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Paragon makes light work of Eden Farm’s increasing transport optimisation needs

Eden Farm, the nationwide frozen food and ice cream wholesale distribution company, has upgraded its routing and scheduling solution to ensure it can continue to deliver excellent customer service at a time of significant business growth. The upgrade to Paragon version 5.80 has allowed Eden Farm’s planners to process substantially larger volumes of data up to five times faster, further improving the company’s transport efficiency and customer service.

Since 1964, Eden Farm has grown from a family-run smallholding delivering its home-grown produce with one minivan, to a five depot operation distributing all the top brands of frozen food and ice cream and a turnover of £45 million. The distributor first implemented Paragon’s solution in 2011 to help it adhere to its guiding principle of “deliver on promise”. Further functionality followed, firstly with the addition of Paragon’s INRIX-based road speed data and HERE Map Content with street level mapping for daily operational planning use, and most recently with the upgrade to Paragon version 5.80.

“In this latest version of the Paragon software, we have further enhanced the performance of our algorithms," explains Phil Ingham, Support Director, Paragon Software Systems. “This means our customers are now seeing even faster matrix calculations, which result in quicker routing. Users also gain instant visibility into actual operations, providing customers like Eden Farm with the intelligence to respond to issues as they arise, helping them to provide more proactive customer service and to continuously improve the efficiency of their operations.”

Eden Farm generates its own user-defined daily reports and KPI summaries from Paragon, which allows the company to analyse cost per drop, cost per kg delivered, miles per drop and miles per kg delivered. The solution’s configurability also allows Eden Farm to make use of one of Paragon’s user-defined fields so that annual revenue for each client is updated every time an order is imported into the system.

The upgraded Multi Depot and Fleet Controller in version 5.80 provide a greater level of specific driver, vehicle and route planning capabilities across the company’s nationwide transport operation. The seasonality of Eden Farm’s business means that contract transport is occasionally hired to meet increased demand. While all the vehicles in Eden Farm’s own fleet are equipped with tracking units, the company also has a stock of portable units for contractors. Paragon’s Fleet Controller links with multiple tracking suppliers, enabling the entire fleet, including spot hire vehicles, to be monitored and managed. All of these vehicles are included in the planned versus actual analysis, which is crucial for accurate logistics and cost management.

“We have found that processing speeds are much quicker with version 5.80,” said Robert Gee, Strategic Manager of IT & Operations, Eden Farm. “We have significantly expanded our business, and, despite the substantial increase in the volume of delivery data processed, the new Paragon software is around five times faster, which saves our planners a considerable amount of valuable time. As we continue to grow, Paragon will be key to helping us maintain our focus on customer service.”

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