Lion, beverage & food

The customer

Lion is a leading beverage and food company with a portfolio that includes many of Australia and New Zealand’s favourite brands. The Dairy & Drinks portfolio (formerly National Foods) produces household name brands of milk and dairy beverages, juice, dairy, cheese and soy products. The Dairy & Drinks footprint includes production facilities and sales offices in all Australian states, as well as New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Linfox services

Linfox is Lion’s in-house logistics provider, servicing a large proportion of the transport and operation’s needs, including ambient and temperature-controlled warehousing on the east coast of Australia and transport nationally on all major legs.

In 2009 Linfox began the design and construction of a state-of-the-art national Distribution Centre (DC) in Laverton, Victoria for Lion. The new temperature controlled facility consolidated several warehouses into one purpose-built DC. This is the second national DC Linfox has built and commissioned for Lion. The first, at Erskine Park in Sydney, is a 26,000 m2 ambient DC, which began operating in January 2009.

Linfox also manages Lion juices and bottled water in the multi-user site in Willawong, Queensland. In addition, Linfox manages the Vitasoy components out of the multi-user site in Somerton, Victoria. The Willawong DC has an ambient and linehaul capability, and is 20 minutes away from the main railhead that transports product interstate and intrastate to the Lion Townsville site.

The challenge

  • Consolidate chilled operations across the entire distribution network.
  • Improve service levels.
  • Introduce innovation.
  • Cut costs from the supply chain.

The solution

Linfox’s design and construction team works closely with customers to tailor solutions that are fit for purpose and that will solve key logistics issues over the life of a facility.

The design of the Erskine Park and Laverton DCs involved Lion and Linfox working collaboratively to share goals and data to build state-of-the art facilities.

This coupled with a robust implementation process delivered the national DCs that would facilitate Lion’s current and future business needs.

Linfox’s modelling capabilities were used to provide future views of the supply chain and transport network, as well as, design and model the DCs.

Once the parcel of land was chosen and the comprehensive supply chain modelling was complete, several DC concept designs were produced in 2D for all parties to review. A concept design was eventually agreed and signed off by all stakeholders. The design would lead to a more substantive, detailed architectural plan, following on with the construction phase being completed by Linfox Property Group and Qanstruct Vic.

The project delivered the DC structure as well as a supporting warehouse management system, transport management system and standardised operational procedures to service Lion’s chilled products nationally.

The Linfox implementation team coordinated the disparate components of the project, working with suppliers to meet the agreed ‘go-live’ date. Systems commissioning, recruiting and training employees, and a myriad of other factors were part of the implementation process.

Innovation

  • A 36-pallet drive through, temperature controlled B-Double provides single access to both trailers from a single dock without uncoupling.
  • Weight gauges ensure that trucks are not overloaded.
  • CoolTrax GPS units that monitor the temperature of rail containers are currently being tested. Testing includes online troubleshooting.
  • Daily online key performance indicators (KPIs) have been introduced.
  • Automatic delivery time window feeds into smart phones for drivers.
  • Introduction of an online portal shows visibility of linehaul legs, 80 loads per day, 27 on rail nationally.

The results

  • Consolidation of Lion’s operations.
  • Adoption of the Linfox Safety Program
  • A range of environmental features, including roof water capture and storage of more than 500,000 litres for reuse in the DC.
  • The introduction of a formalised continuous improvement program with the collaboration of both parties working towards improvement in all metrics.
  • Partnership with a company that offers a complete supply chain solution.