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Mark in Action Stories

Harry Potter & the Cursed Book Hub

When Harry Potter and The Cursed Child was launched, Waterstones received 130k internet pre-orders. This was the biggest volume of pre-orders that Waterstones has ever experienced and there was no room for error. However, when things outside the team’s control started to go wrong, it seemed that it was a case of Harry Potter and the Cursed Book Hub.

It started with the packing boxes. They arrived on the Friday before launch day but the box suppliers had received the wrong dimensions; the boxes could not be used. The site team had 24 hours to source 6000 new boxes. Of course this team rose to the challenge, tapped into their excellent supplier relationships, and had 6000 boxes ready to go by 10am the next day. The team now had the right boxes and the operation started to pick the unprecedented volume over a 3 day period. The initial volume of 130,000 that had to be shipped to stores was completed by close of play Wednesday. Next, an internal Waterstones IT system gremlin popped up; this meant that customer order details were not rel...

60 Minutes and Counting...

One of our clients needed help and our team at Weedon, Northamptonshire were just the people to step up to the challenge.

Our warehouse was contacted at 16:15 on the day before Good Friday, with 4 urgent shop orders that needed to be picked, packed & dispatched same day to ensure delivery into the shops in time for the Easter trading period. The orders were not on the system and normal transport collections had already been arranged and collected. In the first instance Seb, the Team Leader on the outbound area, and Pras, the Logistics Administrator, started to review the orders to understand quantities to be picked and what the most suitable transport routes would be to get the stock to the shops in the most cost effective manner. Kay, the distribution administrator, supported by making calls to all of the ...

Keeping our customers on track...

Unipart Rail supplies and installs a broad range of rail infrastructure products such as signals, cables, overhead line and level crossing parts. One day, one of our engineers was on site and overheard a couple of Network Rail engineers discussing a thorny problem that they had. Scott thought he might just have a solution for them...

Network Rail had a problem sourcing critical parts for a panel which needed urgent modifications. The local engineers could not find a supplier for the parts, and their only option was to order a whole new unit. These are bespoke products, it would have taken weeks to order a new part and would come with a significant price tag. Cost was not the only dilemma for the local engineers, installing a whole new unit involved re-design work, and significant safety implications in taking the existing panel away. This was a real headache.Scott thought he might have an alternative solution for them. He offered his advice and advised them that he might be able to help. He knew that Unipart Rail had ...

UTL makes the difference...!

One of UTL’s major media clients was launching a new strategic project, with huge volumes of new stock needing the very latest software loads. The launch involved multiple trials, and the resolution of a myriad of technical issues. With go-live dates shifting and changing, UTL had to deliver ultimate flexibility.

This is where Wayne stepped up and assumed complete responsibility for every single aspect of the project handover into business as usual activity. Throughout the launch Wayne showed total commitment to the customer. He took on the challenge of delivering this programme successfully at a very personal level, constantly focusing on the next priority, chasing and challenging both the client and UTL team members, quickly reacting to every change and issue as it arose. He dropped everything and personally followed any service failure investigation through to a conclusion. Imagine getting the call from a client on a Friday saying that a software upgrade was needed before distribution of produc...

Going the extra mile...to Croatia!

Unipart Expert Practices (UEP) needed a translator to support a transformation project in Croatia. Without hesitation, Srdjan put his hand up and volunteered to take on the task. This project was a world apart from his normal day to day job managing a small team of distribution centre operators in a food retail warehouse...

The first thing that Srdjan did, both in work time and his own time, was to translate a wide range of standard Unipart documentation as well as over 60 Powerpoint training slides into Croatian. No mean feat by anyone’s standards.Even though the initial plan was for Srdjan to attend training courses purely to translate, it soon became clear that he was keen to do more. He soon began to help deliver workshops, adding his own examples and experience to add credibility to the courses. He engaged with local client directors, managers and staff and supported the successful delivery of the Unipart Way tools on site. His enthusiasm and determination to deliver change in line with Unipart Way prin...

