Finance

Transport awards flow for Wren after pandemic delivery feat for urgent kitchens

Wren’s unstinting efforts through the pandemic saw it deliver almost 100,000 kitchens to families who could have been left without cooking facilities.

The impressive feat saw it sweep the board at the Motor Transport Awards, taking five prestigious accolades as it was recognised for putting the customer first with safety at the fore.

Described as the benchmark for the UK fleet industry, Wren’s vertically integrated model sees it own and operate every element of the supply chain, from manufacturing to installation.

Read more: 100 apprentices sought by Wren Kitchens as it ramps up recruitment to meet unprecedented demand

Due to the rapid growth, with more than 100 showrooms, transport and logistics have become huge elements too.

The Barton-headquartered business hauled home the Safety in Operation Award, Home Delivery Operator of the Year, Operational Excellence Award, Business Excellence Award and Training Award.

Steve Clarke, centre, Wren Kitchens’ transport manager and Lee Thompson-Halls, national fleet manager, to his immediate right, collect one of five awards at the Motor Transport Awards, with, from left, host Alexander Armstrong; sponsor representative and Steve Hobson, editor of Motor Transport.

In doing so it saw off the likes of DPD, Hermes, Hovis, Tesco, and XPO Logistics.

Wren Kitchens’ transport and logistics director, Lee Holmes, said: “Not only is it our mission to design and manufacture affordable dream kitchens, but we are also passionate about efficiency, safety and standards of the highest level in the delivery of our products.

“Our policy of keeping everything in-house including our 770-strong logistics team drives our successes and enables continuous improvement.

“We’re proud and grateful to every member of the Wren family that continued to work for our customers during the pandemic and towards our future – it’s fantastic that we’ve been recognised for this.”

Wren held onto the Business Excellence Award from 2020 and regained its Operational Excellence title which it won in 2019.

Mr Holmes said Wren’s agile business model enabled it to embrace the challenges and realign its focus, from facilities, induction and workplace training to best practice, manual handling, transportation, and customer service.

Transport awards flow for Wren after pandemic delivery feat for urgent kitchens

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On safety, drivers complete a daily health questionnaire and temperature check before entering any of Wren’s six depots across the UK. All deliveries are contactless, drivers wear protective equipment and vehicles are disinfected daily – or when there is a change of driver.

Explaining the training efforts, crucial in the current driver shortage climate – Mr Holmes told how Wren brought on board an unprecedented 120-plus new drivers in four months to manage a spike in orders, with 15 in-house Road Haulage Association-trained assessors working out of dedicated training academies across its depots.

Sales of £91 million were added in the Covid year, with US operations launched too.

Judges said: “Wren is a progressive business – you can clearly see the company has high standards in all of its operational tasks from the start of any order to completed delivery.

“They reacted very quickly and efficiently to Covid-19 which has brought success.”

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