DX is one of the UK’s leading independent mail, parcel and logistics end to end networks. The Company provides next day delivery services for mail, parcels and 2-Man deliveries to business and residential addresses nationwide, for both public and private sector companies. In particular, DX specializes in next day or scheduled delivery of time sensitive, mission critical and high value items for B2B and B2C customers.
In 2012, as a turnaround opportunity, DX acquired Nightfreight, the market leader for irregular dimension and weight freight (IDW) in the UK B2B and B2C markets. Nightfreight, now DX’s freight operation, provided the opportunity to access one of the fastest growing areas of the distribution market as well as offering potential longer term operational efficiencies and synergies.
Since the acquisition of Nightfreight, DX is now aligned within 3 key sectors: IDW movements, tracked parcels and mail.
It was identified that immediate improvements could be made to the Freight operational network through standardising operating procedures, and optimising the existing inter-depot trunking network (which consists of 280 routes between 39 sites). It was against those two objectives that the DX management team wished to engage specialist consultancy support to validate and quantify the proposed optimisation programme whilst maintaining a continuous improvement approach to customer service.
DX chose Logistics and Distribution Specialists (and finalists for the 2015 SHD Logistics Innovation Award) Gideon Hillman Consulting (GH) to work with them on this key project sponsored by the DX board.
The specialists at GH carried out the trunking network review through simulation using distribution planning software which was used to evaluate all potential options for improvement (or scenarios) against the current trunking operation, by carrying out detailed routing to enable the accurate calculation of resource requirement for each option against which costs could be attached for each scenario. The scenarios considered were as follows; potential improvements to the entire existing operation which would refocus some of the current route planning methodology and/or constraints; focus on specific routes to leverage maximum benefit; potential for improvement through depot integration in specific areas.
The output for each scenario included the vehicle fleet size and profile; aggregate mileage driven by each vehicle; drivers’ hours and other expenses such as overnight stays where appropriate. This enabled the GH and DX project team to evaluate potential cost and efficiency improvements across the network.
The operational review for the depot locations focused on improvements around vehicle management at depots; standardisation of vehicle loading and un-loading procedures across the depot network; optimisation of labour resource; minimising loss and or damage and finally improving vehicle handling capacity. The GH team made in excess of 30 recommendations to support the DX continual improvement strategy.
‘We selected Gideon Hillman Consulting because of its expertise in network modelling. The detailed operational review and strategic modelling project that GH has completed not only provides DX with real and accurate information upon which to base its future trunking strategy for the distribution network, but most importantly it identifies significant improvement opportunities which can be implemented in the short term ’ commented Keith Eden – DX Group Chief Compliance Officer.