Asda’s real-time tracking benefits

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Supply chain, Supply chain management

Asda will soon complete a two-year project to upgrade its retail distribution operation
Asda will soon complete a two-year project to upgrade its retail distribution operation
As Britain’s road network becomes ever more congested and delivery windows become smaller, more retailers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are resorting to the use of modern systems technology to ensure their deliveries to regional distribution centres are made in a timely fashion.

Asda will soon complete a two-year project to upgrade its retail distribution operation using a novel transport optimisation system that incorporates vehicle-tracking kit. The system has enabled Asda to improve deliveries to its stores, make better use of driver resources, ensure route compliance and reduce operational costs.

Adopting the system has enabled Asda to move away from individual planning for each distribution centre (DC) to create seven planning regions across the UK, covering 21 DCs. There’s a clear differentiation between regional planning to maximise geographical resources and local execution for compliance to plan and accountability for store service.

The Total Transport System (TTS), combines Isotrak’s real-time vehicle tracking technology with Paragon routing and scheduling optimisation software.

‘Completely transformed’

“Asda transport has been completely transformed to provide new efficiencies across the board,”​ claimed Asda’s national transport manager Chris Hall. “TTS has enabled this and is providing significant improvements in the way we plan and manage our resources and in how we plan more than 18,000 store deliveries a week using our 900-strong fleet.”

Hall added: “The results are on-time delivery improvements to stores, optimisation of our driver and vehicle resources and greater route compliance, which is cutting mileage, fuel costs and emissions.”

In a separate move, 3PL NFT is making use of the latest IT systems to raise the efficiency of its chilled distribution network.

Stephen Szikora, IT director for NFT, described the firm’s investment in ‘systems intelligence’, implementing the very latest IT systems to provide supply chain visibility and optimisation.

“Our customers must know the inventory status of their product at all times and that it will be delivered on-time, in full, with the right shelf-life and at the right temperature,”​ said Szikora. “Everything is integrated with our Red Prairie WMS​ [warehouse management system] application, which maximises data integrity and flow so that transactions throughout the supply chain can be viewed in real time.”

‘Guarantee 24/7 traceability’

He added: “We guarantee 24/7 traceability for all products in our network. The ability to monitor activity in real time is invaluable in chilled food and drink logistics.”

Supply chain technology has enabled NFT’s logistics teams to unlock inefficiencies and deliver solutions that have achieved growth for its customers, said Szikora. It has also accelerated collaboration opportunities, including fleet sharing and shared user facilities.

In December 2011, NFT installed the Microlise telemetry technology, which accurately monitors driver performance. This has helped to improve both vehicle and driver performance, which in turn improves environmental impact, claimed NFT.

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