Frozen food wholesale distributor increases delivery efficiency and customer service levels, matching orders to delivery logistic capabilities
Frozen food and ice cream wholesale distribution company, Eden Farm, has implemented a multi-depot routing and scheduling system from Paragon Software to help improve transport efficiency and customer service.
The Paragon Multi Depot system provides specific driver, vehicle and route planning capabilities across the company’s nationwide transport operation, which serves its customers from a five-depot operation.
Since its establishment in 1964 as a smallholding with one minivan delivering its homegrown produce, the family-run company with a focus on customer service has grown to manage a national delivery network distributing all the top brands of frozen food and ice cream. Throughout this business growth, Eden Farm has stuck to its guiding customer service principle to “deliver on promise”.
Gaining real-time visibility
Before implementing the Paragon system, Eden Farm’s sales team would accept orders while being unable to take into account the delivery logistics. The drivers planned their own routes and the company’s head office had no real-time visibility of the fleet to check that deliveries were running according to schedule.
Following a successful trial of the Single Depot system at its Bradford operation, Eden Farm upgraded to Paragon’s Multi Depot routing and scheduling software to cover operations in its London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Peterlee depots as well. Further functionality was added with Paragon’s INRIX-based road speed data and HERE Map Content with street level mapping for daily operational planning use.
“We use fewer vehicles in the depots now, and have greater visibility into our delivery operations, which in turn means improved customer service,” said Robert Gee, Eden Farm strategic manager of IT and operations.
“Head office can track all our delivery vehicles, and, not only does the system give us visibility into our actual operations, but it is also a scenario planning tool. Ours is a seasonal business, and the system allows us to plan for high-volume summer orders as well as to react to 'what-if' situations, such as accommodating a customer’s request for an extra delivery."
Improved workforce management
Eden Farm’s system also includes Paragon’s Fleet Controller module, which links a Navman
wireless vehicle tracking with Paragon’s route planning system and enables the control room to monitor the position of all vehicles in the fleet and check they are en route and on time. It also includes Paragon Resource Manager, a software option that enables specific drivers to be matched with specific vehicles and specific routes, taking into account driver’s hours regulations and any planned vehicle maintenance.
The final module in the current system is Paragon’s Timed HTML Reporting, which feeds a web page giving the customer service team visibility into Eden Farm’s delivery operations so they can give customers accurate delivery information.
“We are currently looking at the next stage of integration,” added Gee, “which will link Tachomaster with our Paragon system so we can import actual real-time data to check drivers' hours and allocate routes and shifts accordingly.”