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Logistics IT transforms Asda’s distribution

By Retail Technology | Saturday September 22 2012

Project to optimise supply chain operations delivers transport efficiencies for supermarket giant

 
Asda recently revealed it is nearing completion of a two-year project to transform its retail distribution operation with logistics and route optimisation software from Paragon Software Systems.

Over the last 18 months, Asda has been implementing a new regional distribution structure using Paragon TTS, a transport optimisation and execution system integrated with real-time vehicle tracking. With the software, Asda has been able to improve delivery services to its stores, make better use of driver resources, ensure route compliance and reduce operational costs.

Supporting significant improvements

Chris Hall, Asda national transport manager, stated: “Asda transport has been completely transformed to provide new efficiencies across the board. Paragon TTS has enabled this and is providing significant improvements in the way we plan and manage our resources and in how we plan more than 18,000 store deliveries a week using our 900 strong fleet.”

He added: “The results of this business change are on-time delivery improvements to the stores, optimisation of our driver and vehicle resources and greater route compliance, which is also reducing mileage, fuel costs and emissions.”

Hall also described how the IT investment had supported process improvements. “We have moved away from individual planning for each distribution centre and have created seven planning regions across the UK that provide a clear differentiation between regional planning to maximise geographical resources & local execution for compliance to plan and accountability for store service,” he said.

Effective system and process management

“There are 21 DCs [distribution centres] within the regions – two in Scotland, three in the North East, four in the North West, three in Yorkshire, four in the Midlands, three in the South West and two serving the South East. It is true to say that this would be impossible to do without an effective system and process,” Hall added.

He concluded: “Paragon TTS is a proven solution for retail distribution operations that have large fleets. We have been able to take a standard solution and configure it to our specific requirements. We already used Paragon for fixed routing, but this is a step up combining routing, scheduling and resource optimisation with Isotrak's vehicle tracking and transport execution and management. It gives us full visibility of the entire operation and this has been instrumental in the success of this project.”

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