Suma - The UK’s biggest workers cooperative - Just got a little bit bigger
Here at Suma we are incredibly excited because after a huge amount of hard work, we have just opened a Regional Distribution Centre in London. It has been up-and-running now for two weeks, servicing customers in London and the South.
So we now have our own warehouse inside London and employ local delivery drivers and a co-ordinator. Orders are picked in Yorkshire the day before delivery and trunked overnight to London, where our new drivers at the RDC receive them at around three in the morning.
The drivers then load their own vehicles before setting off at around 4am to do their deliveries. We operate two 12 tonne vehicles that service customers inside the M25 5-days a week and an 18 tonne truck that delivers to Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire on a mix of one and two day runs. We are thrilled because it means that we can offer a quicker, more efficient, twice weekly delivery service into London.
Feedback from customers has been extremely positive as in many cases it means the possibility of an extra delivery and a chance to stock up on wholesome groceries before and after a weekend of busy trading.
The RDC drivers had an initial two week induction up in Yorkshire where they were able to get a bit of an idea of how Suma works through tours and meetings while also undergoing training with our drivers. It was refreshing; it’s always good to show new people around Suma and to tell them our story
In many ways, Suma is a unique place that we often take for granted – we forget that we are a beacon of how a business can be run, where everyone has an equal voice in the running of the company and equal share in the profits that are made. We get bogged down in the day to day running of our business and we forget that we are the largest single pay employer in Europe, where the people that keep the warehouse clean are paid the same rate as the IT manager or the head of distribution. The new drivers were wide-eyed as they toured each department here at Suma to learn more about the business that they have joined. It is an exciting time. It is good to be able to offer an improved service to our customer because we know that the best way that we can look after our business is to make sure that we look after the businesses of the people that we deliver to.
For more information about Suma visit www.suma.coop