Warburtons invests in fleet control system to boost on-time delivery performance

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A fleet of 800 lorries, operating out of 25 sites nationwide, delivering 2.2 million loaves of bread to 20,000 retail outlets across the UK. That’s the scale of the logistics challenge that UK bread company Warburtons faces every day.

Now, the company has installed new technology to track vehicles and plan routes, giving it real-time updates of all carriers and deliveries.

“We can see when a vehicle arrives at a delivery, how long the call took and when it left,” said Warburtons distribution manager Jim Norton. “We now have visibility of our customer service performance immediately, whereas previously, we had a 12-hour delay in getting feedback from the drivers when we used manual reporting. This also helps us to proactively manage the fleet, and the drivers have widely accepted the system.”

This visibility was achieved by integrating Navman wireless GPS devices on the trucks with a vehicle tracking system, Fleet Controller, from Paragon Software Systems, as well as Warburtons’ schedule and route-planning application. The Navman Wireless M-Nav 760 terminals provide drivers with two-way messaging, job despatch and navigation services.

“With Paragon Fleet Controller providing live vehicle and driver activity from the tracking system we are able to use a fact-based approach to planning deliveries,” said Norton.

One of the reasons Warburtons chose the Navman Wireless system was its ability to fully integrate with Paragon Fleet Controller. “It gives us full visibility of what is actually happening on the roads,” said Norton.“While our customer service is already at a high level, we wanted to improve this further, which this technology is helping us to do.”

Fleet Controller is installed at Warburtons’ head office in Bolton and the company has around 100 users accessing the server-based multi-depot system over its corporate network. Orders are uploaded automatically into Paragon from Warburtons’ SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system each night, in order to generate the routes and the schedules. The routes are then sent directly to the in-vehicle terminals, so that drivers have access to all their deliveries, in sequential order, on their terminals when they arrive at work.

Paragon Software Systems also provides routing and scheduling software to other major UK retailers, including Sainsbury's, Tesco, John Lewis and Argos, as well as manufacturing and logistics companies. According to the company, its systems are installed in more than 750 client sites in 45 countries across the world.

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