Following a major pilot in three regional distribution centres, KN Drinks Logistics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kuehne + Nagel in the UK, has started a national roll-out of Paragons enhanced routing and scheduling optimisation solution, as the company seeks to improve its radial distribution planning operations in the brewing and drinks sector.
Transport planning for our national client base is both a large and highly complex process, says KN Drinks Logistics Regional Planning Manager, Andrew Marshall. We process up to 6,000 orders per day through our 20 depot national network. We operate five different vehicle types and one, two and three-man crews in meeting the tight delivery windows and restricted access constraints of much of our 30,000+ strong delivery account base.
KN Drinks Logistics and Paragon jointly worked together to establish a series of performance improvements in what is a complex and demanding operation, and this is now coming to fruition after a 12 month project. Among the areas identified to improve were, ease and speed of planning, reductions in vehicle movements and reduction in distances travelled, with no consequent adverse impact on already very high levels of delivery service level performance.
Consequently, the Paragon software now incorporates several refinements of its underlying scheduling algorithms and optimising techniques. It also gives the depot planning teams more influence over how the optimisation should be best carried out - so they can take account of operational experience which, for example, shows that in certain depots it is better to plan small vehicles before larger vehicles and then undertake final optimisation using an enhanced Trip Improver option.
In this way we have combined the efficiency benefits of automated scheduling with the on-going knowledge and expertise of KN Drinks Logisticss experienced planners, says Paragons software development director, Richard Street.
As a result of Paragons software developments we are now able to plan more quickly than before and with better results in what continues to be a challenging environment, confirms Marshall. Daily planning, which previously took up to five hours as a manual process in some depots, can now be completed in no more than 2 hours - a dramatic 60 per cent time saving. This in turn allows the planners to undertake more what-if type analysis and look for other opportunities to drive operational efficiency".
Substantial gains, continuous improvement
Following the successful pilot, the enhanced Paragon software is now being rolled out across the entire KN Drinks Logistics network.
Early operational results have been impressive, with significant improvements across a range of key performance indicators (KPIs), including a kilometres per tonne, and average distance travelled decrease. In addition, KN Drinks Logistics has seen a real reduction in vehicle movements which is also having a positive impact on its carbon footprint.
Paragons willingness and determination to work closely with our team has had a major impact on the success of the project, says Allan Jagger, KN Drinks Logistics Business Systems Manager. We are already achieving the outstanding results anticipated at the outset and now have an excellent planning tool that enables us to produce more efficient plans much more quickly".
The complexities of this operation gave our software some challenges along the way so its very rewarding to see the fruits of our labours come through as tangible performance improvements for KN Drinks Logistics", says Paragon managing director William Salter. As a company we remain committed to developing innovative solutions that make the best use of available technology in transport optimisation and execution systems which is good news for our whole customer base.
Paragon Software Systems is committed to excellence in providing optimisation solutions for routing and scheduling, resource management and transport execution. The company has an unparalleled track record of successful software implementations with over 1,200 systems installed in more than 23 countries worldwide. Paragon provides software solutions for operations ranging from 10 vehicles based at a single site to hundreds of vehicles running out of several sites. Paragon software is used for routing and scheduling optimisation on a daily basis; managing transport resources; rationalising fixed routes; strategic planning and modelling; scheduling home deliveries continuously as orders are being confirmed; and managing the execution of the transport plan in real time using vehicle tracking technology. With clients including Tesco, Royal Mail Group, Harrods, Mastercare, CEVA Logistics, Wincanton, DHL Exel, Norbert Dentressangle, Pirelli, Greene King, John Lewis, Argos and Rank Hovis, the company has the experience to ensure that distribution problems are translated into software solutions that provide real benefits for clients. Paragon solutions are helping hundreds of companies across the globe to cut transport costs, improve operational efficiency, reduce planning time and raise customer service levels, and frequently underpin a clients strategic business growth objectives.