To help further improve the efficiency of its grocery home shopping service, Asda has become the first UK supermarket to introduce a powered stair climber, in collaboration with materials handling specialist, Stanley.
Following a successful trial of Stanley’s ultra-lightweight stair climber, Asda has introduced 270 machines as part of its urban delivery fleet. These will work alongside conventional trollies and reduce the need for manual handling when making deliveries to properties with stairs.
Weighing 13.5kg with the capacity to carry up to 85kg, the stair climber’s caterpillar tracks enable Asda colleagues to deliver groceries safely and quickly to customers living in flats and properties where access is difficult. This is expected to result in a reduction in time spent at the doorstep, while improving the overall customer experience and reducing the risk of manual handling injuries.
Asda has invested in its fleet and delivery vans due to the growth in demand for its home shopping service, which has seen the supermarket increase capacity from 400,000 to 850,000 slots per week since the start of the pandemic.
Simon Gregg, Vice President of Online Grocery at Asda, said: “We know that our drivers are making an increasing number of deliveries in urban areas where many customers live in flats and apartments, which often require access up several flights of stairs. Through collaboration with Stanley, we have been able to create a powered stair climber that suits the needs of our drivers and growing online operation, which in turn will see us reduce time at the doorstep and improve the customer experience.”
Commenting on the contract with Asda, which includes a bi-annual service and certification programme over five years, Graham Sharp, Stanley’s Managing Director, said:
“Increasing home delivery capacity whilst reducing the risk of injury to personnel are two areas of focus for ‘last mile’ grocery teams. We are delighted that Asda has recognised the proven benefits of improving delivery times and colleague safety through the use of specially designed, lightweight powered stair climbers and in doing so, has become the first UK supermarket to introduce these machines.”
Established for over 70 years, Stanley is at the forefront of materials handling innovations for the home delivery, logistics and warehousing sectors.
According to (pre-Covid-19) statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), improper manual handling costs the UK economy millions each year with more than 480,000 manual handling injuries recorded. Musculoskeletal injuries account for over 40% of all work-related sickness and HSE data shows that more than 8.9 million working days are lost to this type of injury each year.