A global, independently owned, family-run packaging business has significantly increased its onsite storage capacity, improving its manufacturing operations after investing in a temporary building solution and warehouse extensions from Spaciotempo.
The Wilkins Group, with its head office in Colwick, Nottingham, specialises in supplying retail packaging worldwide to a wide range of markets such as food (chilled and frozen), textiles, confectionery, toiletries and household products.
With a modern state of the art facility that covers over 120,000 square feet in Colwick, the firm employs over 400 people with two further hubs in the City of Nottingham and bases in Romania, Sri Lanka, China, Bangladesh and India. The business turns over in excess of £30m per year.
Built on foundations rooted in innovation using the latest technologies, the folded carton manufacturer approached Spaciotempo with a brief to provide a cost effective solution as the firm considers permanent building expansion plans at its head office and manufacturing and logistics site in Colwick.
Founded in 1963 by the late Ken Wilkins under the name of Ken Wilkins Design Print Limited, the company first operated from a top floor in a terraced house in Nottingham and moved to a purpose built facility at Colwick in 1993. This is not only home to its manufacturing plant, but also has logistics and design teams based out of the location. A state of the art print hall and administration block was added in 2000.
Creating more space so manufacturing operations can run smoother
The Wilkins Group has seen orders rise by around 20 per cent over recent years, and in order to cater for the increase in orders and ensure operations are managed effectively, more space was required to hold finished and part-finished stock.
André Wilkins, managing director at The Wilkins Group explains: “Since installing the new onsite storage facility we have been able to process orders more efficiently and provide our factory staff with more space to move around in. When you are dealing with thousands of packaging items every day, storage is a fundamental part of the business and it’s important to ensure that goods are stored safely and securely, limiting damage and maintaining high standards of quality. If you pack orders too closely together, not only is it harder to access, but it can increase the likelihood of damage.
“This has cost implications at all levels and not just the physical cost. Customers expect and should receive goods in the best shape and we are very much focused on quality across every area of our business.”
The temporary solution installed by Spaciotempo is a 15 x 35 metre, free-standing storage facility with a height of 8.57 metres and which has a link back to the main building. It provides optimal storage for The Wilkins Group and includes economical LED lighting. Installed in just four days, the temporary building has an aluminium frame, incorporating a thermo roof and gable and UPVc wall panels, making it a highly durable solution. It also has two personnel access doors and an electrically operated roller shutter door, completely accessible by forklift truck, so goods are instantly accessible for either onward transportation to customers or back to the factory floor for finishing.
Temporary buildings mean expansion can be managed in a planned and sustainable way
André Wilkins explains why the company is such an advocate of temporary structures to help its firm cope with the increase in demand prior to building a permanent structure on the site. He says: “Our customers are major blue-chip retailers and require very responsive manufacturing and logistics solutions. Operating across a number of sectors means we understand the way that supply and demand fluctuations can impact our customers and we need storage facilities to cope with peak demands. We are heavily re-investing in all areas of our business including new machinery, continually striving to expand our operations and grow the business further for future family generations to take over and prosper in.
“Expanding and investing carefully is key and whilst a permanent building is our ultimate goal, installing a temporary structure means we can manage our expansion in stages, committing funds in a planned and coordinated way. A temporary solution gives us a cost effective option to immediately extend storage facilities until such time that a permanent building can be completed. It also offers a much more sustainable approach to expansion.”
The temporary building from Spaciotempo has been installed and is being hired by The Wilkins Group over a 25-month contract and will run until October 2018, providing The Wilkins Group with a medium term solution for increasing storage demands.
Quick and professional installation means temporary buildings prove a viable expansion solution
As the day-to-day operations of The Wilkins Group needed to carry on, finding a quick and easy storage solution that could be utilised within a short space of time was key for the company and Spaciotempo’s installation team lived up to the promise of installing the temporary structure in days.
Spaciotempo’s Area Sales Manager, Daniel Parker, explains why temporary buildings are delivering instant results for The Wilkins Group. He comments: “We were delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with The Wilkins Group and have come to understand the way their business operates, ensuring the installation proceeded efficiently and on schedule. The firm was also having ground works completed at the same time as we installed our temporary building so it was important that our team worked closely with the groundwork team to ensure that safety on site was maintained at all times and disruption was kept to a minimum.
“As The Wilkins Group had reached its storage capacity, it meant the firm could expand and continue business as usual whilst plans are being developed for a permanent structure in a few years time. It also means that firms like The Wilkins Group can cautiously expand and use temporary buildings as a transition, supporting their needs as they grow.
“The flexible facilities offered by temporary buildings means not only can they provide instant relief for any storage challenges, but once they are no longer required they can be dismantled just as quickly as they were initially assembled.”
André Wilkins concludes, “As a business serving customers from a diverse range of sectors and industries we consistently need to ensure that we are completely reactive to their needs. If this means greater order volumes at times, then we need to have the processes in place to accommodate the peaks. As a business, this means we need to find suitable storage, which can be installed quickly and Spaciotempo’s solution fitted the bill perfectly. But, it’s not just about the building, how it was erected was equally as impressive and the team’s consideration of others working on the site was also impressive. Safety was Spaciotempo’s number one priority followed by a quick installation and their site manager Simon Smith ran the project in a most efficient way. They were professional at all times and we are extremely thankful that everything went to plan and was delivered on time. We are in talks at the moment to extend the facility further and can honestly say, we are real advocates of temporary buildings as they provide an immediate and flexible storage solution.”