Woodland Group bowls a winner with Sports Logistics

by Press Release on 2016-01-13 05:10:40

Deborah SmithGlobal freight forwarder Woodland Group has padded up and is ready to bowl a great service for England’s first-class cricket teams. Launching a dedicated Sports Logistics division, the Essex-based independent freight forwarder has established ‘The Clubhouse’ - a pioneering members-only buying consortium for cricket clubs.

Woodland Sports Logistics is headed by Deborah Smith, who joined the Woodland Group from Essex Cricket Club, and is the first forwarder to offer a buyers’ club to its clients.

It has already signed up more than half of the 18 first-class cricket teams in England to The Clubhouse and is looking to invite all cricket clubs globally to join. The innovative scheme was developed by Deborah, leveraging on her long experience in professional cricket at Essex.

She says: “Each club would buy its own merchandise independently and then had to organise and pay for logistics. This was expensive and the clubs were missing out on lower prices for bulk orders from manufacturers.

“The Clubhouse sources and supplies cricket equipment from around the world at a more competitive price than any cricket club could enjoy.”

The scheme is based on sourcing merchandise material, branded with the club’s logo, for sale in fan shops, online and at cricket grounds. Deborah is keen to explain that The Clubhouse is not a wholesaling operation.

She says: “We are sometimes confused with a wholesaler but in fact we are a buying circle and members are only supplied with the products we source on their behalf. Clients place orders with us and we consolidate these into one large order. Through the economies of scale we pass on the competitive element to the clubs.

"We move the manufactured items to our fulfilment centre where we quality check and re-pack the products, then distribute the items nationally.”

Ethical trading

Deborah is keen to point out that Woodland Sports Logistics is concerned with more than just getting the best price for its buying club members.

She says: “We make factory and site visits to ensure the highest standards of safety and legal protection are in place for workers. I have recently visited India and Hong Kong to ensure safety standards are adhered to. We are the only forwarder that would take that step.”

By simplifying the supply chain, greater margins are passed on to the client.

The Clubhouse project has seen Woodland named a finalist in the Supply Chain category of the 2015 British International Freight Association's Freight Service Awards. Initially focussed on the cricket sector, The Clubhouse will be rolled out to other sports and industries.

For more information, visit www.woodlandsportslogistics.com.