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Belgian chocolate contract worth £3m for Midlands 3PL - October 2009

Droitwich-based food ingredients logistics company, Atchison Topeka is pleased to announce the renewal of its distribution and warehousing contract with global leading chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut.

With annual sales of in excess of £2.5 billion, Barry Callebaut has been a customer of Atchison Topeka for over 14 years.  However in today’s competitive climate suppliers everywhere are under increasing pressure to continually exceed expectations by delivering high levels of service at reducing cost.

The Barry Callebaut contract will involve the collection of chocolate from factories both in the UK and mainland Europe and then storing the product in Atchison’s new 20,000 pallet store.  Atchison Topeka will then be responsible for delivering the chocolate throughout the UK to customer delivery points ranging from large industrial manufacturers to specialist gourmet chocolatiers.

Atchison Topeka’s investment in technology over recent years has not only delivered a robust business platform with exceptional levels of inventory accuracy, but it has been further advanced to deliver full integration to customer systems via the Wesupply web based b2b integration tool.

Wesupply provides business-to-business integration and supply chain collaboration solutions for both retailers and manufacturers. The level of automation and integration allows Barry Callebaut and Atchison Topeka to concentrate on core activities whilst sales order and inventory management processes are managed automatically with Wesupply.
Atchison Topeka’s, Managing Director, Mike Philips is delighted that the company has secured the contract renewal for one of the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers. “This is a huge achievement for us and not just because of the contract’s monetary value and prestige of working for Barry Callebaut, but it also confirms that the investment made in re-engineering our business during difficult times was the right thing to do and has it delivered levels of accuracy and service that are market leading”.

Mr Phillips continues: “The renewal of the contract has been a great boost of confidence for us and we hope to build upon this to secure a larger market presence in the food ingredients sector.

Listen to Atchison Topeka's sales manager Scott Waters on BBC Hereford & Worcester discussing the Barry Callebaut contract.

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Atchison Topeka awarded BRC Storage and Distribution Certification - August 2009

AT awarded the BRC STorage & Distribution CertificationDroitwich-based third party food ingredients logistics company, Atchison Topeka is pleased to announce that it has been awarded BRC (British Retail Consortium) Storage and Distribution certification; a much-coveted standard demonstrating its competence in maintaining product safety and integrity.

The BRC Storage and Distribution Standard ensures that best practice in all operational processes are developed, implemented and maintained by organisations involved in the storage and distribution of food products.

In the early part of 2009 Atchison Topeka invested significant resources into attaining the Standard which was rewarded in May when full certification was granted. The company made a conscious decision to use the opportunity to revisit and improve its operational processes and re-train over 130 personnel.  This included the full integration of HACCP (Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Points) training, which involved all employees.

Atchison Topeka’s Managing Director, Mike Phillips commented: “As a third party logistics operator handling and delivering food ingredients, BRC accreditation means much more than a commitment towards continually improving our quality systems. It means that our customers are safe in the knowledge that everyone involved in the supply chain function is ensuring complete compliance and more importantly the highest levels of food hygiene and safety.

The BRC Standard was developed to promote improvements to processes and more consistency across supply chains. To the consumer issues such as poor food handling, carless stock control and temperature abuse may seem far removed, but in fact they can have a very definite negative effect on the food that ends up on our plates.

Atchison Topeka secures £4m deal with global giant Unilever - November 2007

Tony DaviesAtchison Topeka, the leading food ingredients supply chain specialist, has secured a major supply chain contract worth £4 million with global brand producer Unilever.

The four-year deal is with Unilever’s Ice Cream division, which is behind the Walls Ice Cream name. It produces market-leading brands, such as Magnum, Cornetto, Solero, Calipo and Carte D’Or.

The 24-hour, six day a week operation involves Atchison Topeka collecting bulk liquid ingredients from manufacturers across the UK and Europe, utilising its 50 strong fleet of food grade tankers.

Annually over 2,000 just in time (JIT) deliveries are made of inbound supply of all bulk ingredients to Unilever’s Gloucester production facility.

The service includes on site management and discharge, along with holding liquid on temperature controlled tanker for periods of up to one week if required.

Previously, suppliers’ delivered product directly to the production site but this resulted in a rigid delivery profile that did not meet the changing needs of factory production. It also resulted in significant additional costs.

Andy Franks, Supply Chain Manager, at Unilever Ice Cream , said: “Atchison Topeka provide a high value service in a specialist area, and we have demonstrated that working in close partnership has produced significant cost savings and innovation. We expect that further improvements and savings can be delivered during the next 4 years”

The contract renewal continues the success of Atchison Topeka as a specialist within the food ingredients supply chain. The company recently announced the opening of a new state-of-the-art distribution centre at Droitwich in Worcestershire.

Mike Phillips, Managing Director of Atchison Topeka believes the close working relationship with Unilever is key to the continued success of the operation. He said: “Working in partnership to constantly develop the supply chain and create smarter ways of working improves the effectiveness of Unilever’s operation and makes genuine cost reductions.”

