Furniture Manufacturer Opens Transport Control Centre to Improve Customer Service

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The implementation of the LogiX vehicle route scheduling system from DPS International has brought dramatic improvements in costs, customer service and carbon footprint to one of Europes leading office furniture manufacturers.

So successful has the application been, that Bisley Office Furniture of Surrey uses its new transport planning control centre at Newport in South Wales to demonstrate to new and existing customers the benefits of advanced transport planning techniques.

The nature, size, shape and weight of the products being handled by Bisley make load and transport planning a difficult task. Graeme Winship, Logistics Director Bisley Office Furniture (http://www.bisley.com/), is faced with this problem daily. He has tackled it using state of the art computer technology, dealing with load planning; routing and scheduling; along with track and trace capability. No two orders are the same, and our product range is considerably different in size, shape and weight. Bisley operates from Bisley, Surrey and Newport, South Wales and employing nearly a thousand people.

Operational Audit and Review

Bisley carried out a full audit of its delivery and service requirement to determine best practices for fulfilling customer demand and service. The processes used at the time were manual, extremely time consuming and ran in isolation at the two manufacturing sites. Along with this the customer expectation was low and delivery slots were vague, un-monitored and without the use of meaningful KPIs. The key to a successful operation was to have a significant improvement in distribution planning and Bisley Office Furniture went out to tender for a Route planning solution that could be integrated into the in-house legacy systems.

Out of the significant number of companies in the Vehicle Routing and Scheduling arena contacted by Bisley Office Furniture, a solution was contracted out to DPS International (http://www.dps-int.com/) to initially run their LogiX Suite on stand alone PCs. We wanted a solution that would allow us to change the way we worked without a significant big bang approach, which is the un-doing of many systems Graeme said. The LogiX solution from DPS allowed us to use some of the existing manual systems and to take our staff on a significant change in operation and culture without any major issues.

Through careful planning and improvements we now have a sophisticated system that has allowed us to centralize our planning operation and to improve the customer service levels and on time delivery. Route planning is not about immediately reducing the number of vehicles you use; it is about improving efficiency and utilisation of the vehicles and controlling the costs of the operation. We have been able to cut costs across the board and improve fleet utilisation by 20%.

Since implementing the system we have had a 9% improvement in distribution costs and actually carry out more deliveries with a reduced fleet at both sites. More importantly the company has accurate data that allows them to make decisions about its distribution strategy.

The LogiX Suite has achieved all of Bisleys operational requirements

  • Cost effective planning solution
  • Integration with the Legacy systems
  • Reduction in distribution costs
  • Rationalisation of deliveries across two sites
  • Significant improvement in on time deliveries.
  • Reduction in administrative overhead

Recently DPS and TomTom WORK combined forces to offer a fully integrated end to end scheduling and job dispatch solution. This allows the scheduling and route planning to be optimised using the real time information provided by TomTom WORK. In particular, ETAs from the TomTom Navigation device are fed back to the DPS scheduling platform, allowing the system to react to changing conditions on the road in real time.

We are now using TomTom WORK together with LogiX, which provides real time vehicle tracking; text messaging for improved driver communication; and work directives so delivery and driving status can be monitored Graeme said.

Paul Palmer, CEO of DPS, said that Bisley are aware of the impact which logistics has on the environment and are anxious to minimize this impact. DPS provides a free tool for measuring the different environmental impacts of various distribution strategies and operations. There are also additional green benefits from this combined LogiX and TomTom WORK offering. More efficient routes mean less miles and a smaller carbon footprint. The DPS Financial and Carbon Savings (FACS) calculator is the first of its kind and can be downloaded at www.logixcentral.com/vehicle_scheduling_downloads.php. It is free to any company, whether a DPS customer or not.

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