Gowan Group Motors Division invests in massive new parts warehouse facility
Gowan Group has completed works on an extensive new parts warehousing facility located in Citywest in Dublin 24, to service their dealer networks. We went along to see the plans to deliver aftermarket parts to their more than 130-strong collective dealer network covering nine brands.
Fully operational from the end of May and boasting a 110,000 sq. ft. stackable capacity, the new warehouse will have 23,000 unique locations to stock the many different parts lines from the nine brands.
Gowan Group is the exclusive importer and distributor in the Republic of Ireland of the Alfa Romeo, Citroen, DS, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Honda, Jeep, Opel and the Peugeot brands. Abarth will also be covered and you might even get elusive Chrysler or Lancia special order parts?
The new warehouse is the first phase of the building to be fully functioning at the new, relocated Importer headquarters in Citywest, which will include new office space, a new marketing showroom and a 10,000 sq. ft. training academy, bringing each of the nine aforementioned Gowan Group Motor Division brands under one roof.
John Donohoe, Gowan Group Logistics Manager said: “Owing to the recent expansion of the Group’s motor division and the acquisition of the FCA brands, our biggest priority has been to complete works on our new warehouse facility at our new headquarters. This will significantly increase capacity and result in an improved service to our dealers and end-customers.
“When fully operational we will be serving more than 130 individual Dealers nationwide. Each Dealer will receive an overnight delivery service, with three daily deliveries planned for all Dublin Dealers. In a bid to drive our customer satisfaction, a key objective, we aim to deliver the right part, on time, every time.”
He added: “Our new and larger warehouse capacity also allows us to ultimately deliver on our goal of reducing our environmental impact. Crucially, we aim to reduce, reuse and recycle where possible. We will reuse packaging from inbound goods and where that’s not possible, we will work with our environmental partners to ensure that any packaging waste is segregated and recycled in a professional and responsible way.
“All equipment from forklifts, to order pickers, to floor cleaning equipment, are all 100 per cent electric and are charged on site with renewable energy. The very design of the warehouse has maximised natural lighting on each aisle for as long as possible throughout the day, to reduce our overall energy consumption. All lights fitted throughout the building are efficient LEDs.”
The new warehouse capacity lends itself to increased stock holding of larger parts items such as panels and glass. Complementing the brands’ replacement parts and accessories lines, Eurorepar, the multi-brand quality automotive spare parts for service, maintenance and repair will also be stocked.
Future-proofing the business to allow for further growth, there is also an option to further extend upwards the 4m and 5m high storage racks, to further increase capacity.
With 15 full time warehouse operatives, two teams function in tandem, with one team taking goods in, the other responsible for picking and dispatch. Emergency, or VOR parts arriving in to the warehouse are directed straight to the packing and dispatch area, for onward delivery to the dealer as quickly as possible.
Parts for stock are brought to a sorting area within the warehouse, where they are sorted by aisle and put away into stock. The aisles in the low bay picking area are all wide aisles, allowing order pickers to safely pass each other or, to simultaneously pick from both sides of the aisle, for maximum efficiency.
Keyloop technology has been installed with touchscreens interfaces built into each order picking machine, to guide warehouse operators via the optimal route to pick. The number of picks allocated to each operator is dependent upon the size and quantity of parts to be picked.
With different order cut-off times for different parts of the country, the system can be changed to ensure that the correct parts, for the correct dealer, are being picked, to meet to order cut-off and collection times.
For onward delivery to the 130-strong collective dealer network, well known and respected industry service provider, DSV is the chosen partner to ensure that all dealers receive their parts orders on time every time.
Continually, the Gowan Group monitors and aims to improve the service provided to dealers, to ensure the best possible customer service to the retail customer.