For reader enquiries please contact Mike Phillips • Atchison Topeka Tel: 08450 707755

Atchison Topeka Hits the Rugby World Cup Road – October 2007

Atchison Topeka, newly based at its purpose-built distribution centre at Droitwich, is taking on a different line of business during the Rugby World Cup in France.

The company’s day-to-day operation provides high-quality third party storage and distribution solutions to the food ingredients industry.

However, during the Rugby World Cup, it will be moving thousands of suitcases around France for sister company, Gullivers Sports Travel, the biggest official tour operator for the tournament.

Atchison Topeka Hits the Rugby World Cup RoadGullivers is handling over 5,000 clients from the UK but Atchison Topeka will be assisting its Inbound Division, which is responsible for over 5,500 clients, mostly from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, who are on tours organised by Gullivers for anything up to 54 days.

Explains Gullivers Inbound Manager, Susie Bresler: “We have some very large movements of clients on certain days when we take over whole TGV trains.

“However whilst the TGV is a fantastic way to travel around France, it does not easily cope with the baggage of rugby fans who are following the tournament for such a long period.

“Having the flexibility and reliability of our sister logistics company to move bags means a much more comfortable experience for our clients.”

Gullivers biggest movement date is Monday, 15 October, when thousands of its clients head out of Paris after the Semi Finals for Cote d’Azur and the South West.

Atchison Topeka’s trucks will collect the baggage the day before and safely transport them to Nice, Juan Les Pins, Cannes and Biarritz by the time clients arrive.

Commented Mike Phillips, Managing Director of Atchison Topeka: “With trailer design to fit the occasion, this is an unusual job that draws on our just in time expertise. It also gives some of our drivers a change of scenery.

“Given the need to get the bags moved to the next destination as soon as possible, most of the operations have double manning. And in keeping with the tournament, teamwork is essential.”

For reader enquiries please contact Mike Phillips • Atchison Topeka Tel: 08450 707755

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New Dawn distribution deal for Atchison Topeka - August 2007

Atchison Topeka, the food ingredients supply chain specialist, has been awarded a rolling two-year distribution contract renewal with Dawn Food Products.

Originally established in Jackson, Michigan (USA), as a doughnut baker, Dawn Foods has evolved into an international sweet bakery supplier producing a wide range of key ingredients for leading food producers throughout the world. The UK operation, based at Evesham, is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

Atchison Topeka is providing a flexible distribution service for ingredients supplied by Dawn Foods to a variety of wholesalers and end-users nationwide, including many leading bakery manufacturers.

Orders are directly loaded by Dawn Foods onto Atchison Topeka’s integrated state-of-the-art VIGO transport system, which also enables access to key performance indicator (KPI) data and proof of delivery (POD) details.

Atchison Topeka collects dry bakery goods, such as pre-mixes and concentrates that are supplied in 12.5kg and 25kg bags to customers.

The product is then cross-docked at Atchison Topeka’s new distribution centre at Droitwich, Worcestershire, for shared-user distribution across the UK. Delivery profiles range from one pallet drop to full loads.

Sally Lampitt, logistics and customer service manager at Dawn Foods, said: “We have a close working relationship with Atchison Topeka and they have the same customer focussed approach as ourselves. The company is proactive at creating solutions to our customer’s needs."

“They also provide extremely sophisticated KPI information that enables us to analyse what is being delivered and how we can make cost savings.”

For reader enquiries please contact Mike Phillips • Atchison Topeka Tel: 08450 707755

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Further growth at Atchison Topeka (20/06/2007)

Tony DaviesThe forthcoming move to new state of the art facilities looks set to provide the springboard for further growth for Atchison Topeka as the transport and storage specialist continues to capitalise on the rising trend of outsourcing non-core services to 3PLs.

Having been in business for nearly 20 years the Worcester-based company has a wealth of experience behind it operating as an ingredients mover and storer dedicated to the food industry. The move to the new premises will bring added benefits for both Atchison Topeka and its customers, as Mike Phillips, Managing Director, explains: “We’re bringing together our three existing sites into one facility to help build further growth and generate improved efficiencies. We have employed the services of leading industry experts, LPC International, with the design and specification of the facility and we worked closely with all parties so that we got exactly what we needed from the development and to ensure that it was future proof. With the high calibre of our customers it is essential that our facilities are of the highest standard and this is what the new site will provide us with.”

The decision to move was made in the latter half of 2005 and is due for completion in June. The new facilities are located at a nine-acre site and includes a 20,000 pallet fully racked temperature-controlled warehouse with state of the art IT infrastructure specially prepared and installed by Vigo Software Limited.

As part of the move the workforce, which currently numbers around 100 staff, will also be added to as the new development gets fully up and running. In terms of the fleet Atchison Topeka has 40 Scania tractor units, a combination of rigid and articulated, 40 high specification heated and chilled bulk liquid tankers and a fleet of powder tankers, as well as 60 temperature-controlled trailers and curtain-siders.

