DeeBee, the independent food wholesaler, has implemented the Optrak4 vehicle routing software alongside the Swords back office system in order to achieve a significant reduction in time spent planning whilst improving customer service levels.
Delivering a wide selection of ambient, tobacco, chilled and frozen products to customers in the on and off trade order from its base in Grimsby, Dee Bee’s previous manual route planning process had not kept pace with the needs of the rapidly growing business. Lack of control whilst the organisation grew had led the organisation into unnecessary extra mileage, uneconomic customers and a lack of visibility of vehicle fill during planning – leading to delivery schedules that either underutilised the vehicle or required repacking by warehouse staff due to volume constraints.
Dee Bee conducted a detailed assessment of three leading vehicle routing systems and selected the Optrak4 routing system for its greater flexibility and sophistication for coping with the quirks of a fast moving wholesale business.
Dee Bee now uses Optrak to create a set of optimised delivery schedules – taking into account vehicle capacities, customer locations and booked time windows. Routes are reviewed to identify further reductions to distribution costs, with any alterations run against a recalculation optimisation to warn if any rules have been broken.
Any late orders can be incorporated in the schedule and Optrak4 will always look to fit these onto existing trips in the most efficient way. The finished trips are uploaded back into the Swords ERP system which prints all the relevant paperwork such as delivery schedules for the drivers, invoices and pick lists.
Simon Roberts, Transport and Distribution Supervisor at Dee Bee explains on the control he gets from the system “It takes a few seconds for me to move an order onto a different trip or change a time window. If we pre-warn a customer about a change to a booked time for example, [before reallocating that order to another more economical trip] that can make quite a big difference to our costs. Thanks to Optrak we can get the routing done in as little as 35 minutes on a good day.”
Improvement of vehicle utilisation and fuel efficiency
Through deploying Optrak4, DeeBee has seen a large increase in vehicle utilisation and an improvement in fuel consumption per drop; giving it confidence that the vehicles leave the depot as full as possible which helps minimise fuel costs.
Improve customer service levels
Through Optrak4, DeeBee are now running a more efficient operation and delivering a better, more consistent service to customers at the same time
Significant reductions to planning time
Using Optrak, DeeBee has cut the time required for routing down to 35 minutes a day, whilst enabling it to be smarter about it uses its vehicles.
Greater operational flexibility
Optrak4 gives DeeBee the opportunity to identify where time windows are causing major inefficiencies, providing the sales representatives with guidance about rearranging drop times with the customer.
“Optrak’s loading facilities are far ahead of other routing systems. It allows us to manage the space on our vehicles effectively – by ensuring we load in the most efficient way – and has contributed to a big increase in our vehicle utilisation rates. Editing the trips in Optrak is also so easy, moving an order from one trip to another takes a single mouse click. It allows me to look at different options far more easily than we ever could before. Additionally, the service and support that we get from Optrak has been very professional and to a high standard.”
Transport and Distribution Supervisor
at Dee Bee
“Optrak certainly know the food and drink market inside out and their expertise proved invaluable in tailoring the software to how we run our business. As a result, I would recommend Optrak to other companies, not just wholesalers that are looking for a powerful vehicle routing system that can reduce planning time, minimise the fuel bill and ultimately contribute to improvements to the bottom line.”