Dynamic new routing from Paragon Software

By Freddie Pierce
A major player in UK grocery distribution, Blakemore Logistics, has implemented a dynamic routing and scheduling solution from sepcialists Paragon Soft...

A major player in UK grocery distribution, Blakemore Logistics, has implemented a dynamic routing and scheduling solution from sepcialists Paragon Software Systems, resulting in a one million kilometre reduction in delivery miles.

Blakemore is a family-owned food and drink retail, wholesale and distribution business, based in the West Midlands that owns more than 320 SPAR supermarkets and distributes to many more, employs roughly 7,500 people and has a turnover in excess of £1.1 billion.

By switching from fixed route planning and implementing Paragon’s solution, Blakemore has lowered overall emissions and reduced its fleet by 10 percent. The company now only requires 140 vehicles to service 978 SPAR stores across England and Wales.

Blakemore Logistics, which forms part of the A.F. Blakemore & Son group of companies, decided to extend its use of Paragon transport optimisation software from pure fixed route planning use to full dynamic daily route optimisation.

At the same time it also included Paragon Fleet Controller enabling it to integrate its Blue Tree Systems R:COM Fleet Management System with its route planning and allow the logistics team to compare actual delivery activities against the optimised plan.

This allows the company to alert customers of delivery ETAs using text messages and communicate with drivers. The system also provides timed reporting with updated ETAs for customer services and management teams so that they can monitor and manage delivery performance.

Blakemore’s Logistics Manager, Marc Deakin, said: "Our delivery volumes can fluctuate by as much as 30 per cent on a weekly basis. This dynamic system enables us to effectively accommodate these changes more efficiently whilst achieving significant benefits.

"Corporate responsibility and minimising our environmental impact is paramount and is a key value of our family business. When we made the decision to change from a fixed to a dynamic planning approach we decided that we were going to commit fully to Paragon technology and we are enjoying the results."

He added: "We are leading the wholesale and convenience market in implementing dynamic planning and we are very proud of our achievements so far. We also know we can build on our successes. This is definitely the modern way to manage wholesale distribution because staying with a fixed routing approach means you will always have an element of waste due to overcapacity in the plan and in resourcing."

The company is also using Paragon Resource Manager with the unique Tachomaster Link module. This enables the electronic tachograph data to upload directly into Resource Manager, which has eliminated the need for keying in the information.

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