Bunzl’s Northern Irish division upgrades headquarters

Bunzl McLaughlin used a Spaciotempo temporary building while its new headquarters building was being constructed.

Armagh-based Bunzl McLaughlin is having a new 70,000ft2 permanent building constructed, including 30,000 ft2 of office space.

The dealer has been supplying the hospitality trade since 1874. Previously Thomas McLaughlin, the firm was acquired by Bunzl, a multinational FTSE 100 distributor, in 2002, subsequently adding a number of leading cleaning and non-food retail businesses to create what it is today.

Supplying to firms in the North and South of Ireland, Bunzl McLaughlin has over 3,500 core items in stock available for next day delivery and access to over 50,000 products from the world’s leading catering and cleaning manufacturers.

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To ease the transition to the new building, Bunzl McLaughlin approached temporary building specialist, Spaciotempo, to provide a cost effective solution at its current head office in Armagh while its new permanent premises were being built.

With five sites across the Armagh region in the North of Ireland, two manned facilities and three storage units, Bunzl McLaughlin has ambitious expansion plans and looked for a temporary warehousing solution that provided the additional space it required without disrupting day-to-day operations.

The distributor has seen its business grow year on year, extending its product portfolio for customers as well as improving and meeting demand for next-day delivery. As time is critical in a next-day delivery business, being able to hold more stock on one site, rather than across others, has been an invaluable resource for the firm.

Spaciotempo’s temporary structure provided the much needed bulk storage facility, enabling Bunzl McLaughlin to continue to respond and distribute fast moving product lines, and to have the flexibility to hold more products on one site.

Albert Mulligan, supply chain and logistics manager, Bunzl McLaughlin, explained: “We desperately needed a storage facility that would enable us to carry on with day-to-day operations whilst construction was going on for our permanent building. We were literally bursting at the seams and needed more space and fast. The facility needed to be up and running quickly so we could ensure that our customers didn’t suffer or indeed, feel our pressures. It was essential that it was a seamless operation and installation didn’t hamper our efforts but support them.

“When you are dealing with thousands of product lines and items every day, storage is a fundamental part and it’s important to ensure that goods are stored safely and securely, limiting damage, and allowing them to be easily accessed and despatched at speed. It’s also vital to maintain our high standards of quality and service at the same time. Spaciotempo’s solution, whilst temporary for us, is a viable option and acts just as a permanent building would, but we have the flexibility to move it or take it down at any time.”

Spaciotempo’s area sales manager, Phil Tallon, added: “We were delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with Bunzl McLaughlin which was in need of a solution and fast as the firm was just about to enter its busiest trading periods. The flexibility offered by temporary buildings means not only can they provide instant relief for any storage challenges such as Bunzl McLaughlin’s, once they are no longer required they can be dismantled just as quickly as they were initially assembled.”

While Mulligan concluded: “We consistently strive to improve and expand our stock holding on site and our new permanent state-of-the-art logistics centre is an exciting prospect and its imminent opening is eagerly awaited. All is going to plan and we are extremely grateful to Spaciotempo for a quick and professional installation to bridge that interim space gap – we wouldn’t have coped without it!”

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