Bakers Basco warehouse

Bakers Basco is stepping up efforts to recover missing equipment by extending its awareness campaign to delivery drivers and logistics managers.

Formed in 2006, Bakers Basco comprises Hovis, Warburtons, Allied Bakeries, Frank Roberts & Sons and Fine Lady Bakeries for which it manages a pool of four million bread baskets and associated wheeled dollies.

The driver briefings initiative, which takes place regularly across all the shareholders’ sites, encourages drivers to report any suspicious activity that will help Bakers Basco recover missing equipment. It also aims to raise awareness of the firm’s work from an operational perspective.

“In order to do their jobs effectively, in addition to their own investigations, our recovery teams rely on intelligence gathered from the general public and other businesses who report any instances of abuse via our dedicated recovery hotline,” said Paul Empson, Bakers Basco general manager.

“The drivers are an ambassador for any business as they are the frontline and, as such, they see things that others don’t, for example when equipment they expect to pick-up isn’t there. It’s just another route for us to take in helping raise awareness of what Bakers Basco does and how they can help us generate leads, which ultimately, can help us stamp out this activity.”

The equipment is often diverted out of the supply chain unlawfully by companies or due to a build-up at stores not collected, the firm added. This can cause significant disruption to the supply chain operations delivering bread from the bakery and into stores.

It recently reported a 112% year on year increase in visits made by its recovery team to reclaim delayed, lost or stolen equipment. Despite having reduced the attrition rate of bread baskets from double figures to under 10%, recyclers and scrap yards still take them to be ‘chipped’ or reduced to raw material for resale, it added.

“The people on the ground often have a far better idea of what’s going on and that’s why, to date, this initiative has already generated a lot of leads. We already rely on GPS tracking technology to help track down equipment where we suspect unlawful activity is taking place but the drivers themselves should also be aware of the bigger picture and these one-to-one briefings do just that,” added Empson, who was appointed in May.