Bed retailer uses home delivery routing software to streamline its high-volume, specialist delivery service for improved customer service and efficiency savings
Dreams has boosted the efficiency of its home deliveries using new home delivery system (HDS) software from specialist provider Paragon.
With 6,000 deliveries a week, Dreams uses Paragon HDS to plan all its nationwide routes and schedules from its head office. The system provides a selection of optimised delivery days and customers choose the one that suits them at the point of sale or when they make an online purchase.
Essential supply chain integration
“When a Dreams customer buys a bed our Microsoft Dynamics NAV
system will calculate the earliest availability for the product. This information feeds through to Paragon HDS, which then works out the available delivery dates to offer the customer. The information is presented graphically to our sales staff in red, amber and green, with green being the most efficient delivery,” explained Ian Clarke, change controller at Dreams.
“We offer customers the ability to book a delivery up to 90 days in advance if they require it; typically most choose between 10 and 15 days after making a purchase. We also have much more flexibility to move deliveries around if we need to and we can close off routes earlier. In fact, with the latest version of the software we can also shut off a depot early and we can pause specific routes, if necessary to maximise efficiency.”
To cover the whole of the UK, Dreams currently operates eight home delivery depots, with its ninth depot due to open soon. The new depot will be in Scotland. The deliveries are made using the company’s fleet of 100 3.5-tonne Mercedes Sprinter vans.
Automating manual processes
“Paragon HDS completely eliminates all manual elements from our delivery planning. It gives us much tighter control of how many vans we need and the number of driver shifts required to achieve the plan. Together with our stock availability system, we have a much clearer view of our supply chain as we can plan when goods need to be in the depots and we’re now running some as stockless, having just the items they need to deliver within the next 48 hours,” added Clarke.
Integration with the GPS vehicle tracking units in the vans using Paragon Fleet Controller allows the system to monitor delivery progress in real-time. This provides a live report feed, which is published on the Dreams intranet to show how deliveries are progressing and allows customer services to keep customers updated with estimated arrival times. They can see the exact status of each delivery, whether the van is at the customer’s home or has completed the delivery and is on its way to the next drop.