Fine Lady Bakeries, the Banbury-based supplier of bakery products to supermarkets, distribution centres and food service outlets throughout England, is using Paragon’s market leading routing and scheduling software to review fixed routes across its 35 vehicle operation.

With the vehicle fleet making up to 60 trips each day, Fine Lady Bakeries identified the need to switch from manual to automated routing and scheduling. One year on the organisation is reporting significant efficiency gains as a result of improved vehicle utilisation, enhanced route planning, better time window control and more efficient use of driver hours through multi-tripping.

Using Paragon’s Single Depot routing and scheduling solution, Fine Lady Bakeries is now able to review its fixed route operation more efficiently than ever before. Having previously relied on a manually planned delivery network developed gradually over a period of several years, the introduction of an automated route planning system resulted in the immediate identification of cost savings and business benefits throughout the operation. With the switch made from a process involving the input of a larger team using local knowledge to modify the manually created schedule to a team of two now working with Paragon to route more quickly and efficiently than before, the introduction of the new system has improved overall planning consistency.

Used monthly to reroute seven single day schedules, Paragon software has enabled changes, such as additional customer wins and variations in order volumes, to be accommodated with minimum fuss and less manual intervention than previously required. In addition, as part of an overall review of the Fine Lady Bakeries transport network, Paragon is used to assess the most effective way of meeting customer delivery day and time demands, offering more efficient alternatives and increasing awareness of the cost implications of different scenarios.

Added to this, the flexibility of the Paragon technology provides powerful forward planning capability, particularly relevant with the realisation of the Working Time Directive less than 18 months away. “Companies such as Fine Lady Bakeries are seeing the value of using Paragon software as a tool in preparation for the change in driver hours that will accompany the introduction of the Working Time Directive for mobile workers,” comments Phil Ingham, Paragon’s Support Director. “With the ability to analyse alternative transport options, service levels and shift combinations, Paragon will help companies to minimise the additional operating costs that are being widely predicted when this new legislation comes into force.”

Overall, Fine Lady Bakeries is benefiting from the wide range of benefits that Paragon software has to offer its clients. “While Paragon instantly identified route improvements that resulted in significant savings through better utilisation of our vehicle capacity, Easter provided additional proof of the system’s value,” adds Craig Gilkes of Fine Lady Bakeries. “We usually have to hire additional tractor and trailer units to cope with the seasonal rush, but this time we didn’t need any. Savings such as these, combined with the system’s ability to help us prepare for new business pitches and plan for changes to driver hours regulations, make Paragon an invaluable tool in routing and scheduling our transport operation.”

Fine Lady Bakeries implements Paragon's routing and scheduling software to review fixed routes its operation