Exel has installed Paragons Fleet Controller software to help manage 11,500 weekly chilled and frozen food deliveries on behalf of Nisa-Todays. Interfaced with TRACKER Networks vehicle tracking system Fleet Controller receives real time location and status information from in-cab units installed in the Exel vehicles. Establishing a valuable link between routing and scheduling software and vehicle tracking provides real-time visibility of how the days delivery schedules are progressing, gives early warning of any expected late arrivals and produces a complete picture of variances, such as excess mileage or unexpected delays. As a result Exel is now able to manage its transport operation more tightly whilst raising service levels for Nisa-Todays outlets, and with the addition of automatic customer SMS text messages, customer service levels are set to rise further still.

Nisa-Todays, the UKs largest independent buying group for retail and wholesale companies, uses Exel to manage over 11,500 weekly deliveries of frozen and chilled produce to its 3,500 outlets. With each of the 130+ Exel-owned vehicles fitted with an in-cab tracking unit provided by TRACKER Network, Nisa-Todays has a simple interface between its tracking system and Paragons Fleet Controller software which provides transport managers and customer service teams with an up-to-date picture of how the days transport operation is progressing in relation to the planned schedules.

The seamless integration of Paragon Fleet Controller with TRACKERs vehicle tracking system via a simple XML interface enables real time information about a vehicles location and status to be captured automatically and fed back to the Paragon system at frequent intervals, comments Richard Street, Paragons Software Development Director. Fleet Controller stores the planned routes and schedules, and incorporates instant map-based routing and re-scheduling capabilities. Each time a vehicles GPS location is received, the software re-calculates the journey from that location to the next customer, and updates all the timings for the remainder of its schedule, taking account of any additional European or Working Time Directive break requirements.

Using Paragons Fleet Controller software means that our transport and customer service teams get advance warning of any potential late arrivals and can deal with them promptly, explains Exels Richard Cooper. We also have access to another Fleet Controller facility which enables us to automatically send SMS text messages informing Nisa-Todays outlets when their delivery is approaching so that they can be ready to receive it saving time for both the store and the driver. This is a huge customer service benefit for the operation as keeping outlets informed and providing accurate delivery times is a key objective in raising customer service for Nisa-Todays.

As well as highlighting delays or deviations from the plan as they occur, Fleet Controller also provides a complete picture of vehicle movements at the end of each day. By automatically comparing actual activity with the planned schedules, Fleet Controller can generate daily reports showing key performance indicators, such as the percentage of deliveries achieved within the promised time window, and exception reports highlighting unexpected delays, excess mileage or time, and even instances where less time was spent than planned. In this way, operational anomalies can easily be identified and resolved, enabling a process of continual performance improvement.

Fleet Controller delivers real time visibility and reporting functionalities that are designed to benefit both transport and customer service managers, comments William Salter, Paragons Managing Director. For the equivalent of 50p per vehicle per day Fleet Controller can be linked into an existing Paragon routing and scheduling system or purchased as a stand alone system. The fact that we have established a simple XML interface with most leading vehicle tracking suppliers means that the software, and the benefits that go with it, are readily available.

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