Acorn Warehouse Solutions | Musto



Musto was founded by – and took its name from – Olympic sailing silver medallist Keith Musto, who set out to be the first to supply a complete range of sailing clothing. Today, in addition to high quality sailing garments, the company supplies shooting and equestrian clothing and accessories. As a trusted leader in its field, Musto’s products have been tested and adopted by many of the most respected names in sailing, equestrian and country sports including Zara Philips, Ellen MacArthur, Pete Goss and James Haskell. It also provides kits for the crew of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).

All businesses operating warehouses have two key ongoing requirements:

  1. To maximise storage capacity with finite space availability
  2. To maximise the efficiency of warehouse management processes

In difficult economic times, “making more out of less” is a common requirement, and this is particularly true in the manufacturing and retail business.

So when Musto’s management decided to consolidate its head office, distribution centre, quality control and showroom facilities into a single unit, they knew it would require a great deal of preparation and planning. Musto has thousands of stock lines and a constant supply requirement to hundreds of outlets, stores and distributors throughout the UK and worldwide. This meant that the task of consolidating the warehouse space, accommodating extra stock and staff and at the same time keeping the supply chain operations running uninterrupted would be a major challenge.

With the solid reputation of such a prestigious brand at stake, there was no margin for error in Musto’s warehouse project.

The Business Problem

As a result of the rapid expansion of its business during the 1990’s and into the 21st century, Musto had grown into 2 separate warehouse facilities.

This led Musto’s Board to investigate the possibility of outsourcing its warehousing and distribution functions in order to realise cost savings and extra efficiencies.

Musto’s established market position and reputation meant that the operation of a highly efficient supply chain to its multi-channel distribution was critically important in positioning the business for future growth. So after consideration, the favoured option was to retain control of both the warehousing and distribution functions.

Furthermore, as a result of the decision to keep the supply chain management in-house, the company quickly realised that with planning, a new warehouse layout, additional racking and the introduction of a new warehouse management system, it would be able to consolidate its 2 warehouse units into a single unit.

The Requirement

Management of Musto’s warehouse consolidation project was taken up by the company’s Supply Chain Director, Vaughan Bendall, who contacted Acorn Warehouse Solutions, a warehouse solutions specialist that had delivered projects for him during his time with a previous employer.

Vaughan asked Acorn to undertake a 2 week feasibility study to assess whether Musto’s desired objectives were indeed achievable. On completion, Acorn’s feasibility study clearly demonstrated how Musto’s objectives could be met, the resources that would be required, the project’s inter-dependencies and the timescale in which it could be completed.

The final project requirements were to:

  • Consolidate 9,387 sq meters of warehouse space across 2 units into a single 5,400 sq meter warehouse unit
  • Design and deploy new racking systems to accommodate current and future stock requirements
  • Incorporate head office, distribution centre, quality control and showroom facilities
  • Plan, manage and implement the entire project to budget and timesca
  • Achieve zero downtime in Musto’s day-to-day supply chain operations

The Solution

Following approval of Acorn’s warehouse consolidation project proposal and plan by Musto’s Board of Directors, Acorn deployed a full time project manager to manage the implementation and a fully equipped,
highly skilled and experienced project team. Detailed CAD drawings were developed to show the new single facility layout design. The project timelines were set in stone to ensure that the move into the single warehouse unit would take place on a designated day, and with no downtime for the business. New aisle layouts, racking systems, mezzanine flooring, administrative offices, staff facilities and testing suites were all planned and built in.

After 5 months of detailed planning, management and implementation work, Musto’s single 5,400 sq meter warehouse unit was ready to go live. The move took place on the planned day and all systems were up and running by the target deadline. Not a single day was lost in the process. Simultaneously, a new WMS was commissioned, implemented and went live (supplied by a 3rd party).

“People put their lives in our hands. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. There’s a level of trust between us and the people who wear Musto clothing. That trust has been built over years of product-testing by many respected names in sailing, equestrian and country sports.  I have used Acorn Warehouse Solutions services for over 20 years, they are always quick to understand our requirements. They are commercially very aware, able to fit with our timescales and budgets and have a strong teamwork ethic. We like to work with people who are as driven as we are about innovation and excellence and the team at Acorn Warehouse Solutions reflect these values. It is this that gives me the confidence to go back to them
again and again”.

Vaughan Bendall
Supply Chain Director, Musto