The UK’s leading miller, Rank Hovis Ltd, has chosen Paragon’s routing software for the dynamic daily scheduling of its 75-vehicle fleet. As a result Rank Hovis has secured distribution efficiencies in support of its business-wide strategy to improve operational and administrative performance.

Having made the decision to improve control and cost-effectiveness through central transport management, Rank Hovis concluded that it would need to switch to routing software which provided a comprehensive package of product, support and customer focus. The company wanted to integrate its two regional fleets and centralise transport planning and customer services at its High Wycombe headquarters to achieve a broad range of benefits, from increased backhaul loads to improved communications. As its two existing routing and scheduling systems lacked the functionality to run the complex and newly enlarged operation, Rank brought in a system from Paragon – its Integrated Fleets scheduling system.

Paragon’s Integrated Fleets routing software views fleets at different locations as an integrated resource, allowing vehicles from one location to be scheduled to collect loads for delivery from another depot or warehouse, further improving the efficiency of the distribution operation. “The reduction in manpower required to route on a daily basis has resulted in cost and time savings, allowing for more focused decisions to be made,” commented Rank Hovis Supply Chain Manager, Gary Lake. “This also gives us the lever to make instant changes to the global routing strategy.”

Implemented within a tight timeframe, with Paragon staff available throughout to develop the system set-up and train users on a one-to-one basis, the system now schedules the delivery of 1000 tonnes of bulk and bagged flour per day for five manufacturing sites; at Barry, Cambridge, Hull, Rotherham and Southampton, as well as six outbases. Integrated with Rank’s order processing system and programmed to take account of individual customer time windows and vehicle restrictions, Paragon plans deliveries to bakers, food manufacturers and supermarket RDCs, as well as collections from suppliers.

“The greatest savings in time and paperwork result from having a complete and smooth process to facilitate the supply chain, and Paragon forms a key part of that process,” explained Gary Lake. He is also convinced that the benefits of using Paragon’s routing software to look at the ‘big picture’ on a daily basis are also helping to achieve Rank Hovis’s future objectives: “Visibility is the key to understanding where we can make further improvements in our transport planning process and Paragon provides us with the information and visibility necessary to focus our activities.”

Rank Hovis chooses Paragon's routing and scheduling software for dynamic daily scheduling