In addition to palletised deliveries the company also has bulk tanker deliveries, which are often temperature-sensitive and include the likes of chocolate, jams and sugars that need to be kept warm so that they don’t solidify. It also carries goods that need to be kept chilled at around two degrees such as juice and fruit-type products.

With businesses increasingly looking to outsource their logistical requirements to 3PLs in order to reduce their costs there has remained the need for them to retain close control in terms of information. The key for Atchison Topeka, therefore, has been to ensure that the IT and communications links are extremely strong so that it is able to fully integrate itself with its customers and provide real time data and information.

“We operate a shared user network and because we focus on the ingredients sector there’s a huge opportunity for synergy, which allows for greater consolidation of the supply chain and reduced food miles,” adds Mr Phillips. “The difficulties we face are the same as any company and we’re looking to reduce costs and retain business profitability whilst continuing to deliver excellent service. It’s an information-led world that we’re operating in at the moment and the challenge for 3PLs like ourselves is to provide and manage the flow of data to our customers in real time so that they are kept fully informed of every aspect of the entire supply process.

“Our key objective now is to ensure that the transition to the new facility is as seamless for our customers as possible and that service levels remain undisrupted. Once this has been achieved the long-term future goal is to develop further business growth in our chosen market in order to retain a competitive advantage. As we move forward we will continue to invest in our fleet and facilities to support our growth.

A sweet solution helps deliver the World’s favourite chocolates (14/06/2007)

Atchison Topeka is dedicated to the food industry, warehousing and distributing food ingredients into many of the UK’s leading food and confectionery manufacturers. The company, originally established in 1988 is shortly to move into a ‘state of the art’ purpose built 135,000 square foot, high-bay warehouse and distribution centre in Droitwich. The move will consolidate the existing 3 sites and provide significant opportunity for growth.

A sweet solution helps deliver the World’s favourite chocolatesAtchison Topeka is the latest in a high profile portfolio of companies to sign up to Wesupply’s OneTime supply chain solutions product satisfying trading requirements with a leading  chocolate manufacturer. Wesupply’s OneTime technology is a hosted On Demand once-only connection acting as an interface between the existing back office systems. This translates the exchange of key transactions such as Sales Order, Stock Movement, Stock Update, Despatch/Picking Confirmation, Inbound Delivery altogether giving better visibility to participants in the chain.

OneTime optimises on the supplier’s existing IT infrastructure and carries a one-off connection charge and an annual subscription fee.

Wesupply say that Supply Chain ambiguities are quickly removed and everyone, both supplier and customer, has one common, real-time and unambiguous view of the supply chain. The hosted service is quick to install and requires no hardware, software, database, integration tools or major internal project teams or maintenance. And what is more payback is pretty much immediate with a low risk factor.

Atchison Topeka has a strong customer base supplying some of the most recognisable names in the industry so not surprisingly comes the need to meet electronic trading requirements and customer mandates when they arise.

OneTime is an instant one fix answer to all customer trading requirements that can be quickly, easily and inexpensively extended to other customers

 “The OneTime solution means that clients like Atchison Topeka no longer have to worry about changes in communication methods with other supply chain participants – they simply connect to Wesupply once and we take care of the information flowing between a client and its customers and suppliers”, says  Stephen Luscombe, Customer and Technical Services Director at Wesupply.  “Real-time supply chain data can vastly improve internal and external communications and processes which is also good for customer relationships. If you’re trading electronically the next stage is to trade collaboratively – OneTime is the first definitive step along the journey”

61% of customers now say that they favour suppliers that are electronically-enabled

A sweet solution helps deliver the World’s favourite chocolatesIt is clear from a recent report published by notable analysts, Aberdeen Research, that customers are choosing suppliers on the basis of their e-trading skills and it is likely that suppliers will be abandoned if they don’t trade electronically.

Against this background Wesupply has already attracted a number of high profile customers to OneTime since the revolutionary facility was introduced last year with connections into major organisations.

Many organisations say that when it comes to persuading suppliers to connect to a new supply chain system getting the systems to work is easy – it’s persuading the suppliers to agree and buy in to one way of working that’s the difficult part. With OneTime such problems don’t exist. Customers get the mandate they require and suppliers leverage their existing investment in IT without further software or hardware expenditure.

Over the last year many organisations from the building trade to electronics, from perishable foods to white goods have been mandated to trade electronically with their trading partners and customers. This trend will continue as end user pressure intensifies and competition increases. Supply on demand, real-time supply chain management, offers high rewards for those companies that get it right – the right connection with OneTime means a scalable and configurable product that will grow with the company - into a fully collaborative solution.

If a supplier has multiple customers demanding multiple communication methods which are costly and inefficient then the Wesupply OneTime solution could be the answer.

It’s obvious that no one can get everything right first time but suppliers can now confront a customer trading mandate with a simple and universal interface.

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