Editorial director Lou Smyrlis recently conducted a lengthy interview with Nick Nanos, director, traffic, customs & Toronto logistics operations, LCBO. Here is what Nanos had to say about LCBO’s transportation priorities for 2013 and how the organization will be leveraging supply chain practices to meet those priorities.
Q: In relation to transportation & logistics, what is the top priority for your company heading into 2013?
Nanos: Our top priority is efficiency. It’s part of our 3 Es: Efficiency, Ergonomics, Environmental. From a logistics perspective, we are looking at a lot of automation in our retail service centres. There is efficiency and cost savings attached to that. Ergonomically there are a lot of gains. Our workforce is getting older and there is a high incidence of lost time due to musculoskeletal type injuries so that will help with that. From a transportation perspective, our buying patterns have changed. As Jim, suggested, we are buying a lot more LCL and LTL to find that sweet spot. That’s a huge priority for us. And from a strategic perspective, we are constantly looking at different modes – whether that’s increasing water transportation on certain lanes of traffic, or rail on other lanes. Those are definitely good opportunities for us.
Q: How will you be leveraging your supply chain practices to help you address your priorities for 2013?
Nanos: We are looking at different parts and packaging is a huge component of our supply chain and what we expect from our supply chain partners. We have two big packaging initiatives, from which we are looking to gain efficiencies. With our cargo, generally we weigh out, we never cube out. We have one initiative called the light weight bottle initiative and that involves taking what was on average a 515-520 grams per bottle down to 420 grams. That allows us to gain some efficiencies on the transportation end and that’s money in our pocket. Ergonomically that helps as well. There is also the case conversion process that we have. We have put a maximum case weight limit of 18.9 kg, which again allows us to gain some efficiencies when we are loading the containers and that is saving money. And going back to the ergonomic benefits, the average age of our workforce is 51 and the workers in the stores are primarily female, so lighter weight has a huge cost reduction.
We’ve also instituted floor loading containers. We have some technology in our facilities -- we call our it a destuffing platform -- that allows us to get on a platform and mechanically go up and down and side to side. With that, from an ergonomics perspective, the employee is able to lift and move from the power zone and from a shipping perspective we are looking at using every nook and cranny on that can and that translates into more productivity.
Stay tuned to www.trucknews.com for more excerpts of the Nanos interview as well as exclusive interviews with other leading shippers and carriers.