Mike Danby beat the far east at its own game: his company Advanced Supply Chain (ACS) is a logistics firm with lots of added value. ACS not just takes care of the logistics of clothing food and other goods coming into the UK, from China and other far eastern countries. It also adds value by checking garments, and even ironing or steam treating the garments when they come off of the ships.This was just the start of the story of their win in the world of ecommerce order fulfillment.
Often the logistics are taken care of within the country in which the goods are manufactured, so in this case it would be expected that Chinese firms would ship and check the goods. But ACS built such a reputation for reliability and efficiency, that they won many big high street contracts such as Next, BHS and Coca Cola.
FIrstly Mike says that it was efficiency, they moved the warehouse from Hebden Bridge inn the middle of nowhere, to near the motorway. These days thats standard for logistics firms, but back then, maybe it wasn’t, and Mike was writing the rules.
Through this efficiency the firm broke even a year after Mike was made managing director. Three employees turned into 600 in 16 years, and now the firm offer more added value on top of their logistics core.
At the time of him taking the business over in the 90s, it was known that so much manufacture would go across to China and the far east, but Mike knew money could still be made. He fore saw the rise in Information technology in the logistics industry, and thought that this b would be another way of making savings and being efficient. To save money he had to invest money, and that he did. His way of competing would be with technology. He was heard to say “if its got a barcode on it, we can move it”. Which was his way of saying that they as a business were flexible, and willing to work with any sort of goods.
This investment in IT paid off, it meant the firms systems could be integrated with the manufacturers, the clients and eventually eve Customs and Excise. This paid off even further with the rise in internet shopping. Stock levels were easy to track, and soon ACS were offering services where they would ship to the retail customer, and conquering the world of ecommerce order fulfillment.
Maybe the firms success is due to the fact it predicted, kept up and embraced technology, but it the success was confirmed not only by its 1 million pound a month turnover, or by its client list, but also by the fact it was included in the London Stock Exchanges ’1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’.