Finding the most cost-effective transport solution for supply or distribution chains involving multi-modalism, alternative routes/hubs, or where assets are shared between a number of flows can be complex: our detailed understanding of transport cost structures and logistics enables us to find optimum solutions for new flows. Robert Skene Consulting Ltd understands that there is no 'one size fits all' panacea, and that every operation needs to be examined on its own merits: issues such the specific transport attributes of a particular flow for each mode (e.g. congestion, unit transport costs); the consequences of delays for the client's business; the times of day at which consignments need to arrive and depart; the land available; traffic peaks which need to be accommodated (and whether there is any scope to clip these); the rate of return on investment demanded by the client; the anticipated duration of the flow; the client's investment funding limits, and the funding mechanisms available to it/funding preferences; the ability to share assets between flows or other operations; planning and other restrictions on terminal operating hours; feasible terminal logistics; viable terminal throughputs; traffic peaking versus storage capacity; are some of the issues that are commonly encountered (there are many more). We are accustomed to steering our way through these complexities in an analytical and quantified manner to arrive at the solution that we consider best fits the client's needs. To do this we invariably commence our work by understanding how transport and supply/distribution chains serve the Client, fit within its business, and what they need to deliver, before proceeding to the minutia of detail. We are unafraid to ask basic questions.
Our experience indicates that in many cases existing operations evolve over time at an operational level without a detailed overview, so that what might once have been a efficient operation delivering the right quantity of product, at the right time, and at the right cost, ends up either wasteful or unreliable. Often what are regarded as small changes to the demands on a system or changes in service patterns and timings are left to "staff on the ground" to deal with in an ad hoc manner; whose focus is, naturally, avoidance of criticism and stress at work, furthermore frequently, there is reluctance to ask fundamental questions about either the need for the change, or what the transport chain really needs to deliver for the business. This leads to a build up of inefficiency over time, particularly when coupled to an inwardly focussed comforting familiarity with an operation, leading to ossification and a failure to modernise at the appropriate time. Often, problems are only noticed by senior management when either unreliability hits corporate performance, or the business experiences profitability issues. Naturally, these issues are more frequently encountered in organisations where transport is ancillary to the business, than where it is a core function. We have a proven track record of improving efficiency and service robustness of existing flows.