Kelkay improve stock availability ahead of season 24

Company: Kelkay
  • David Wright

Following the appointment of David Wright as AMES Companies Operations Director in the summer of 2023, the team has been busy delivering on the promises made regarding stock availability.  Kelkay – the leading aggregate brand under the AMES Companies umbrella – is one brand that is already reaping the benefits, having been through a transformation process.  Here, David tells us more about how continuous improvement is shaping the year ahead for Kelkay, including the production of over 2.5 million aggregate bags so far this year – all ready to be delivered to retailers.

The importance of stock availability

David explains that having market-leading products in your portfolio is just the start of the journey: “With great products comes great demand, often much of which bottlenecks as retailers look to secure stock at peak time within the season.  Recognising this, we have developed our internal processes to ensure that stock is available throughout the season and our retail customers can buy confidently.”

To facilitate optimal stock availability, it has been confirmed that Kelkay will hold a minimum of eight weeks of forecasted stock across all its sale lines, all of which will be held at its central Pollington site.

“Our stocking profile is there to give customers the confidence they need regarding the availability of the right product at the right time.  We naturally work to forecasts, but as a supplier of products where sales are directly affected by weather and seasonality, we must hold stock to guarantee availability.  Our manufacturing platforms are incredibly flexible and versatile, but to provide security around supply, stock is held to cover unknowns and variances.  “


Stable stock levels throughout the season

Stable stock levels lead to increased retailer confidence.  But in a marketplace where seasonal demand sees significant fluctuations, how do brands such as Kelkay ensure stability?

“Due to the significant variation in the seasonal demand for our products, we have taken a full forecast of production for the year to safeguard stock availability.  We have considered the demand variability and developed a stocking model to accommodate these unknowns.  We have also looked at our manufacturing capability, throughput, and effectiveness of our machinery to understand how capable we are of replenishing our stock throughout the year and satisfying demand.”

“Adding our minimum service level of eight weeks of stock has allowed us to define our pre-season committed stock levels for season 2024.  This has represented a significant increase in our stock holding for this season - of around 60% year-on-year.”


Futureproofing the approach

David has confidence that Kelkay’s approach is built for the future.  “Our approach has considered the total demand for 2024.  In fact, we only consider hitting our eight-week stock level in July this year, with prior months enjoying significantly higher stock availability.

“We also enjoy a very flexible and adaptive manufacturing platform, one that is capable of producing the full range of products we offer, including sand and grits, through to the larger cobble products.  Presently Kelkay aggregate products are at 91% of target stock levels, and Kelkay paving products at 97% and available for delivery.”

Looking ahead to the season, David also confirmed that should the Great British weather play ball, Kelkay can respond to any significant spikes in demand.  He said: “Our capacity and stock holding has been mapped to a limited machine availability and loading to only 75% of our capability.  Therefore, should the sun shine, we can comfortably exceed forecast with the additional capacity available to flex if required and our existing stock used to cover additional orders.”


Investing in further growth

Despite being able to respond to demand comfortably, Kelkay is not resting on its laurels.  Synonymous with the AMES Companies' promise to become the sector’s supplier of choice’, it has been confirmed that additional investments are underway to expand Kelkay’s manufacturing capability further through improved machine availability, output, and productivity.

“We have introduced new maintenance management systems, improved preventative maintenance programmes and critical spares, along with real-time data capture and monitoring of our manufacturing to identify opportunities for improvement.  This is all to improve individual product lines and capabilities.

“To support this, we have generated a wider multi-year operations strategy, focussed on our quality, cost and delivery performance.  Some exciting projects are planned for 2025 onwards that will further change our capability to ensure we continually maintain our target to be a supplier of choice across the products and services we offer.”


Customers can be confident to purchase

With all this hard work behind the scenes, David is confident that Kelkay’s approach to stock is one that retailers can believe in.  “Issues do happen; it would be foolish to suggest otherwise but given the stock profiling and machine and team developments, we are confident we will meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.”

He finished by saying, “We have an open-door policy here, and we are delighted to show customers and suppliers what we are doing and how we are doing it. I think by looking at the investment we are making in terms of plant, equipment, and our people and also the increased investment in stock, it is clear how we wish to improve the marketplace and provide clients with comfort and satisfaction in the products they purchase.”

Find out more

To stay up to date with all things Kelkay, including accessing the dedicated trade portal where you will find a comprehensive image library, POS guide and Product Database alongside the 2024 catalogue, please visit  Further details about the AMES Companies can be found at

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