Welcome to our newly launched longer-read articles, where we’ll be discussing various aspects of the company and our industry, and all of the things we’re passionate about here at Feasibility.
For anybody unfamiliar with the company, Feasibility Limited is a first-class Construction Consultancy based in the West Midlands. We were first established in 2000 and today we provide a range of services, including Quantity Surveying, Employer’s Agent, Project Management and Procurement Advice.
We’re going to start with our experience and expertise in Distribution and re-visit some of the Regional Distribution Centres (RDC) we’ve worked on. How have they evolved over time as supply chains try to keep up with the rapid pace of change across industry, retail and consumer habits, and of course technology?
Whilst we have also worked on a wide range of warehouse developments over the years, and continue to do so, the obvious distinction between that and an RDC is the fact that these buildings are so much less about storage and so much more about the flow of goods – as swiftly, efficiently and sustainably as possible.
Our recent experience has seen us support developers with all sorts of exciting distribution, including RDCs and CFCs (Customer Fulfilment Centres) for retailer brands such as Co-op and Ocado.
Shopping habits have changed so much in recent years and technology has opened up so many new ways of working, that there have been a number of incredible innovations in things like product mixing, order fulfilment, cross docking, packaging and more.
We were recently appointment by Tritax Symmetry to support with the delivery of The Co-Op Food Group’s new 661,000 sq ft regional distribution centre at Symmetry Park, Biggleswade, in the heart of Bedfordshire. The RDC will further reinforce the national retailer’s commitment to providing ‘best in class’ distribution to its network of over 4,000 UK stores.
We’re providing Quantity Surveying services for the project, which is a substantial win for the local economy and will provide a truly sustainable development with excellent transport links to the national motorway and trunk road network.
With a 20-year lease in place, the new centre will provide a major boost to the local economy and is expected to create over 1,200 jobs.
We are also involved in the delivery of Ocado Retail’s major Customer Fulfilment Centre at SEGRO Logistics Park Purfleet, where the exciting new joint venture between Ocado Group and M&S is seeing a 304,355 sq ft state-of-the-art development being delivered.
It will be the fifth of its kind, occupying a 19-acre site and serving the East of London, and the second Ocado facility in our client’s portfolio, following the launch at Origin, Park Royal, which serves West London.
Feasibility is providing Project Manager, Employer’s Agent & Quantity Surveyor services for the CFC, which will incorporate Ocado’s robotic packing operation and is designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent sustainability rating. Work is underway after we successfully prepared the site by completing extensive highways works and an enabling package.
Our experience has also seen us support the delivery of speculative distribution centres and those that aren’t specifically for retail. In Doncaster, we’re working with Trebor Developments to deliver Gateway 4, a 408,961 sq ft unit at the UK’s fastest growing international airport outside of London.
This speculative scheme is likely to be occupied by a distribution-based operator outside of the retail industry, and is being equipped with a significant quantity of dock levellers, large service yards, HGV parking spaces and separate drivers’ accommodation.
Overall, we estimate that Feasibility has now successfully delivered in excess of 10,000,000 sq ft of space suitable for distribution use.
We have a collective experience of over 100 years, so we know our sheds!
Coronavirus and distribution
Coincidentally, we’ve launched this first piece at a time when distribution is at the very forefront of everybody’s mind.
From global PPE deliveries to getting essential food into our shops and supermarkets, the Coronavirus pandemic has turned the spotlight on the logistics industry and the ways in which we manage the flow of products at all touch points.
It will be interesting to see what legacy this leaves the industry in general, and what improvements are quickly made as a result of our recent urgent need.