Menzies Distribution, a marketing, logistics and delivery specialist, has implemented Paragon’s Multi Depot routing software to schedule daily deliveries of around seven million newspapers and magazines.
Operating from 48 depots, Menzies’ 2,000-strong fleet makes these time-critical deliveries to 30,000 customer sites throughout the UK and Ireland. Since around 70 percent of the deliveries are made before the retail outlets open in the morning, a second route is scheduled for vehicles to collect returns (unsold newspapers and magazines) during business hours. In addition to these daily deliveries, Menzies also delivers more than 7 million brochures every month to customers in the travel sector.
Paragon Multi Depot enables a user to plan routes and schedules for multiple depots as a single planning task. Based on the same advanced algorithms as the Single Depot system, Paragon Multi Depot adds an extra dimension to the planning process by flexing depot boundaries automatically to take account of resource availability. In addition, Paragon Multi Depot facilitates the switch to central planning with the ability to share results with and incorporate changes from other sites across the operation. Routing in this way has been proven to reduce planning time, improve visibility of the transport plan, and enhance the overall efficiency of the vehicle fleet.
“Prior to implementing the Paragon system, our scheduling was almost a manual operation, using off-the-shelf routing software and our ERP system,” says Richard McCurdie, Business Improvement Project Manager, Menzies Distribution. “During our initial meetings with Paragon it was quickly clear that the system’s routing reliability was superior to the other solutions we reviewed. We ran some test data, the routes were realistic, achievable and showed improvements.”
With an almost unchanging customer base, Menzies uses the Paragon solution primarily as a strategic planning and modelling tool, to review fixed daily routes and schedules, as well as to accommodate additional delivery locations when customers add new retail outlets.
“Paragon gives us so much more in terms of accuracy, flexibility and rationalisation planning,” adds McCurdie. “And because we can shuffle vehicles between depots and optimise loads and routes, it has also helped us to cut our cost base.”