AMP Clean Energy, formerly Forest Fuels, the UK’s leading biomass wood fuel supplier, has selected Paragon’s route optimisation software and fleXipod ePOD system to help transform its customer experience. The company has adopted the integrated logistics solution to tackle the challenges created by rapid business growth, extended peak periods and changing customer expectations.

“Our very rapid commercial growth in recent years, combined with two very long, cold winters meant the manual planning processes we had in place were under increasing pressure and no longer able to cope,” explains Tony Vick, Logistics Director for AMP Clean Energy’s fuels division. “Our annual customer satisfaction survey also identified a need for shorter lead times and better communications, making it clear that we needed to improve our customer experience as well as maximise operational efficiency.”

AMP Clean Energy has brought together some of the UK’s biggest biomass businesses under one roof including Forest Fuels, Billington Bioenergy and Midlands Wood Fuels. Prior to rebranding as AMP Clean Energy, Forest Fuels selected Paragon’s logistics software to help streamline systems and enhance customer experience.

In the last two years the company has expanded its specialist fleet of commercial vehicles from 14 to more than 40 to meet the growing demand for wood pellet and wood chip fuel. The fuels business now delivers to around 4,000 customers using a range of blower, tipped, walking floor and palletised options, enabling it to offer the most suitable delivery choice for each customer’s needs.

“We serve customers in sectors as diverse as education, healthcare, hospitality and agriculture,” continues Vick. “With 900 deliveries a week in the peak season, it is vitally important to the efficiency of our operation that the right vehicle is used for each delivery. Our planning team has to factor in a number of parameters to ensure deliveries are achievable, but also to ensure that they happen on time, every time.”

The Paragon software was selected based on its proven ability to reduce planning time for complex transport operations and achieve measurable efficiency improvements. The seamless integration of the route optimisation software with the fleXipod ePOD system was also identified as a unique capability that could improve real-time visibility and customer engagement, so was key to the final decision.

A team of planners will use the Paragon route optimisation software to create weekly plans, with daily routes and schedules refined and finalised the day before, helping AMP Clean Energy to always deliver on their service promise. As well as dramatically streamlining the planning process, the company will be able to use the strategic capabilities of Paragon’s software to identify areas of operational improvement, such as a potential annual fuel saving of 10 to 14 per cent.

Going forward AMP Clean Energy will be able to provide automated SMS updates to confirm the date of delivery and provide a two to three hour time window on the day. Meanwhile, fleXipod will allow the company to further enhance customer communications as well as streamline back office systems by initiating the invoicing process immediately proof of delivery is received.

“As AMP Clean Energy we will be offering a much wider choice of biomass fuel and heat services. Our commitment to provide a consistent, high-quality customer experience will be key to our future success, so the Paragon logistics software will have a critical role to play here,” concludes Vick.

William Salter, Managing Director of Paragon Software Systems comments: “The biomass fuel sector is a relatively young industry. Leading companies such as AMP Clean Energy are having to handle rapid levels of growth, while continuing to meet customer needs in an efficient and sustainable way. Our logistics software, combined with the expertise of our support team, helps customers to create efficient transport operations that underpin the ability to deliver on their customer promise.”