Information is everything

Rapid explains how its longstanding relationships with manufacturers lets the company aggregate and communicate supply chain information for the benefit of customers  


Rapid states its longstanding global supply chain relationships are direct and responsive, providing quick access to the information required to provide customers with flexible distribution options bespoke to their needs. Using knowledge of pending availability or pricing challenges, Rapid proactively provides customers with purchasing options, allowing them to concentrate on core procurement activities.


Behind its distribution capability, Rapid also specialises in e-commerce and software, developing and improving its platforms with a focus on data efficiency. Rapid works to provide accurate component lead times, ensuring reliable and frequent shipments to customers. The company considers external market influences, increasing its 2021 stock volumes to reduce exposure to potentially unreliable lead times due to inevitable manufacturing challenges in China. Rapid’s data is live on component comparison sites enabling a wider audience to benefit from the company’s efforts.


Customer communication is enhanced by pushing updated acknowledgment information to identify requirements for further actions. Two new lead time data points have been added to Rapid’s website for replenishing stock and manufacturer’s lead time to order.


Protecting customers from pending price increases and availability are prioritised to minimise impacts on manufacturing schedules. Rapid’s gold service for forward orders provides guaranteed stock availability and pricing with flexibility around needs. Delivery dates can be pre-set or stock called off when required. All stock is purchased and allocated at the start of the order giving customers piece of mind.


Regarding sustainability, Rapid gained ISO14001 in 2020, the first step in making environmental sustainability a permanent part of business planning. The first task was reducing energy consumption by installing LED lighting across the warehouse, offices and car parks, plus new air conditioning and the removal of heaters and fans.


To reduce CO₂ emissions, Rapid changed from paper void fill to air-cushioned HDPE packaging manufactured entirely from pre-consumer recycled plastics, creating a weight reduction of 88 per cent and reducing annual postal weight by 40.6 tonnes (13 fully loaded three-ton delivery vans). Removal of paper saves over 1,100 trees per year.


Introduction of green policies and EV charging bays led to a new fleet of EVs. However, the biggest win is reducing travel requirements. Rapid is retaining its hybrid working policy which delivers a 70 per cent reduction in commuting, with employees and the wider business becoming more effective.