Home furnishings have played a major part in building the internationally recognised Laura Ashley brand, and a premium home delivery operation for custom-made orders has been created to support its customer service values.
To underpin this national home delivery service – which not only delivers furniture and soft furnishings on time but also employs specially trained staff to assemble the made to order goods – Laura Ashley has installed Paragon’s routing and scheduling system.
Laura Ashley’s decision to service its Premier Home Delivery operation with its own fleet of vehicles owes much to its concentration on customer service and cost-effective quality. It is also the result of a long tradition of trying to keep things simple, embodied by the firm’s beginnings at founder Laura Ashley’s kitchen table 50 years ago. The search for a routing and scheduling system able to embed these values into the distribution operation, through centrally planned and reliable routes, brought the firm to Paragon.
Paragon’s Multi Depot application now plans up to 400 home deliveries a day made by a fleet of over 40 vehicles operating out of a network of six nationwide depots. The system takes two minutes to produce routes and schedules that meet agreed time windows, automatically accounting for vehicle capacity and availability as well as the delivery and assembly requirements of each order. Once reviewed and signed off by a member of the transport planning team the routed calls are passed to the call center operators who contact customers to confirm their delivery details – the whole process is completed in under two hours.
“While we were keen to benefit from greater control of this specialist operation, customer service could not be compromised in any way. Paragon provides us with a simple and effective way of sorting complex information and generating delivery schedules that we, and our customers, can rely on.” Neil Lawther, Transport Manager, Laura Ashley
“We are keen to keep improving our service to customers and we see Paragon’s continuous optimisation solution as a key part of helping us do this. The fact that it is based on proven Paragon technology makes it a very interesting proposition for us and our business as we know that Paragon’s routing and scheduling solutions are both reliable and effective.” Mike Coates, Head of Home Delivery, Laura Ashley