Our Elevation Innovation

Posted 10 Aug 2017

At AO.com we are always solving the problems you don’t know exist. It’s all about making it easy for our customers and to do this you definitely need to challenge the ordinary.

The logistics industry is as old as the hills, but as industries age they sometimes carry basic flaws with them. Flaws that, until challenged by people in the right environment, are just accepted as ‘part and parcel’ problems that need to be accommodated, rather than overcome.

At AO we pride ourselves on challenging the ordinary and tackling problems that are otherwise accepted as ‘the norm’ – and in an environment where every minute counts, we’re slowly shaking up the way logistics is done.

What was the problem?

Every day we send thousands of appliances from our distribution centre in Cheshire. They are all transported nationwide to our depots on the back of a large AO trailer, before being transferred to smaller home delivery vehicles for the final leg of their journey.

The problem lies with transferring goods from the larger trailer onto the back of a smaller vehicle. Most businesses use a forklift truck to unload appliances and then store them in a warehouse as they wait to be transferred back onto the smaller van. Not only can this be a real drain on time, space and money, but it also raises the potential for damage. After all, the more an appliance is disturbed and moved around the floor, the higher the risk is of putting a dent in it.

So rather than accept it as ‘one of those things’ we challenged our teams to find a better way to transfer goods from one vehicle to another – but with the minimal amount of time, space and contact.

How did we solve it? 

The answer was simple; an adjustable loading platform that allows us to transfer goods directly from our trailers onto the back of a home delivery vehicle. It reduced the 3 step process of unloading to ground level, storing it and then raising it for reload into one easy step.

It might sound simple, but the most brilliant solutions often are. Not only does it save us plenty of warehouse storage space, but It also increases our efficiency, and decreases the risk of any damage.

When you think about it, that means that our appliances never actually touch the floor, from the moment they leave our warehouse to the moment they arrive at our customers front door – all because we never stop looking for a better way.

Most people might not think about a career in logistics, but it’s about more than just getting things from A to B. It’s about problem solving, and if you’ve got an appetite for challenging the everyday then perhaps you could start thinking about a career in logistics too.

If you love to Challenge the Ordinary, visit www.ao-jobs.com. We would love to hear from you.

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