A New Chapter for Unipart's TTC...

TTC (Truck & Trailer Components) had a parts catalogue that needed a significant update. Quotes from external print design companies for the design and production were extremely high. One of our TTC team stepped up to the plate and said he could do it, even though he had never done anything like this before and meant him having to learn new skills very quickly...

He got up to speed with Adobe Suite and began to create the catalogue, checking for product accuracy and learning the art of graphic design along the way. The team fed updated information to Nic on a regular basis and he churned out page after page each day. He managed to complete TTC's best catalogue ever - edition 19. Nic's skills have proved that he could achieve this 'in house' and not rely on other external departments to do it for us. He spent many evenings and worked at home to make sure it was just right. The result for our customer was outstanding, producing a catalogue that was both refreshingly creative and accurate, and has received nothing but praise from senior managers in t...

How People Solve the Productivity Puzzle

When one of our IT team at UTL looked at how one of our distribution hubs programmed its sorting equipment to adapt to changing client requirements; he knew he could save time and money with just a little creativity and a lot of know how.

Our client needs to be agile and respond quickly to a dynamic retail environment; making changes to the automated sorting equipment, using a third party supplier, was taking over 2 weeks and costing £1,500 each time. Our award winner thought he might be able to develop a way of doing it better...Phil highlighted to the business the possibility of creating a dummy sorter map so that we would no longer require the third party to be involved in any future changes. He got in contact with the third party to see if it was possible and to check that there were no underlying restrictions to his potential improvement.Once he was satisfied that it was possible, Phil then spent a number of weeks put...

Into the Unknown

“Going into the unknown is how you expand the known” This was certainly the case for 4 young engineers at Kautex Unipart Ltd. KUL, with their expertise in new generation fuel technologies, was invited to support the launch of a leading car manufacturer’s exciting new model.

The team was tasked with investigating, scoping and installing highly specialised blow molding machinery into the factory, integrating it into current processes, as well as making sure all four shifts across the factory were able to use it. The problem was that no-one in the UK had done this before. The technology and kit was so advanced that they had to look overseas for help. They really were working in unknown territory. However, this didn’t stop this team of Process Engineers and Team Leaders...They found experts in Germany and quickly got up to speed with the new technology and machinery. They turned this knowledge around and applied it with amazing dexterity to the reality of the sh...

Popping up a "Pop-Up" Shop

When there is a “weather event” in Denver, there really is a “weather event”. The snow storm was so severe that everything had come to a halt..literally! The problem was that one of Unipart’s clients had an entire Pop-Up Shop stuck in Denver with nothing to show to customers the next day...

On Friday 27th March the team at Unipart Logistics, Atlanta were advised that the Pop-Up Store en route from Chicago to Seattle was being held up due to a snow storm in Denver. It was unlikely to reach Seattle in time for the Friday set up. The merchandise in transit included rails, mobile changing rooms and stock. Our client’s team had travelled to Seattle to oversee the event over the weekend. The shipment of clothes, changing rooms and clothes racks did not show up. The store was set to open in 12 hours, with nothing to sell!Our client asked Unipart Logistics if they could help. Of course they could!The order came through at 4:10 PM. The team had a plan. The plan was to drop a whole n...

A McLaren delivery - with just 4 minutes to spare!

The new £1m P1 Supercar was launched at the end of 2013 to great acclaim from the world’s motoring media and the limited edition model was quickly sold out to McLaren enthusiasts. Unipart manages the global distribution of the aftermarket parts on behalf of McLaren Automotive. This story started on 30th September 2014, when two VIP customers urgently needed components for their £1m McLaren P1 cars...

It was vital to ensure these parts were obtained and delivered in the fastest possible time to the W. Coast USA and Singapore outside normal service levels.The whole team was involved in satisfying the orders in the fastest time possible knowing the high profile nature of the customers and realizing the McLaren brand was at stake if the cars weren’t fixed as quickly as possible. The team re-prioritised their work and focused on these two issues. This involved expediting the parts from McLaren at Woking, organizing 2 sets of urgent transport for collection, booking the product in and ensuring the parts were despatched on the earliest available flights by personally driving the parts (and p...

