Successful supply chain audit

Oliver Burgess, Mila’s supply chain director
Oliver Burgess, Mila’s supply chain director

Mila has won an ‘exceeding organisation’ rating from consultants Grant Thornton, which has independently audited Mila’s entire supply chain, analysing everything from how it manages its inventory to how its warehouse and transport operations perform.

The hardware specialist scored 2.7 out of 4, putting it alongside some of the UK’s biggest and most successful businesses.

One of the areas which Grant Thornton singled out for praise was Mila’s handling of the Chinese New Year.

For any company that sources product from the far east, the factory shutdown that accompanies the Chinese New Year represents the biggest annual challenge. Disruption can last for up to a month as workers make long treks across the country to see their families and then back again.

In the nine years since Mila has been sourcing products from its own suppliers in China, it has managed the shutdown and ensures that it delivers a seamless service to customers, with an otif score in excess of 95% maintained throughout.

This year, for example, when Chinese New Year fell on February 16, Mila started preparing in October 2017. The company’s demand planning team was tasked with ensuring that it had sufficient quantities of product in stock and it spent a record $8 million on orders specifically to see it through the affected period.

Mila’s managing director Richard Gyde said: “I’m not sure many customers appreciate the scale or the complexity of our supply chain operation and that’s exactly how it should be. All that matters to them is that when they place an order with Mila, it arrives with them on time and in full, and we certainly pride ourselves on the fact that our customers can take our reliability for granted.”

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