No flaw in STS Business Continuity Planning


Founded by John Bird in 1965 as Stair Tread Supplies in a lock up garage below Chislehurst Caves, STS relocated to its current home in Penge in 1969. STS has grown to be the largest contract distributor in the South East of England. STS currently stock over 30 of the main manufacturers products in depth with over 500 products ranges and over 2000 individual products throughout its depots.

Case Study

It is often said that Business Continuity Planning is the art of being wise before the event. Daniel Wilson of the STS IT department was no doubt aware of the history of STS and the reason for its relocation from Chislehurst Caves to Penge in the late sixties. The severe rainstorms of 1969 flooded the caves and the surrounding area so seriously that the STS storage facility was deluged and the stock ruined.

In early 2004, Daniel contacted ADEC Preview Services regarding its Proof of Delivery (POD) scanning service. STS was at that time generating around 7,000 PODs every month, which were being stored in filing boxes at the main warehouse. Apart from the space taken up by the filing boxes and the time taken to locate a POD in the event of an invoice query, Daniel was concerned about the risks of storing paper in a warehouse stocked with wooden flooring.

ADEC Preview’s POD scanning service fitted the bill exactly. A backlog of PODs going back one year was cleared and a bi-monthly collection and scanning routine was put in place. The scanned images are now burned onto CD and transferred to the STS intranet. A disputed delivery can be quickly and easily retrieved and the POD emailed to the customer in the event of a query. ADEC Preview now collects PODs very second month and the system has been working like clockwork for the past two years.

By early 2006, STS had outgrown its existing warehouse and a move to a new purpose-built warehouse and distribution facility nearby was underway. With only a few days to go before the move, Daniel contacted ADEC Preview and asked for the normal collection cycle to be brought forward by a few days. At first, ADEC Preview were unable to accommodate this request but with a little juggling the collection was brought forward to the Thursday before the planned move. As it turned out, this forward planning was beneficial in an unexpected way. That weekend a major fire engulfed the warehouse and considerable damage was caused to stock and other contents, not just by the fire but by the water that was used to extinguish it.

ADEC Preview's Sales Manager completes the story: "STS are a valued and longstanding client and we obviously did our utmost to fit in with their plans. We had no idea that we were to play such a key role in their business continuity strategy and their foresight has paid dividends in a most dramatic way."

Despite the fire, STS office staff were able to work as usual the next morning and were able to handle accounts queries as normal. As a footnote, ADEC Preview have also been able to assist with the recovery and scanning of other paperwork which suffered water damage as a result of the fire.

STS Flooring: The leading independent contract flooring distributor

Call ADEC Services on 02 8397 6900 or click here to leave an enquiry on our contact us page.