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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Original Factory Shop gets improved transport service

Monday June 28 2010

Transport services provider uses new route planning software systems to simplify planning and improve distribution services for retailer

McDowells delivery to The Original Factory ShopTransport services provider uses new route planning software systems to simplify planning and improve distribution services for retailer


R McDowell Distribution (McDowells) is saving days of work planning routes after implementing software from Paragon Software Systems.


McDowells is using Paragon routing and scheduling software to plan deliveries to over 140 Original Factory Shop stores throughout the UK. The optimisation software is providing efficiency improvements and savings in planning and administrative time, vehicles used and road miles.


“We have been providing transport services to The Original Factory Shop for many years and the manual planning of deliveries was complex, particularly as the company is constantly opening new stores. Paragon simplifies the entire process and improves fleet resource management too. We have seen huge improvements in efficiency and we are making better use of available vehicles and reducing mileage,” said Joe Balmforth, McDowells’ operations director.


Using a fleet of 22 articulated and rigid-bodied trucks, McDowells delivers over 1,400 pallet loads of products plus hanging garments each week. Some of these are double deliveries. Between September and December, stock levels increase by 60%. However, the software allows for the change in volume.


Automation brings efficiency, control


“Before using Paragon, we needed to set aside around four days for manual planning to cope with any changes in delivery frequencies and volumes. Now the plans are produced in minutes using the Paragon logistics software,” added Balmforth.


McDowells can also add new and planned store details ahead of their opening so that the routes and schedules are all ready to run when the stores eventually open.


“With new stores opening regularly, we can easily add them to Paragon and this guides the deployment of our existing fleet and shows where we need to extend it. For example, it has shown us what new vehicles we’ll need to buy to meet the needs of the new stores. It removes guesswork and provides a high degree of accuracy,” he continued.


“Paragon is designed for ease of use and users only require a little training. We are hauliers and not IT people, so we need to be able to get on with using the software to do our job of providing service excellence to our customer. If we need any help Paragon’s support team are only a telephone call away. The software is a perfect fit for our fixed route planning of The Original Factory Shop deliveries. Our next project is to move from single to multi-depot planning, as we are setting up satellite depots to assist with our customer’s expansion plans,” Balmforth concluded.