Paragon Software Systems’ Multi Depot scheduling solution has been implemented by Anglian Water, part of the Anglian Water Group and one of the UK’s leading providers of water and waste water services, to provide a fully automated vehicle planning system in order to improve efficiencies throughout its operation.

Anglian Water serves some six million industrial, commercial and domestic users throughout East Anglia and the East Midlands and completes around 2,000 sludge tanker collections per week, delivering waste water products to 25 treatment centres.

Previously, the essentially manual scheduling process took a four-strong team two days to complete each week. “In looking to automate the system, we looked in detail at what the market had to offer,” says special projects manager, Les Johnson. “As a result, we selected Paragon’s vehicle planning system because it was best-suited to planning and managing our waste water logistics operations across the region.

“The company offered a strong off-the-shelf package with the right functionality,” he adds. “At the same time, Paragon had a reputation as the established market leader, clearly understood what we wanted and, critically, was prepared to support the product and develop it to further meet our demanding requirements, both now and in the future.”

Process efficiencies

Implementation was undertaken at the same time as the development by Anglian Water’s internal IT team of data capture and data transfer systems, designed to automate the complete end-to-end planning and scheduling process.

“The process of balancing treatment centre delivery with collection times and frequencies was highly complex,” confirms Paragon support director, Phil Ingham. “Our vehicle planning systems enable all vehicles to be planned as a single integrated resource, irrespective of location.”

Previously, Anglian Water had to sub-contract up to 30% of its work to meet regular peaks and troughs in demand. With the scheduling improvements achieved with Paragon, this has been cut substantially and is currently running at around the budgeted level of 18% – saving the company approximately £100k annually. At the same time, there has been an improvement of around 2.5% in driver performance against budget and planning time has more than halved.

Anglian Water has been delighted with the positive way the relationship has been established. “Our primary focus,” says Les Johnson, “continues to be the delivery of high-quality, efficient service for our customers, together with a firm commitment to sustainable development.

“In helping us achieve this, we have benefited from the proactive way the Paragon vehicle planning system has been enhanced, to meet precisely the unique and demanding requirements of the water treatment industry in general and Anglian Water in particular.”

Anglian Water implements Paragon's Multi Depot scheduling solution to smooth flow