Ben Griffin of CDL on ITAD Logistics
I had the distinct pleasure of going out to the UK a couple of years ago and seeing their operations in place. I've been to a lot of ITADs. I've seen how a lot of ITADs handle their pickups and their drop offs and how they handled their logistics chain, how they handle their employees that are going out to do these pickups. And one of the things that just incredibly impressed me about CDL was they had the slickest, most efficient looking, I mean, maybe it's not, but I was so impressed by how their operation looked.
So tell me, how did you build this system? Did it always start off like this, how did your process evolved?
Yeah, OK, so first of all time we've been going at it now. It was 20 years this July just gone. So we've been doing ITAD in the UK for 20 plus years now, which has got a serious part to play in how we plan and how we structure things with the guys have been doing this now for a very, very long time. They know how it works. They know how it doesn't work. We've had time to try method's out when it comes to planning and logistics. There's some synergies with every other ITAD in the world. There's also some differences. We've been in the UK, you know. You know, if you look at the difference between the UK and the US, we're obviously a much smaller country. But that has its benefits and its downsides as well. You know, we're able to do the whole of the UK from one processing plant based in Mornington, which then means that we have around 23 vans out every day collecting IT. We're processing and bringing in, currently it's around one hundred and twenty four pallets a day, coming in and going out in the building. So when we're all working from one building, we're all based from one building. All the vans are returning back to one building every evening. It's got to be very efficient. We haven't really got room to have vans not being emptied on time, people not expecting the equipment back. So we spend a lot of time planning the collection first. So the sales team and the account managers go into a lot of detail with the clients about what it is we're collected, where we're collecting it from, and scheduling pickups.
I mean, it surprises me some of our customers are so demanding that you can order a parcel from Amazon and they'll say it'll be there on Tuesday and we're all really happy. But our clients want a one hour window next Wednesday when we're going to be there collecting it, but we do a good job.
Just out of curiosity, how has COVID changed what your pickup process looks like?
The only real difference is signing. Nobody's signing for anything any more. So in here, we'll estimate what we're picking up with a client. We have a form which the client can fill in on online portal and send it to us. So we've got a rough idea about quantities, equipment types that were picking up, we've already scheduled the right number of vehicles for the right collection, so, you know, some people want a quarter of a van. We estimate it in vans, in percentages of a van, believe it or not. So everything comes down to weights and sizes. We have a calculator here which then says, OK, well, you know, for 4 42t U racks 14 desktop PC towers, and monitors that equate to one point five vans. So we'll send two vans out the day. And then quite importantly, we have to fill both ends up. So we then tie those jobs in with all the jobs to fill both vans.
Actually with covid, we're running on a reduced fleet at the moment due to well, now that at the drop of a hat a driver will show symptoms and suddenly he's not available. What that means, actually, is the vans have got to come back 100 percent full. We have a lot of we call them gap fillers. So we'll have the big jobs like the big. So just to put it in context, we have about 9000 clients on the books at the moment, of which we will service four and a half thousand of those clients every single year.
So, yeah, four and half thousand different client collections for different clients. Some of those are huge, where we'll have four vans a week all year. Some of them are one collection every couple of months, and it's maybe 10 percent of a van, 20 percent of a van and will quite cleverly try and squeeze those on. So if I've got 25 percent of a van left after a big collection, we’ll look on the map, look for our other clients and try and tie those in on those days so that we can come back with 100 percent of a van every day. And that's really important. Now, at the minute with covid logistics have got a lot of pressure on to make sure that, you know, when we're running on reduced staff and we try know, trying to meet all of our clients demands, we don't really want to be coming back with half a van. So there's a lot of pressure on logistics to fill the vans, make sure that they're coming back full.
Listen to the Podcast for the full interview