INDEPENDENT retailer of solid hardwood furniture, Oak Furniture Land, has experienced a 10 per cent improvement in its warehouse management productivity, since introducing a new high-tech system across the business.

But at the same time 19 driving jobs out of 40 in Swindon are going and are be transferred to depots in Cambridge and Essex.

Staff at the firm’s Viscount Way HQ are now partly way through a four week consultation period.

A spokesman for the company said they were totally committed to the site and there were no more plans for further redundancies.

The introduction of the new electronically-based system, has also more than halved handling damage as the warehouse can now make consolidated picks, which means that product types can be grouped as they are loaded onto a lorry going to a depot.

Rapid growth in sales in the last two years means that the main warehouse at head office in Swindon now holds 61,000cm2 of stock at any one time.

Ross Lawson, IT Director at Oak Furniture Land said: “Just as we spend a lot of time developing other parts of the business, such as our logistics, sales and customer service, it is vital that we do the same for the management of our warehouse processes. We needed a system that was future proof and able to flex as we continue to grow at pace."

In May last year, Oak Furniture Land moved to a new state-of-the-art headquarters in Swindon which includes a 300,000 square feet state-of-the-art distribution centre, equal in size to four football pitches. 

The facility was opened by Michael Fallon, UK Minister for Business and Energy.