Nationwide gas supplier, Calor, has reduced its transport and logistics costs since implementing Paragon Software Systems’ Multi Depot routing and scheduling solution.
Calor, the UK’s leading supplier of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is running Paragon’s Multi Depot system in each of its five areas, which collectively deliver gas cylinders to homes and businesses throughout the UK.
Prior to implementing the Paragon system, each Calor depot planned its own transport operations independently, with limited interoperability between the fleets. With the need to include empty gas cylinders for collection as well, the planning task was far too complex for a manual system.
Calor now has five sites typically managing the transport operations of ten depots in their specific geographical regions. The Paragon Multi Depot system enables Calor to match load-for-load with vehicles and drivers, and while each area operates an average total fleet of 45 vehicles, the system is able to flex depot boundaries. Thus if a driver is ill or a vehicle is off the road at one depot, Paragon’s system can use a vehicle from another depot to handle the extra work. This maximises total fleet usage. A further benefit has been the reduction of 40 vehicles from the overall fleet; Paragon’s vehicle optimisation has enabled this to be achieved even during a period of significant sales growth.
Since implementing Paragon’s solution, Calor has the flexibility to manage order allocations and delivery schedules. The system has optimised load-fills, and together with HERE map content, improved routing and delivery reliability, enabling additional deliveries to be made to more customers whilst maintaining service levels.
According to Dominic Halpin, Calor’s South East Area Branch Manager, the company has already seen the benefits of increased load-fills and the consequent reduction in overall fleet mileage. "We are now able to distribute more gas with fewer vehicles, which not only reduces transport and logistics costs but also our impact on the environment," says Halpin.
Calor had originally intended to manage the Paragon implementation in-house, but quickly saw the benefit of using Paragon’s support team to train its users. "The skill, knowledge and expertise of our dedicated Paragon Support Consultant played a large part in the successful implementation of the system," adds Halpin. "Having direct access to someone who lives and breathes Paragon gave our users the confidence to take on the task of both live planning and strategic modelling, and we are now reaping the rewards. Support functions such as Paragon Helpdesk, Paragon World and the online help guides all add to the confidence of the schedulers to develop and share new skills across the business."
"I can’t emphasise enough the importance of a good customer support team to a successful implementation," says William Salter, Managing Director, Paragon. "Paragon’s support staff have visited all the Calor sites and given each of the teams the benefit of their experience. As a result, Calor’s transport operations have been fully optimised, and the company and its customers are benefiting as a result. This is a real testament to the experience and tenacity of our support consultants."