A rapidly growing Midlands-based road haulage company is among the first to invest in a new cloud transport management system to support its ambitious expansion plans.
Peterborough-based Barnack Storage and Logistics, which provides chilled and ambient transport services to customers across the UK, has specified new TMS Go! from specialist software provider Mandata to automate transport functions and improve control of its growing workload.
The technology, which is being phased in across delivery operations, provides enhanced visibility; enabling the company's dispatch team to access a centralised drag and drop operated interface to simplify the planning and monitoring of its work.
This facility is being incorporated as part of a package of technology-based measures included in TMS Go!, which help to move the business swiftly on to a paperless job planning and invoicing system. This includes driver and vehicle calendar management, vehicle percentage fill levels, repeat jobs, electronic manifests, sub-contractor management and map-based planning.
The move to TMS Go! will deliver significant benefits for Barnack as it gears up for expansion over the next 12 months on the back of an ambitious capital investment strategy to fuel growth. The company plans to increase its current fleet of eight vehicles to 18 by the end of 2019 to meet growing demand for its distribution services from customers, who include Redstar Beverages and Windfall Logistics.
Indeed, a report* published in 2017 predicts the global refrigerated road transportation market to grow by more than 26% in the next three years in the face of rising e-commerce grocery deliveries and awareness of the benefits of cold chain logistics.
TMS Go! is an easy-to-use, 'out-of-the-box' subscription-based cloud product, enabling operators such as Barnack - who are looking to migrate to digital systems - to simplify and manage better 'order-to-invoice' processes via cost-effective paperless technology.
Initial usage by Barnack will see upwards of 10 jobs a day processed through TMS Go!, but this is expected to ramp-up significantly as the business takes on more work.
The transport operator expects to recoup important savings on the back of its investment thanks to smarter vehicle optimisation and a greater capacity to plan for full trailer loads. This will 'contribute significantly' to driving down operating costs, reducing administration tasks and paperwork, and improving overall fleet utilisation.
Mandata's approach of channelling information into one place, on a single system, is a key benefit of TMS Go!, said Barnack's managing director, Stephen Knight, who's overseeing the installation of several user features that are expected to save several hours-a-week processing orders and customer invoices.
He added: "We are confident the system will improve workload optimisation long term for our own fleet and pallet network, along with greatly enhanced driver communication and customer visibility.
"Adopting the technology will automate many of our manual systems, improving service levels in the process. It also provides an extremely cost effective, flexible modular solution, which can be quickly scaled-up to provide even more added value as we expand fleet operations in the next 12 months."
A digital ePOD (proof of delivery) solution, the Manifest app, will be introduced once TMS Go! Go fully live, enabling drivers to receive work instructions. They will see at a glance, via a suitable smartphone device, the sequence of jobs and manifest details, which can be updated with changes throughout the day.
In turn, this will allow Stephen Knight and his team to ensure customers are better informed of the progress of an order via a robust paperless manifest to proof-of-delivery (POD) solution and have all the necessary details needed to invoice for work.
"Manifest's set to streamline the business even further, facilitating ever smarter ways of working," he said. "We will align it to current operations to enable us to deliver extra financial savings, efficiencies and higher standards of driver performance."
Ultimately, for Stephen Knight, key performance indicators around future fleet operations will be the true measure of success.
"We're constantly working with customers on ways to improve our service. Data provided by TMS Go! will be shared, enabling us to identify and tackle areas of underperformance, or issues before they become an inconvenient problem," he said.