Power tool and machinery specialist, Axminster Tool Centre has implemented an innovative route planning and live vehicle tracking system for its home delivery operation. Paragon’s real-time Fleet Controller solution enables Axminster to provide on-time deliveries for its own delivery service throughout the UK, from a box of wood screws through to power tools and a range of heavy duty machinery.
Each day Axminster ships around 1,000 orders per day, with many products requiring some form of special handling and positioning into the customers’ own homes or business premises. The Paragon system has revolutionised the home delivery operation, allowing accurate delivery windows to be allocated to each customer in line with the products they have bought.
"Customer service is extremely important to Axminster Power Tools; it is the key to keeping our customers happy. In this respect, Paragon allows us to be extremely efficient with our home delivery fleet and driver resources," says Andrew Parkhouse, Systems Director, Axminster Tool Centre.
Routes and loads are planned automatically using Paragon’s routing and scheduling optimisation software. Once the fleet has set off, Fleet Controller feeds back vehicle tracking information so that the logistics team can compare real-time progress against the plan.
"We use the system for daily planning and ensuring that our vehicles carry optimal loads. Importantly, it allows us to allocate accurate time windows for delivery and set-up for larger equipment. Paragon’s Fleet Controller software adds a further dimension in bringing the live vehicle tracking data back into the system so that we can instantly see how the deliveries are progressing throughout the day. If a driver is over-running we can quickly find out what the issue is and notify the customer with a revised time of arrival," says Andrew Parkhouse.
Andrew Parkhouse adds that there is an important reason why an efficient fleet is necessary to the company. "Large machinery, although designed and built to give long service, often requires careful handling and that is why we have our own fleet. Our drivers are experienced in handling and positioning the equipment for our customers. They can’t simply deliver and leave. Therefore, it is imperative that we make best use of their time. Paragon allows us to do this and maintain happy customers."
Axminster Tool Centre is a market leader in the mail order tools and machinery industry and has thousands of customers ranging from trade professionals and businesses to amateur DIY and hobby enthusiasts. Axminster sources products from all over the world as well as supporting a number of specialist UK companies. A multitude of brands and ranges, including Bosch and Makita, are brought together in an annual catalogue of over 600 pages and 15,000 products.