Nogales Produce Inc. which provides Mexican fresh produce, groceries and restaurant supplies to more than 2,000 stores and restaurants located in the South Central United States, has adopted Paragon Software Systems’ routing and scheduling software to help improve its increasingly complex delivery operations.

Nogales expects to save more than 15 percent in operational costs by implementing Paragon’s Single Depot software. The specialist food supplier picked Paragon after an extensive selection process that started with a list of ten routing technology providers. Nogales preferred Paragon’s superior functionality as well as its compatibility with Nogales’ existing business applications.

The challenge of ever-changing demand patterns

Nogales’ customer base is varied, from mom-and-pop stores, through government facilities and school districts, to wholesale and retail operations. Its biggest customers require daily deliveries of up to two truckloads of Mexican food products, bringing the typical daily total to 3,000 deliveries. Large retail and wholesale customers, in particular, present fluctuating demand because they rely on multiple suppliers, some of whom fail to deliver, leaving Nogales to fill the gaps.

“We have to be able to adjust our staffing and our delivery schedule on a day-to-day basis to run efficiently,” said Albert Rodriguez, Nogales Senior VP of Operations. “We didn’t have the knowledge we needed to be efficient, and without that we couldn’t serve customers the way we’d like to.”

Previously, Nogales relied on a manually-produced schedule, with the task of adapting to short-notice changes left mostly to Nogales’ drivers – an inefficient method, since drivers don’t have access to the big picture of the entire delivery network. “You have drivers crossing all over each other,” said Rodriguez. “You add one customer and it begins to happen, then you add another, and the inefficiencies really start to stack up.”

“Also, when a human is doing the routing, they have preconceived notions about what is best and that’s not always the case. Or perhaps they want to take care of one customer over another because it’s an older relationship. But that shouldn’t come into consideration; you need to route based on what is best for all customers.”

Paragon delivers efficiency, visibility, agility

Now, Paragon’s routing and scheduling software will allow a central planner at Nogales HQ to quickly identify opportunities for greater efficiency while also achieving increased customer service levels, even as the schedule changes.

“With Paragon, we know how long the driver should be out there, plus we can give that information to the customer so they know when to expect delivery,” said Rodriguez. “I think this is going to distinguish us compared to our competition. Giving customers accurate updates is a game-changer for us.”

Nogales anticipates a minimum of 15 percent reduction in driver costs, alone, with other savings expected across its delivery operations. With more efficiency, Nogales has less produce on the road, and drivers out for fewer hours which leads to less liability, so Nogales will reduce insurance costs, among other factors. The food specialist also expects route planning time to be seriously reduced, allowing it to redeploy manpower elsewhere.

Using Paragon, Nogales will now be able to measure KPIs such as:

  • Stops per mile driven
  • Stops per driver
  • Stops per on-road hour
  • Cases per drop
  • Cube utilization
  • Route profitability
  • Percent on plan

“We are proud to facilitate greater operational efficiency and better customer service for a growing, family-owned business such as Nogales,” said William Salter, CEO of Paragon. “Not only will they be able to serve existing customers better, they can use Paragon as a strategic tool to guide their growth in the future.”

Paragon Single Depot is powered by advanced algorithms that create optimized, feasible and cost-efficient routes quickly and effectively. Hundreds of companies all over the world, and across a wide range of industry sectors, are benefitting from using Paragon’s Single Depot routing and scheduling software operationally for live daily planning, and for modeling business change.

Nogales Produce Inc adopts Paragon's routing and scheduling software for increasingly complex deliveries