In early 2021, Calum began heading up the Nippon Gases contract and over the last 18 months he has made improvements to the customer’s safety metrics, service levels, dedicated fleet, as well as many other areas.
Despite the adverse conditions brought on by the pandemic, Brexit, the driver shortage and the European CO2 shortage, Suttons delivered record breaking volumes for Nippon, all while improving safety, service and maximising value to their dedicated fleet.
Continuous improvement has always been at the forefront of Calum’s decisions on the contract, and one change that has come about as a result of this has been the significant increase of the number of dedicated units bringing stability and reliability in relation to demand. Dedicated units on the contract increased by 10%, with an additional 15% flex on top if required on an ad-hoc basis This has been possible by optimising shift patterns freeing up resource for other areas of the business, aligning to our Right Driver, Right Skillset at the Right Time commitment.
This approach gives Nippon flexibility to move their essential product whenever they require. With the potential for demand fluctuation, the ability to provide additional units upon request, despite the current problems facing the logistics industry, has proved invaluable for this contract.
Calum has overseen the growth of Nippon’s fleet which has been fundamental to improving service levels, along with a 15% increase in drivers dedicated to the contract. Nippon have invested in a number of new trailers for this contract, four of which are now in operation and a further four have been ordered for delivery in 2023.
Building upon the improvements to the fleet, Calum has made the cross training of drivers a priority, resulting in the majority of drivers across the contract now being trained on the various different classes of CO2 tankers giving the Nippon planning team significantly more flexibility than they have previously had.
In addition, the majority of drivers are now inducted at all available loading bays throughout the UK, meaning Suttons can react and respond quickly to product supply issues as and when they arise. The cross training of drivers at both Northern and Southern based loading bays gives the contract maximum flexibility in the event of production issues.
A strong safety performance is a non-negotiable at Suttons and Calum has been keen to improve the existing high-performance levels on the contract, again demonstrating his strive for excellence. In 2021 there was a 120% year on year increase in the number of near misses being submitted. These numbers signify the attention to detail and vigilance of our drivers, along with reflecting the ingrained culture of safety we uphold at Suttons, and the dedication of the driver training team.