How passion, commitment and enthusiasm, together with the Unipart Way, changed one NHS ward!

When one of our Unipart Expert Practices consultants was asked to help University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire deliver real improvements in the patient experience and quality of care – he not only stepped up to the challenge, but delivered true customer satisfaction with passion, commitment and enthusiasm, helping to make a real difference to the way they worked.

This award winner really went the extra mile to understand what the customer needed, and took on one of the most challenging aspects of any change – that of changing culture. Our consultant offered a personal commitment to “be in it for the long haul” and used his experience of Unipart and the tools of the Unipart Way to deliver real and significant improvements. In the customer’s own words – he “revolutionised the way we work” – no mean feat in an organisation under significant pressure to deliver ‘more with less’.Not only did he do the job he was given, he actively worked with the clinical staff to help them understand how to solve problems at their own level. He worked tirelessly to un...

All I Want For Christmas...Is A Blockade!

When most of us were sipping sherry and tucking into mince pies, this amazing team from Unipart Rail pulled out all the stops to make sure that critical equipment was delivered trackside over the Christmas period.

Unipart Rail was asked by their customer to provide an extraordinary call-out service over Christmas to coincide with engineering works that were scheduled on the rail network. Without hesitation, the team volunteered to put a 24 hour service in place which included Christmas and Boxing Day. Even though this team had never worked together before, and were not necessarily familiar with the product lines, they were not daunted.And even when the customer called on Christmas Day, the team were still not fazed. They loaded up materials at seven o’clock in the evening and, in some very snowy conditions, drove them personally to the customer site. More materials were needed on Boxing Day – the ...

Manufacturing brilliance...time and time again

When one of Unipart Manufacturing’s customers encountered a problem at their site, that had the potential to delay the build on a new pilot vehicle, there was no hesitation from one of our Quality Technicians.

Using his own initiative, and realising the importance to the customer of resolving this issue, he collected the necessary documentation and immediately drove to the customer site, doing a 4 hour round trip and not leaving the site until he was completely sure that the product was reaching 100% compliance.The customer expected a good response from Unipart Manufacturing but didn't expect such a swift and agile response from this individual. He showed initiative, personal ownership of the problem and an immediate care for the customer issue. Whilst on site he demonstrated a level of professionalism that once again, exceeded the customer's expectations.The customer commented that if all supp...

Moving Mountains at Midnight...

At midnight on 1st October 2014, UTL took over a major contract, mobilising colleagues over 3 widely dispersed sites. The four people in this outstanding project team played a critical part in the success of this project, and went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the project was managed and delivered within budget and to the agreed timescales.

This was a difficult and complex project with a number of challenges for the team, however the whole team displayed a level of commitment, dedication and real enthusiasm for getting the job done, again clearly demonstrating the Unipart Way behaviours of perfect quality, of deeply understanding the customer's needs, speed and efficiency - beyond a shadow of a doubt.The team worked seamlessly, role modelling the Unipart Way's positive, can-do attitude, to bring all of our Unipart colleagues together, so that everyone working on this new account knew exactly what they were doing from Day 1. A real example of hitting the ground running, even when faced with external obstacles outside of their...

The Ultimate Drive-In Experience

Earlier this year, a small group of people within Oxford set out to establish a photography festival for the city. It was one of the first ‘new’ photography festivals in the country and one idea put forward was to have a “pop-up” drive-in cinema, free for local people.

No-one knew how this could be done, or if it was possible…but this small team from Unipart planned and perfectly executed this cinema experience every night for 5 nights to packed out audiencesFor each member of the team, this was completely out of scope of their normal role. In fact, no one had any idea of how to set up an outdoor cinema, let alone how to create an operating process that would deliver a great experience for all those who attended.The team worked together to create an experience that was outstanding for our guests. From sourcing a screen - and finding ballast to hold it down with - to working on the logistics of how to provide free tickets, to feeding the audience with "a...

