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Reynolds Integrates Optrak Into Supply Chain For Shared Advantage
Reynolds Logistics is Ireland’s leading liquid distribution company and is the biggest distributor of petroleum in Ireland. Its subsidiary Reynolds Lubricant Distribution operates lubricant and chemical contracts. Its core competencies are the contract distribution and storage of bulk, both in tankers and Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC), and packed lubricants.
Reynolds offers services with industry benchmark quality, reliability and lead times that enable its clients to use the final link in their supply chains to add real value. The company has invested in a modern vehicle routing solution to enable it to sustain competitive advantage.
The punctuality and efficiency of our deliveries demonstrates our commitment to quality and customer service excellence right to our clients customer premises. At Reynolds, we have always used proven technology to support our business.
Central to this has been the long term partnership with Optrak, to integrate its leading vehicle routing solution into our overall supply chain.”
Joe Reynolds, Managing Director
Optrak as a strategic planning tool
Reynolds tender for contracts on a regular basis. A key part of this process is modeling the distribution operations for a prospective client, who typically supply 3, 6 or 12 months of historical order data. Reynolds needed a strategic tool to assist with business development. A detailed
search and selection process led the company to the Optrak vehicle routing solution.
We chose Optrak due to its reputation and expertise in the bulk liquids industry and its established oil and petroleum client base. It was also clear that other routing solutions did not offer the same functionality as Optrak”
Andrew Reynolds, General Manager
Reynolds creates detailed distribution models within Optrak to determine the cost base for each contract. Various options can be analyzed until Reynolds knows what resources (e.g. drivers, fleet configuration and mix) would have been required to efficiently fulfill these orders. Optrak gives
Reynolds confidence that it can meet any delivery and service commitments as the analysis is based on accurate and operationally feasible routing solutions.
Optrak was first used on a modeling project for BP Castrol. Reynolds won this contract, and shortly after, Optrak was used in a successful tender to Shell. The projects were well received internally and a decision was made to use Optrak for daily scheduling.
When Reynolds made the move towards automating operational routing, we didn’t need to look at other packages in a lot of detail. We knew Optrak’s capabilities and the relationship with the team at Optrak is very good as they are always prepared to work with us to fully understand our needs. However, what sets Optrak apart is their ability to meet both our strategic and operational
Andrew Reynolds, General Manager
Extending innovation and control of the supply chain
Reynolds operates a fleet of multi-compartmented tankers and IBC carrying vehicles from a modern shared user warehouse in Dublin. This is supported by vehicles at outbases in Cork, Belfast and Galway.
Historically Reynolds used tankers for bulk lubricants and separate vehicles for packed goods such as barrels, cartons and bottles of screen wash. Currently, Reynolds have a patent pending for vehicle design that allows for both bulk and packed goods to be carried on the same vehicle. The
bulk lubricants are carried in IBCs and these are loaded on the IBC carrying vehicle which also carries packed goods.
This has several benefits. An order could be made up of several parts such as 1000 liters of bulk oil, a barrel of gear oil for the workshop and packed goods for the forecourt. This saves the customer time, as it has to deal with a single delivery and Reynolds only has to send a single
vehicle out to satisfy orders containing both bulk and packed products.
Applying new technologies to shared advantage
There are three different types of delivery window and these are crucial to how Reynolds work with customers. The majority are ‘by date’, where Reynolds have flexibility to deliver anytime after the order is placed and within the SLA. A ‘commence date’ order is where a customer pre-orders products but doesn’t want it before a certain date. An ‘on date’ order must be delivered on a specific day.
Reynolds uses Optrak to explore tiered delivery service/cost options with client business managers. Customers are charged according to the delivery SLA. This allows Reynolds to increase revenue streams for priority orders, whilst sharing any cost benefits with clients who have a longer delivery
Castrol BP was the first contract where Optrak was used for live scheduling. However, as Reynolds’ business grew, Shell, Statoil and other chemical contracts were also planned through Optrak. Whilst this originally involved using dedicated vehicles for each customer, Reynolds now
consolidates all orders and operates a single shared vehicle fleet. This has boosted utilization and reduced the time required for planning down to 90 minutes. Reynolds estimates that without Optrak, it would take two planners a full day to do the routing.
Investing in technology
Reynolds created a unique system to manage various aspects of the supply chain. Optrak is a key
part of this, as seen in the diagram:
Reynolds has automated elements of the supply chain to electronically replicate all paper based forms and processes. Lubetrac™ is an office-based system for managing orders and integrates with Optrak to optimize route planning. Vehicles are fitted out with onboard computers that collect the delivery data and customer signatures for each delivery.
Customers place orders with a Dublin based call center. If the order is placed before 12pm, it is assembled in the UK at Ellesmere Port, and transported overnight to Dublin. Order details (product and customer details, delivery dates, etc.) are transferred from the clients systems by EDI to
Lubetrac. In the morning, orders are exported to Optrak. The order set includes on date orders, any unrouted commence and by date orders from the previous day and new orders that have been placed.
Optrak is used to generate an initial set of optimized trips that observe all delivery and time windows. The closer an order gets to the ‘by date’, the more priority it is given. Optrak uses any remaining orders to boost utilization of vehicles that Reynolds is already committed to sending out.
The scheduler uses his local knowledge to modify trips to further improve routes and utilization rates. Optrak rechecks all constraints whenever a change is made. If an outbase does not have the capacity to deliver its orders, the scheduler uses Optrak to allocate a vehicle from Dublin.
Optrak features a built-in drop down menu that Reynolds follows, which automates essential steps in the planning process. Once routing is finished, all trip details are uploaded to Lubetrac and driver summary reports, manifests and pick lists for the warehouse are printed off.
If an emergency order has been placed during the day it is picked and ready for a driver once they have returned from a delivery run. This maximizes the use of the driver shifts and provides flexibility to respond to customer demands.
A customer who orders before midday, can get it delivered anywhere in Ireland the next day. No other lubricants company can provide this service and we couldn’t do this without Optrak. It is an invaluable tool for route planning and critical to our day to day processes and operations. Anyone trying to model lubricants distribution without a sophisticated tool like Optrak will not be doing it justice. Additionally, everyone who uses Optrak finds it very user friendly.”
Alan Docherty, Operations Manager
Meeting reporting requirements
Reynolds is in a beneficial position when it comes to meeting tachograph requirements and the Working Time Directive (WTD). Optrak keeps track of driver hours on a day-to-day basis and adds them up as the week goes on. This helps Reynolds ensure that drivers don’t get overworked.
Lubetrac stores all details of the routes and distances each driver is forecasted to do by Optrak.
Reynolds take actual distances traveled from the tachographs and input this alongside the predicted information – this has proved that Optrak’s routes are highly accurate. Reynolds also maintains a close watch on the cent per liter it costs to deliver each order, and detailed statistics on
KPIs can be provided from Lubetrac.
What the future holds
Reynolds is looking at using Optrak in its fuels business, which would also see the potential introduction of pre-planning later this year. This would link Reynolds’ systems via telemetry to the retail stations to monitor and control stock levels. Reynolds can then generate orders to retail stations as and when they are needed.