ENABLING GROWTH | Learn how the digital benefits of Twill helps SMEs spend less efforts on supply chains and more time growing their business
Interview with Jan Peacock, International Sales Manager at Isaac H. Grainger & Son Ltd.
Can you tell me a bit about your business?
Isaac Grainger is a 150-year-old manufacturing company based outside Birmingham in the UK. We manufacture metal products for Raised Access Flooring, which is the type of floor you’re standing on in your office so that you can plug your computers into the floor or install air conditioning rather than cables coming down the wall. We manufacture this product in the UK and in India, and it’s used around Europe.
What are your biggest pain points when it comes to transport and logistics?
To manufacture the full flooring system, we need to ship products from the UK into Spain and from India to the UK and Spain. That’s where seamless, door-to-door shipping becomes very important.
We’re not a huge customer that ships thousands of containers and has a fixed contract. We order containers as we need them, and the biggest issue for us has been reliability as we operate with a door-to-door policy. This means that if a customer wants a container, we need to tell them the cost of the product, the transportation cost and the arrival date. The biggest problem has been to get a price as this could take as long as two weeks via an agent or freight forwarder. The delivery was also very hard to track and manage when it wasn’t on a vessel. Twill solved these problems.
How critical are these transportation issues in running a smooth operation?
For our import business in the UK, they are absolutely critical as we are known for producing products with fairly short notice. The customers don’t care if we manufacture in the UK or in India, they just want their product delivered to the construction site on time.
How far can platforms such as Twill take you in overcoming these challenges?
The platform is very useful. If I log onto Twill today, I should be able to, let’s say ship a container in 10 days time from India to our factory outside Madrid, Spain, by checking the available ships and the price.
If our factory manager in India says we’re able to ship a bit earlier, I can do this via the platform rather than having to call someone and wait for confirmation. This flexibility is very important to us because we save time and hassle. Shipping should be like Amazon, that’s the standard these days. Twill knows who you are, you make your booking, get confirmation and my guys in India can log in and talk to their Twill contact locally – it’s a smooth system.
Our specialty is not logistics. In the past, we spent 10-15% of our time chasing logistics. Our specialty is manufacturing steel products and that’s where I want to spend my time. That’s why I’m enthusiastic about Twill as there wasn’t anything like it when it came. It’s like Amazon for shipping.
Our specialty is manufacturing steel products and that’s where I want to spend my time.
What you need to know about Twill
- Twill is a tailor-made, end-to-end customer experience built to serve small and medium-sized businesses
- The current solution includes ocean, inland haulage, customs house brokerage and value protect (insurance), and all can be booked and managed online
- Twill is live in 154 countries
In 2020, more than 2500 new customers booked on Twill with volumes exceeding 100,000 FFE, representing a 13x growth year-over-year.