SCALA Logistics Consulting to conduct new Department for Transport Food and Drink transport efficiency survey

On one day in Spring 2007, the performance of 9000 goods vehicles delivering food and drink was monitored and reported in order to provide robust key performance indicators for the sectors.  The survey was conducted by SCALA Logistics Consulting on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT) and preparations are already well advanced for a similar activity in 2009.

Initial Industry Consultation Workshops are planned for 22 October at Hemel Hempstead and 23 October at Wakefield. Already several major companies have agreed to attend these initial consultative workshops.  Participation is welcome from manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and logistics companies. 

The survey is part of the Departments ongoing efforts to measure and record vehicle efficiencies, and provides operators with sound, reliable performance indicators.  It is the latest in a series of Surveys dating back to 1998 when the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) first provided verifiable and supportable KPIs for the food distribution industry.

John Perry, Managing Director of SCALA, told us: Given the current market situation and the cost of fuel and energy, it is essential that companies gain insight into their transport performance and how they compare to best practice in the food and drink sector.  This crucial information is available free to participants in this survey.

On March 8th last year, drivers and managers of 9,000 goods vehicles, from 113 commercial fleets, carefully monitored on an hourly basis the performance of their vehicles on the road.  The vehicles involved in the survey covered a distance of 1.3m kms.  Companies received individual reports setting out the performance of their fleets compared with each other, and with the national performance.

The results of the 2007 survey were published in the Freight Best Practice Benchmarking Guide Key Performance Indicators for Food and Drink Supply Chains.  This report can be downloaded from the Performance Management section of the Freight Best Practice website at:

www.freightbestpractice.org.uk

The 2009 Survey will again compare vehicles within primary, secondary and tertiary transport activities, but there will be some changes this time, mainly aimed at making data gathering easier for participants.  The Survey will again focus on five key performance indicators - vehicle fill, time utilisation, empty running, fuel consumption and vehicle delays.  This gives an element of continuity with Surveys carried out over the previous twenty years.

The process for the Survey will be similar to the one in 2007.  SCALA will organise workshops to encourage participation and to explain what is involved, and the data that will be required.  Prior to the Survey there will be further workshops aimed at supporting those who will do the data gathering.

Graham Stubbs, of SCALA, who is project manager for the survey, says It is important that the number of fleets and vehicles involved is substantial so that there can be confidence in the results.  We plan to have more companies and fleets involved this time.  All data will be treated totally confidentially.  Data from those taking part will be amalgamated to provide the industry with the range of achievements against KPIs and an indication of best practice performance.  All published reports will combine all participants information into a totally anonymous format.

Companies who wish to participate in order to obtain detailed and extensive benchmarking of their own performance and at the same time assist in ensuring the food and drink industry has the best possible information should contact SCALA Consulting, Tel: 01484 422084, or e-mail survey@scalagroup.co.uk or visit www.scalagroup.co.uk

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