Dawsongroup’s solutions for HSL Chairs have increased their storage from 1100 to 6500 pallets of furniture, providing them with the capacity to store the 45,000 chairs they produce each year before being delivered to customers with their own fleet of Dawsongroup vans.
HSL Chairs has been a staple of British industry for over 50 years. With handcrafted chairs, sofas and beds which are all approved by an independent occupational therapist, HSL Chairs is proud to provide personalised furniture which is designed to improve wellbeing as well as look great in your home.
Dawsongroup has worked with HSL to provide material handling, storage and delivery solutions since 2019. After a personal recommendation, Ben Waters, Operations Director Designate for HSL Chairs, contacted Paul Hull, Area Sales Executive for Dawsongroup material handling. HSL initially needed two forklift trucks on short term hire to replace existing equipment that was not fulfilling its operational requirements.
During the pandemic, HSL had serious challenges with the storage of their furniture, especially when one supplier only gave two weeks’ notice that they could no longer provide the service HSL was using. They needed new storage quickly and turned to Dawsongroup for help. After discussing various options, HSL decided to set up their own logistics and delivery service to serve their customers directly, instead of going through a third party as they had done previously. Paul Hull provided vital assistance with key planning and decisions, including introducing HSL to Quickline Storage.
Quickline specialises in designing and installing warehouse storage systems across the UK which maximise warehouse storage space, increase pick efficiency, and improve warehouse safety. Working with Dawsongroup’s material handling solutions, they put together a complete turnkey warehousing racking system for HSL’s new space in Gildersome, Leeds. It was essential that the design suited HSL’s products, which meant the racking needed to be uniform but with the flexibility to adapt to the different types of furniture.
“We were approached by Dawsongroup on behalf of HSL to discuss their requirements and design and propose a racking design to suit the clients’ bespoke needs,” said Andy Scott, Area Sales Executive for Quickline Storage. “HSL has a variety of pallet sizes as they require storage for both chairs and sofas. Our design allowed them to maximise the number of chairs and sofas that could be stored and provided the most efficient use of the space. The collaboration between Quickline and Paul Hull at Dawsongroup meant we could ensure the warehouse was set up suitably for the best material handling equipment in order to maximise the use of the space. Along with Dawsongroup, we provided a full warehouse installation service including material handling equipment, racking, safety barriers, and racking protection items, as well as labels and signage. The successful project has led to further work between HSL, Dawsongroup and Quickline, including setting up a new warehouse for HSL in Reading.”
The material handling equipment Dawsongroup provided needed the same flexibility to work with the racking system. The solution was Combilift Aisle Master articulated forklift trucks which are easily manoeuvrable down narrow aisles. Extendible forks accommodate the extra-long pallets whilst cameras on the mast of the forklifts maintain a clear view, even at a storage height of eight metres.
In addition to the Aisle Master articulated forklifts, pallet trucks and access lift from Dawsongroup material handling, Dawsongroup vans provided HSL with three VW Crafter vans on long-term contract hire. This enables them to deliver the furniture themselves instead of relying on external carriers, meaning they can track each item at every stage of its journey and ensure it reaches the customer in perfect condition and on time.
“We want to make every customer feel like they’re the only customer that day, and we can only do that with our own vans and our own people,” said Ben Waters. “We can now tell customers exactly where their product is at any point in its journey. It has absolutely increased customer satisfaction; we’ve had a huge increase in Trustpilot reviews, and we have over 11,000 5-star reviews. It has also given us a lot of flexibility and will account for at least the next five years of growth, as well as any challenges we may face in the future.
“Dawsongroup’s solutions have made a huge difference. We have been able to consolidate our storage from four different sites and 90% of our deliveries are now made using our own fleet of Dawsongroup vans. It has allowed us to provide a real quality service to our customers.”
Watch the video below about how Dawsongroup’s solutions enabled HSL Chairs to take control of their storage and delivery.