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In 2006 when Gateway Managing Director Martin Ford visited one of its major supply chain customers he noticed a skipload of cardboard cartons that were being accumulated in the customers waste disposal areas. A direct question to the warehouse manager revealed that they paid a local contractor to come in and remove their waste cardboard at least once per week.Further investigations revealed the extent of the cost that was being incurred by this customer for the packaging costs within the 'delivery charges' made by its component and equipment suppliers. The estimated annual costs of this problem amounted to over £34,000.
Gateway has a long trading relationship with this customer in the military communications sector and supplies over 200 different parts to a 'green-route' supply solution, where the parts are shipped into the customers good inwards area, unpacked and then placed directly into production line-side storage locations, avoiding the need for costly and time-consuming goods inwards inspection procedures. Production operatives are responsible for making call-off demands for resupply from Gateway by using the Gateway designed software embedded within the customers operating system. Gateway would then deliver all call-offs in one weekly consolidated shipment free of charge.
To enhance its 'Green' credentials Gateway then introduced its Green Box solution. All products are delivered in sturdy, secure, re-usable containers that are retained by the customer when emptied and collected by Gateway on a fortnightly cycle. After 20 cycles the boxes had paid for themselves, the customers freight charges were significantly reduced and Gateway was then able to roll out the Green Box solution to a number of other customers so they could benefit from the savings made and at the same time make a contribution to global recycling initiatives.