Advanced routing software streamlines distribution operations and improves service efficiency for pet supplies retailer
Pets at Home
is benefiting from the latest Paragon
routing and scheduling software with Low Bridge Avoidance mapping for its delivery service.
The UK's largest pet shop chain with more than 347 stores in operation has been using Paragon for more than a decade to ensure reliable and cost-effective fixed route scheduling. This year, the Pets at Home HGV fleet will make more than 42,500 store deliveries using Paragon. This is equal to about 1118 store deliveries over 328 routes a week, excluding trunking movements.
The company uses the latest Paragon multi-depot software for managing deliveries from its large distribution centres (DC) in Stoke-on-Trent and Northampton and out bases in Lockerbie, Gloucester and Dunstable. The software plans its regular night-time store replenishment deliveries and also schedules special consignments for Christmas and Easter separately so that they do not conflict with the normal store delivery service.
Proven reliability and flexibility
"Paragon enables us to provide our stores with a very efficient service. We have used the software from the early years of the business, right from the time we opened our national DC in Stoke-on-Trent in 2002. The software has proven to be reliable and flexible, which enables its further development to meet our changing business needs. It is proving to be a future proof investment for us and our expanding business has benefited from its use," said Mike Cox, Pets at Home distribution manager.
The company uses the software strategically to plan deliveries and then rerun the schedules to account for any changes to the plan. This also enables Pets at Home to compare actual miles travelled by its transport providers with those calculated in the original plan. The software is also used for routing and scheduling its trunking operations.
Matching service requirements
Paragon has provided several standard enhancements to Pets at Home, including the Low Bridge Avoidance mapping option as the fleet mainly uses 15-ft, 10-in high double-decker trailers. Additional configuration of the software supports the company's particular approach to night-time deliveries, where a designated member of the retail team will receive the load for a specific store and then accompany the driver to other stores to assist with unloading and receiving before being returned to the host store.
With an aggressive expansion programme that adds around 30 stores a year, Pets at Home also uses Paragon to integrate new retail outlets into the plan and model the best routes to service those stores.