Kentucky Fried Cock-up………….

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Kentucky Fried Cock-up………….

Kentucky Fried Cock-up

Kentucky Fried Cock-up …………..Somewhere mid-2017 and the team at KFC Towers are brainstorming ideas to reduce costs and improve service levels for their legions of deep fried, crispy crumbed fanatics…..

“I’ve got it!”
“Let’s move logistics from our trusted long-term, specialist niche food logistics partner, to a company with a very questionable reputation in the food delivery industry?”
“Will it be cheaper? And better?”
“Well that’s what they said….”

Okay – lets hope that isn’t what really happened (but, hey, you never know); however, what was announced went something like this….

DHL and QSL have secured foodservice supply chain management contract from fast food restaurant firm KFC in the UK. Under the deal, DHL and QSL will manage the supply and distribution of food products packaging and consumables for around 850 restaurants across the UK.
DHL will manage the physical warehouse and distribution service. The firm will primarily focus on decreasing logistics-related emissions to net zero over the life of the contract and optimized delivery scheduling to offer a faster turnaround of orders.
In addition, DHL will concentrate on integrity of food during transportation, allowing to offer fresher products to the consumers.
DHL Supply Chain UK & Ireland retail managing director John Boulter said: “We intend to re-write the rule book and create a stock management, distribution and reverse logistics model based on best practice from a range of sectors including foodservice logistics.
“This model will support KFC in its ambition to be market-leading in all that it does, while improving service levels to its restaurants and customers.”


Never a truer word spoken? With the benefit of hindsight this extremely positive statement can be broken down as follows….

DHL and QSL have secured foodservice supply chain management contract from fast food restaurant firm KFC in the UK…………..

“Secured” probably means that DHL & QSL have  managed to gloss over the fact that when well a known burger chain  took the very same logistics cost-cutting steps, and dropped Bidvest for DHL six years ago, it was such a shambles that they (Burger King) begged Bidvest to take them back after six months?

DHL will manage the physical warehouse and distribution service. The firm will primarily focus on decreasing logistics-related emissions to net zero over the life of the contract………………

Probably doesn’t need too much drilling (yeah – “manage” is one of things that  it’s pretty easy to see if you’re not doing it!)  though they did hit one target; they certainly reduced their emissions because they didn’t deliver anything. A very creative approach!

DHL Supply Chain UK & Ireland retail managing director John Boulter said: “We intend to re-write the rule book and create a stock management, distribution and reverse logistics model based on best practice from a range of sectors including foodservice logistics.

Yeah…erm? I’m guessing that using an unregistered cold store for storage of your product wouldn’t normally be classed as “best practice”?

“This model will support KFC in its ambition to be market-leading in all that it does, while improving service levels to its restaurants and customers.”

Okay – let’s not go there. One thing’s for sure; with over 80% of its restaurants closed, any long term contractual cost saving has more than likely been overshadowed by millions in lost sales………….

The real shame about all this is that it is simply yet another case of the bean counters taking control to the detriment of a quality service. Okay –  really perhaps the real shame is that in this day and age people think that it’s perfectly acceptable to ring 999 and ask the hard working Police force why KFC is closed? So wrong….. but anyway…..
Surely, if Bidvest needed to run six logistics centres to handle supply chain then DHL hoping to do it all with one was a little ambitious? Did anybody wonder whether it was feasible to make such a drastic reduction in operational real estate? Did anybody wonder whether you could run a “Just in Time” supply chain when the stock is held (for some restaurants) 450 miles away? That’s further than you can drive in a HGV in a single day……and probably a pretty good reason why Bidvest operated regionalised storage solution?
And what about all the nuances of contract provision that will have been unseen by KFC? All the little extras that a long-term partner will work into the service provision that makes it tick along nicely that are never flagged as a cost on an invoice? But then if the accountants can’t see it, it doesn’t matter right?

Surely it has to come a point where organisations recognise that professional logistics solutions, provided at a realistic cost, are an actual value-adding element of their total offerings; perhaps this has now been made all too clear for KFC?

kfc apology bucket

Image Credits Sun News Pap

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