JULY 2011: IML INNOVATION ADDS VALUE TO THE SUPPLY CHAIN



Having delivered significant value as part of Western Poles’ new service offering to Western Power, IML has secured a new long term transport contract for Western Poles, one of the country’s largest suppliers of wood poles for utility, construction and agricultural use.

The new five year agreement is based on IML’s extensive input into a world first cradle to grave supply chain proposition as part of Western Poles new service offering to its main customer in WA.

Although IML has been delivering wood poles for some time under a previous supply arrangement, it was unable to contribute to the improvement of the customer service offering due to the inexperience of the previous supply chain service provider in managing the unique handling requirements of poles.

Under this new agreement, IML was invited to provide a leading edge logistics solution integrating a state of the art hand held sign on glass POD system with Western Poles world first bar-coded pole technology and systems. The result is a fully integrated supply chain solution that provides real time tracking of any pole throughout its lifecycle, from harvesting to delivery. This system provides the end user with real time POD to customers including GPS and delivery site picture information.

The new agreement commenced in late 2010 utilising an initial fleet of five dedicated, Western Pole branded trucks. To date the nearly 10,000 poles have been delivered to all parts of the electricity grid – all on time and importantly incident-free, an impressive result given this new supply arrangement is only 6 months into its tenure. The scale of IML’s operations bring additional value to the contract, with an additional four delivery vehicles available on demand, complete with trained and qualified drivers, traffic controllers and safety observers, and a dedicated customer service officer to schedule all routine and emergency deliveries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

An example of the innovative approach adopted by IML can be seen in the commissioning of a new Epsilon grapple crane mounted to a Volvo FM9 8×4 prime mover for the daily pole deliveries in Perth’s metro area. After extensive analysis of the job risks and specific delivery requirements in metro areas, IML decided to trial the specially built crane from Austria. The new crane was the first of its type ever used in WA and allowed the operator to sit at the top of the crane out of the potential hazard zone on the ground exposed to traffic in busy public areas. The top view also gave the operator the best possible vision when working in close proximity to overhead powerlines, ensuring the safety of the operator at all times, and the benefit of control of the pole at all times negating the need for a dedicated dogman. Testament to the success of the new unit, performance has improved. IML has since ordered its second unit to assist with metro deliveries on the new contract.

IML is extremely proud of its new service agreement with Western Poles and looks forward to building a long and successful relationship with their premier customer into the future. “IML has been instrumental in assisting Western Poles deliver their new world first bar-coded pole product with full tracking and traceability” explains says Western Poles Managing Director Anthony Ridolfo. “Their professionalism, experience, industry knowledge and dedication to perform beyond expectations, alongside the provision of dedicated equipment customised to our requirements, made it an easy decision to commit to IML.”