Hitting the Ground Running - The Unipart Way

Bringing together a cross-functional team - from 4 different sites and 6 different teams - and asking them to make a difference in 48 hours is a big ask...read on to see how this Unipart Team did just that.

Late one Friday evening, one of our client's sent us a distress call asking for our help. Of course, Unipart, being Unipart, said "Yes"! A problem was occurring in one of the client's pallet storage areas, whereby packaging destined for the supply chain was getting bottle-necked on site. The knock-on effect of this was that freight providers delivering product and collecting empties were becoming frustrated, and in some cases the dwell time on site for a trailer to drop and collect had risen to between 8 and 12 hours.That evening, a cross functional team of volunteers from across the Unipart businesses - from 4 different sites and 6 separate teams - were pulled together. The team had neve...

Spring Bank Holiday Surprise...

When one of Unipart’s clients had its usual shutdown over the Spring Bank Holiday, everyone geared up to receive additional engines for storage. The team at Unipart Aftermarket Logistics at Honeybourne sat down and worked out how to receive several thousand extra engines. However at the last minute, over 2500 more engines than expected were delivered. Imagine finding space for an additional 1000 tonnes of engines – that is the equivalent of finding space to park 50 double decker buses.Our team at Honeybourne instantly moved into action, and came up with creative ways of storing pallets effectively, flexing their shifts and putting in the “hard yards”. It would have been easy for the team...

Turning a customer problem into a solution...in under 24 hours!

When one of Unipart Dorman's customers realised they needed a critical piece of equipment, the team rose to the challenge and pulled out all the stops in order to deliver trackside within 24 hours.

A major customer of Unipart Dorman, one of the UK's leading LED signalling and information systems providers, were due to commission a Crossrail Project over the Easter period. The day before the project was due to start, they discovered that a cable, ordered from another supplier, had been wrongly supplied and the plug coupled connection was not able to interface with the plug coupler at the end of the Unipart Dorman signal.If this critical piece of equipment couldn't be delivered over the weekend, it could cause major time overruns and massive expense in re-arranging the job or in delay penalties. The customer needed to have the cable within 24 hours.The team developed the specification...

When an ordinary day turned into an extraordinary day...

What started out as an ordinary day, very quickly turned into an extraordinary day for one of our colleagues at our commercial vehicle business, based at Crewe.

On a routine sandwich run, our nominee for this award was faced with a distressing scene. A paramedic was calling for assistance with compressions, as he tended to a gentleman who had collapsed, not breathing, on the pavement outside the main gate. Without hesitation, our nominee began compressions. Learning CPR in the classroom is one thing – holding your nerve and staying calm when it is needed in real life, with a crowd of onlookers – is a different thing altogether. Our nominee kept her composure, continued with the compressions and the man began breathing. After he had recovered, he was given a Unipart fleece in the belongings handed to him on his discharge from hospital. This being...

UAL Sees in the New Year at Unipart House!

A dedicated 150 strong team from Unipart Aftermarket Logistics had worked for over 18 months to deliver one of the most complex projects for our client yet...and when it looked in danger of slipping due to reasons beyond their control - they pulled out all the stops to deliver to time.... with 14 members even celebrating New Year at Unipart House, now that is what we call "outstanding personal customer service"

Not only had this fantastic team and their colleagues worked tirelessly over an 18 month period to deliver one of the most complex projects ever undertaken by Unipart – they even saw the New Year in at Unipart House! The whole project was going well, until New Year’s Eve when a couple of issues arose. Senior management on both the client and Unipart sides told the team to go home and enjoy their New Year celebrations with their friends and family. However, the team with their “never say die” attitude refused to be beaten and decided to stay to see if they could resolve the problem. By looking at an innovative way of chunking down the data issues, they came up with a solution that meant...

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