SBH UK & Ireland

Case Study: SBH UK and Ireland

Back in 2013 when SBH UK & Ireland moved into a new purpose built Distribution Centre, Rack-N-Stak, one of the North West’s leading suppliers of materials handling equipment, was awarded the contract to supply a fleet of refurbished forklifts.

Now with ever increasing demands on the warehouse operation, Rack-N-Stak have replaced the machines with a fleet of new STILL forklifts and warehousing trucks on a contact hire basis.

SBH UK & Ireland is part of Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. (SBH), which is based in Texas. The global company has grown from one small store in 1964 in New Orleans into the world’s largest distributor of professional hair and beauty products, with over 4,000 stores worldwide.

The Distribution Centre, which is located in Walker Park in Blackburn, Lancashire, services all 260 Sally and Salon Services stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

An amazing 6 million items, across 8,000 product lines, are stored in the huge purpose built 18,000m2 DC – roughly the size of three football pitches. The state of the art operation is designed to keep pace with the needs of the modern and very busy hair and beauty industry, so reliable materials handling equipment to support the operation was a must! This is where Rack-N-Stak originally came in.

Rack-N-Stak have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Sally Hair & Beauty for over 20 years, recalls Tony Crawford, SHB Warehouse Manager.

“Our first dealings with Rack-N-Stak were way back in 1998 when they supplied the racking and a materials handling equipment for a new warehouse. From day one we have liked their straight forward approach, especially when it came to looking at the bigger picture and offering a total solution rather than just supplying fork lift trucks”

The DC operates an extended day-shift, 6 days a week with the option to multi-shift, so the trucks and equipment were designed and specified to cope with the demands of a high throughput operation. Working closely with Tony and the team at SBH, and having gained a valuable insight into the operational requirements of the DC, Rack-N-Stak recommended a fleet of new STILL forklifts and warehousing equipment. The fleet included:

  • STILL FMX Reach Trucks – 2 of which are fitted with Flametec zone protection for use in the Aerosol storage area.
  • STILL RX20 and RX50 Electric Counterbalance Trucks
  • STILL Powered Pallet Trucks – a mix of rider and pedestrian models.
  • Spare Batteries and Change System – to allow for extended day shift operation and future expansion to a multi-shift.

Increase in Pallet Storage

As the appointed materials handling partner to SBH, Rack-N-Stak were also awarded the contract to design, supply and build a new 9m high pallet racking system.

A key factor in the decision to award the materials handling contract to Rack-N-Stak was their service capabilities according to Tony Crawford. “Servicing over 260 stores throughout the UK and Ireland means that we can not afford unplanned downtime. We have always been impressed with the high level of service from Rack-N-Stak and the fact that they are local is a huge benefit to us” commented Tony. “Also having the same engineers, more often that not, means that they get to know the trucks and keep downtime to a minimum. They also get to know the staff and our procedures which also helps”.

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