing and fulfilment services to some of Australia’s most loved brands; including Fletcher building products and McPherson’s personal care consumables.

Big win for Concept Logistics

“We pride ourselves on independence. We know all our customers personally and one of our biggest achievements is retaining big brands.  Our strength is in being able to perfectly match our 3PL formulas to these leading companies’ varied requirements,” Phil says.

Phil reflected on the days when Concept Logistics was held back by its previous WMS.  “E‑Commerce was taking off and the system didn’t allow for picking modules.  This limited our ability to take on new clients.  As clients became more sophisticated, we knew that we needed to keep up with modern picking and packing methodology.  Microlistics has enabled Concept Logistics to meet all the requirements of our existing client-base and we’re confident that it will see us into the future.”

In 2015, Concept Logistics knew it needed to replace its WMS with a system that would aid it to fulfil its market strategies and be flexible to demand, without a hefty price tag.

When reviewing WMS providers, Concept Logistics focused on finding a like-minded provider that understood the Concept Logistics “Customer First” philosophy.  According to Phil, “Microlistics suited us best.  The hands-on Microlistics team stood out from the rest, proposing a bespoke solution that would support stock control and our specific 3PL management style”.

Once Microlistics was agreed upon as the best WMS provider in the market, Concept Logistics had to transition to the platform while maintaining optimum service levels.  In 2017, it began with its Laverton North site in Victoria.  Once fully satisfied that Microlistics was the right fit, in 2018 Concept Logistics really put it to the test as it went live with a new customer, new warehouse and the still relatively new Microlistics application.  According to Phil, “This could have been a 3PL nightmare, but the transition went flawlessly; smooth and problem-free and this was in no small way due to the Microlistics aspect of the set-up.  Now all five national sites utilise the one Microlistics WMS”.

Keeping it flexible

“Our work is generally contract-based for a considerable number of years.  After a brief period of customisation, scalability is vital to enable us to rapidly expand to absorb new work and the reverse in times of downturn,” Phil said.

In short, Phil credits the Microlistics WMS framework for assisting Concept Logistics to develop its customised receiving, storage and Pick and Pack (PnP) processes within the Microlistics environment; enabling Concept Logistics to adapt its service around each client’s profile. “The Microlistics system has helped our company’s operation with essential stock control across many customers and sites,” he says.

Concept Logistics’ PnP versatility has aided customers; including blue-chip customer Breville, during sales surges and supply chain challenges, such as those experienced throughout the recent pandemic.  Phil proudly stated, “Our B2C has increased more than two-fold.  Our clients, with online channels, have experienced significant growth and the adaptable WMS has allowed us to continually optimise and improve our operation to suit current and future markets.”

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