Toolbank is a privately owned and run wholesaler specialising in the distribution of quality tools and hardware products made by many of the world’s leading manufacturers. The company operates from 13 strategically placed warehouses supplying customers throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Toolbank aims to be an efficient specialist in its role as a wholesale distributor and to provide manufacturers with the most economical and effective route to market, whilst making it both easier and more profitable for customers to buy and sell their products utilising Toolbank’s resources.
Toolbank distribute more than 25,000 lines from more than 270 leading brands including Stanley, DeWalt, Black & Decker, Irwin, Bahco, Hozelock, Loctite and Yale.
The company operates its own fleet of over 100 delivery vans throughout the UK, supported by a specialist carrier service in Ireland, in parts of Scotland and other areas. With few exceptions, most deliveries are made the next day.
Toolbank has the ability to trade with customers on almost any basis of their choosing, including electronically via a number of transfer methods such as PDF, FTP transfer, e-mail and XML or via the Toolbank sales force, phone, fax and post.
Toolbank’s head office, which is also a warehousing and distribution facility, is based in Dartford, Kent. This facility employs 127 staff and accommodates over 25,000 SKUs. The site supplies an area from South Essex across to West London and down to Eastbourne, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Internet orders which are supplied on behalf of many of Toolbank’s customers are also serviced from Toolbank’s Dartford facility.
The warehouse, comprising of two parts — an existing storage area and a new extension building — required refurbishment as well as a new storage solution to replace and integrate with existing racking.
The new extension building was a former banana factory and had extensive heavy-duty insulation in the walls and ceilings. Toolbank had this insulation stripped out prior to refurbishment work progressing, creating an extra 360sq m of floor space as a result.
Toolbank’s existing warehouse facility was transformed by Link 51 to incorporate a new 2-tier mezzanine floor with Longspan shelving. The mezzanine included a fire protected stairwell and goods lift for all three levels — ground, first and second floors.
- The company’s existing high bay pallet racking and multi-tier shelving was also utilised by Link 51 and integrated with the new solution.
- Link 51 also created a separate hazardous storage area using mesh partitioning from floor to ceiling. This area stores aerosols, chemical and inflammable products. The mesh walls are secured directly to racking uprights to maximise space.
- Offices were designed and constructed within the warehouse space by Link 51, each conforming to fire regulations.
- Link 51 also created a packing area, which is linked to a conveyor belt from the small parts storage area.
- As the loading dock levellers were not regularly pitched, Link 51 created a bespoke racking beam design to go around bay apertures.
- Toolbank’s warehouse extension integrates with the existing warehouse and includes new wide aisle pallet racking, together with Link 51’s new Shuttle system and 19 bays of XL racking. The new mezzanine within the existing warehouse now integrates perfectly with the existing multi-tier shelving.
- Toolbank operate two Shuttles. Powered by an innovative Lithium Ion battery that is easy to recharge and managed by an interactive radio transmitter, the Shuttle moves pallets along the storage lane on rails, having been placed in the appropriate location by fork lift truck. Pallets are positioned at a predetermined distance from each other to avoid crushing. With access from both ends of the lane, pallets can be selected either first in, first out, or last in, last out.
- For the successful operation of the new Shuttle system, Link 51 had to overcome a problem with an unlevelled floor on which the wide aisle bays were located. By using height extensions (shims for low spots and grinding back high spots) to ensure that the bay columns were the correct height, Link 51 removed the need for Toolbank to invest in remedial floor screeding.
By using Link 51, Toolbank benefited from:
- UK-based in-house manufacturing capability
- Fully managed market-leading storage solutions, including:
- Pallet racking & accessories
- Mezzanine flooring
- Extensive project management expertise
- Substantial knowledge and experience
- High-quality product range combining strength, durability and operational reliability
“Before we contracted Link 51 to do the work, we had a good idea of the layout and configuration for both footprints of the warehouse. Link 51 quickly confirmed that the plan was feasible and six weeks later the installation started. In comparison to other providers I’d discussed the project with, this was by far the best result and a clear win for UK manufacturing.
“Throughout the project, I had one point of contact, which helped enormously. This was a complex installation and Link 51 provided an excellent service and delivered on time and against budget. We have since acquired another warehouse in the Midlands area and I had no hesitation in calling on Link 51 to provide their expertise.”
Graham Walker, Operations Manager
For more information on any of the products specified for Toolbank please call us on 0800 169 5151.