A Quality Collaboration; Shell Cuts Wellocks’ Fleet Costs

Friday, October 21, 2016 - 11:55
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For more than half a century, Wellocks has been supplying premium ingredients to some of the UK’s most prestigious hotels and restaurants. From Gleneagles in Scotland to Gidleigh Park in Devon, Emirates’ first class airlines to the five-star hospitality suites at Old Trafford, the company is part of a world where quality, efficiency and reliability go hand in hand.

For Wellocks, missed or late deliveries are simply not an option. Its customers, which include many of the country’s top chefs and hoteliers, work to precise deadlines and expect seamless service – right from the time they place an order to the moment the ingredients arrive in the kitchen.

As a supplier to Freemasons at Wiswell in Clitheroe, Lancashire, the expectation is reliability and quality at all times throughout the year. Chef Patron Steven Smith says, “When it comes to suppliers, Wellocks is really the only option. Our relationship with Wellocks, from the drivers to the managers, ensures we can deliver the ultimate gastronomic experience each time our loyal clientele dine with us, serving them the high quality, fresh food they have come to expect.”

Consequently, Finance Director Michael Beech is acutely aware of the importance of maintaining an efficient and reliable fleet of delivery vehicles.

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“We have more than 100 vehicles making around 6,000 deliveries every week, all over the UK,” he explains. “Every single one of those deliveries needs to be on time, with the ingredients in perfect condition when they get there. Our customers are premium brands, so they expect us to provide a service to match.”

The once small family business has rapidly expanded to a country wide establishment and currently employs over 400 people. To keep up with the demand, Wellocks operates a series of regional hubs, supplied by four state-of-the-art refrigerated artic lorries. Customer deliveries are then made by a fleet of HGV and Sprinter vans, each working in a specific area of the country. Having access to a fuel supplier with more than 1,100 Shell service stations that could match its own nationwide network was therefore a major part of the company’s decision to switch from a small UK-based fuel company and begin a relationship with Shell.

“Having Shell fuel cards is far more convenient for our drivers and cost-effective for the business,” says Beech. “There are Shell service stations wherever our drivers need them, so we no longer have to factor refuelling detours into our delivery schedules. We’ve also been able to stop storing tanked fuel at almost all our own sites.”

But it’s not only a question of convenience for Wellocks. By working with Shell, the company is also benefiting from using Shell FuelSave Diesel across its entire fleet. Why? Because Shell FuelSave Diesel is scientifically formulated to help prevent deposits forming in the engine and improve fuel efficiency from the very first tank – good news for Wellocks’ vehicles and its customers.

“The more reliable and efficient our vans are, the better our service is for customers and the more profitable we are as a business,” continues Beech. “Through using Shell FuelSave Diesel, we expect to see a reduction in our fuel costs, a decrease in maintenance expenditure and a fall in the number of vehicle breakdowns. With our business currently expanding, this is particularly important. The less time and money we spend on maintenance, the more we can focus on attracting and serving new customers.”

In other words, when it comes to Wellocks’ business operations and profitability, the benefits of its relationship with Shell are clear. But for Beech and his fellow directors, there is also a less tangible factor to consider: the positive impact on the company’s brand reputation.

“To succeed as a business and differentiate ourselves from the competition, we have to behave like a premium brand in everything we do,” says Beech. “Right from the quality of our ingredients through to the standard of our vehicles and the professionalism of our drivers. I’d much rather our customers see one of our lorries or vans refuelling on a Shell forecourt than a supermarket one!”

“Besides, at Wellocks, we often talk about having a Formula One operating model: sleek, efficient and fast-paced. Given’s Shell’s heritage in developing quality fuels, as well as its longstanding technical partnership with Ferrari, working together is the perfect match for the perfect ingredient.”

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