Brings together tracking and planning technologies to drive real-time distribution performance improvement integrates with leading telematics solutions
Emphasising Paragon Software Systems (Paragons) leadership position in vehicle routing and scheduling technology, its Fleet Controller real-time tracking, monitoring and reporting solution will form the centrepiece of the companys stand at the forthcoming Commercial Vehicle Show at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, 25-27 April, (stand 4234).
The Fleet Controller software module links Paragons established routing and scheduling capability with fleet tracking technology to provide improved customer service and transport management.
Critically however, Fleet Controller can be seamlessly integrated via a simple XML interface with the industrys leading GPRS-based tracking systems, including Cybit, Isotrak, Masternaut, Minorplanet, Navman Wireless, Siemens VDO and TRACKER. This enables real-time information about vehicle location and status to be fed back regularly to the Paragon system in order to provide an accurate up-to-date picture of the execution of the days transport schedule.
Traditionally tracking systems have been able to tell you where your vehicles are at any point in time, confirms Paragons marketing and business development director, Charles Nockold, but the real benefit comes from knowing which vehicles are not where they should be and what impact that will have on delivery schedules. By combining tracking with the planning system, Fleet Controller provides a series of automatic alerts where deliveries are falling behind schedule, for example, and enables potential problems to be dealt with before they have a knock-on effect on the rest of the days plan.
Fleet Controllers routing and scheduling intelligence also enables it to take into account constraints such as drivers hours and rest-breaks when updating the schedule as a result of delays.
Delivering internal and external improvement
Fleet Controller provides transport management with a broad range of major benefits. These include:
- Better operational management Transport plans are checked automatically for feasibility, improving planning accuracy, and are adjusted in real-time in response to issues that arise;
- Better customer service Of value to both home delivery and commercial customers, an email or text message alert is sent while the vehicle is en-route, notifying them of an imminent delivery;
- Continuous improvement Tracking data is fed into the planning system throughout the day, with reports highlighting where and how time has been lost or gained and assessed against KPIs. This enables the distribution operation to be continuously reviewed and improved in light of experience;
- Driver debriefs Real-time exception reporting enables driver debriefs to be undertaken immediately. This captures essential information while it is front-of-mind and avoids wasting time debriefing when there are no issues;
- Compliance The plan is automatically checked to ensure it meets customer constraints on delivery times and regulatory compliance with regard to such issues as drivers hours.
Paragons Fleet Controller software can also link with more than one tracking system at the same time, which is important for transport managers looking to manage the whole fleet - including third-party transport in meeting peaks and troughs of demand.
Major step forward
Fleet Controller is currently helping companies such as Exel Nisa-Todays and logistics service provider Gist to plan and monitor many hundreds of time-critical vehicle movements daily. There is increasing pressure on companies to manage their fleets effectively, in order to provide the high levels of service todays customers demand, confirms Nockold.
Whether used in conjunction with Paragons own planning system or not, Fleet Controller offers a robust yet flexible transport management solution which delivers a quantum leap in operational and customer service improvement, he concludes.