Miele expands operation in Australia

Miele has opened two new warehouses in Sydney and Brisbane, as the company expands its Australian operations.

According to Miele, when the business revitalised its Eastern Seaboard distribution network with a three-site redevelopment plan across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, the focus was on getting the fundamentals right.

“Healthy growth in the Australian market was a key driver for change. We sought greater capacity while simultaneously strengthening consumer experience and improving our operational efficiency,” Operations Director Miele ANZ, Mark Bateson said.

The majority of Miele’s product lines are sold only through Miele Certified Agents (MCA) and items are not held in store but within Miele owned and operated distribution centres. The exceptions are vacuum cleaners and consumables (available for purchase online or instore) and are supplied direct from the retailer.

Bateson says that keeping most of the operation in-house allows them to have better control over of their unique distribution model. And, he points out, better cost control and increased efficiency not only benefits the business but adds considerable value to the customer experience.

For the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne redevelopments, a ten-year view was applied to the planning process, and plans had to allow for a substantial increase in throughput during that time.

Following the completion of their Knoxfield facility in Melbourne in 2016, Miele commenced planning the new distribution centres for Brisbane and Sydney. Bateson explains that this allowed them to test the Knoxfield design and capitalise on the learning outcomes in a drive for further enhancements.

Consequently, Miele engaged the services of Siecap Supply Chain Advisory to revise the design parameters of the Sydney and Brisbane sites and to undertake a detailed evaluation of storage options and their associated economic costs. The Siecap team conducted visits to the Melbourne site to observe firsthand the level of utilisation and then digitally mapped the data using their custom design evaluation software.

Geoffrey Knowles, Director of Consulting for Siecap explains: “We wanted to tighten bay widths where possible and we trialled different options with a clamp forklift to guarantee operational feasibility.” The Siecap team also reviewed the positioning of forklifts and cross aisles for ease of flow, and the placement of staff amenities to reduce unnecessary travel and downtime. “Everyone who has worked in or managed a warehouse knows how annoying it is to have a pillar in the wrong place,” says Knowles