Exel, the global leader in supply chain management, today announced that it has expanded its relationship with Smith & Nephew, by opening Exel's first healthcare facility in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The new purpose-built warehouse is dedicated to Smith & Nephew, a market leading medical device company focusing on the core areas of Orthopaedics, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management (AWM). Exel has worked closely with Smith & Nephew for four years providing logistics services across Europe from its European hub based in Veghel, The Netherlands.

In late 2003, Smith & Nephew undertook a review of its European logistics network and in early 2004 awarded Exel a contract to operate distribution hubs to serve their central European and Nordic markets. The new facility in Gothenburg acts a centre for the Nordic region. Exel has also transferred operations from its Veghel site into its existing shared-user facility in Nijmegen, The Netherlands for distribution of Smith & Nephew's AWM products across Central Europe.

Smith & Nephew will benefit from cost-efficiencies derived from shorter lead times and improved customer service. Additionally, Exel has implemented one warehouse management system (WMS) across both sites, providing improved response to customer demand. Exel also provides value-added services on-site, such as re-labelling of products for individual markets. Temperature-controlled and hazardous goods are also handled.

As the two companies build on their existing relationship, the new network and enhanced systems enable further improvements planned for 2005. These include the full implementation of leading-edge barcoding technology to improve the accuracy of picking and sorting procedures and the automation of the sortation of parcels for onward distribution. In addition Exel's carrier integration module system optimises the choice of transport mode and carrier, automating the connectivity between the WMS and carriers' systems, as well as enabling carrier-specific labeling and providing comprehensive management information.

Anthony Mitchell, Senior Vice President for Development, Exel's Healthcare business, commented, "Exel is proud to enhance its relationship with Smith & Nephew and believes that its business is now well positioned to cope with its expected growth and the continuing changes occurring in the dynamic marketplace."

Richard Spence, Global Logistics Manager, Smith & Nephew, commented " We chose Exel to operate our new Nordic and Central European logistics network due to their cost effective solution, and also because of their focus and expertise within the healthcare industry and willingness to adopt a partnership approach."

EXEL Technology UK Brochure

Exel is the global leader in supply chain management, providing customerfocused solutions to a wide range of manufacturing and retail industries. Exels comprehensive and innovative logistics product portfolio encompasses the complete supply chain from design and consulting through freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution services to integrated information management and e-commerce support.

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