Pet Food Distribution

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Natures Menu needed a system to quickly and easily schedule delivery jobs, track and trace to plan vehicle capacities, routes and expected delivery times, enabling immediately responce to customer queries.

Business Challenges

The company has a fleet of 25 dual compartment temperature controlled delivery vans delivering customer orders from four depots across the UK and a rapidly expanding customer base. With more customers coming on board, delivering a higher level of quality with improved customer service and delivery were key objectives.

They had no way of tracking deliveries which meant that the customer services team had to spend a significant amount of time trying to contact drivers in order to update the customers on any delays or issues rather than being pro-active in their approach. Having immediate access to delivery information data such as expected time of delivery and any delays was seen as crucial to success in the market as well as providing a competitive advantage.

To do this Natures Menu needed a system that was able to quickly and easily schedule delivery jobs, with track and trace functionality, so that they could plan vehicle capacities, routes and expected delivery times, enabling them to immediately respond to customer queries.

Solution

When it was decided to move on to a more sophisticated solution, Natures Menu were looking for a system with thorough and effective process flows coupled with high quality software. After a rigorous selection process they shortlisted 3 vendors. Maxoptra was recommended to Nature’s Menu by Independent Tracking as part of a total solution which included fitting TomTom telematics to all their delivery vehicles. They decided on Magenta Technology’s Maxoptra system due to the:

  • Quality of the system and the team that provided the solution Simplicity of use
  • Real time, dynamic scheduling and routing of orders
  • Dynamic Track and Trace to provide real time accurate delivery times for improved customer service
  • Depth of understanding of the logistics business and programming
  • Ability to seamlessly integrate with drivers TomTom devices, the company website and CRM systems

By integrating Maxoptra into the business, Natures Menu has seen the following benefits: Maxoptra went live in January 2013. Since then, Natures Menu has grown the deployment of Maxoptra from two initial planning users to 12 users in total now including the sales and customer service teams. Having an easy to use, intuitive system which provides immediate availability of, and access to, planned vs actual delivery data has been a huge benefit in their daily communications with customers — enabling them to advise customers of changes to the expected delivery times using Maxoptra’s ability to dynamically recalculate delivery times from the real time TomTom vehicle location information. The scheduling team can now see at a glance the real-time status of orders and management can now make improvements to driver’s performance based on the intelligent reporting functionality the system offers.

Scheduling staff are able to quickly and easily plan, schedule and route jobs, streamlining business processes and allowing ad hoc orders to be taken throughout the day.

Results

By integrating Maxoptra into the business, Natures Menu has seen the following benefits:

  • Reduction of 3 hours and associated operational costs per person per day in back office administration and time spent on contacting drivers / customers.
  • Considerably reduced mileage and fuel consumption through sophisticated scheduling plus improved driver performance and discipline.
  • Proactive customer service through tracking of their orders and updating of specific delivery times leading to improved customer satisfaction.
  • Increasing the number of orders the company can manage through enabling later cut-off times for same day orders and handling of later ad hoc orders.
  • Improved business efficiency through having detailed operational and management reporting in place and greater insight into day-to-day performance.

“Magenta played a key role in the total end-to-end processes and IT transformation that Natures Menu undertook in 2013, providing the foundation to scale the business, build on the high levels of customer service enjoyed by our customers while at the same time reducing mileage and fuel consumption for the business.”
Craig Taylor, Managing Director

About Natures Menu
Natures Menu has been in the pet food business for over 30 years and is the leading supplier of natural and raw dog and cat foods. 2013 was a pivotal year for this Norfolk based business seeing them win 2 ‘Product of the Year’ awards at PATS 2013, the Pet Industry Award’s ‘Manufacturer of the Year 2013’ and hitting its one millionth order in October!

As market demand for their products has increased, Natures Menu have undertaken an IT refresh and transformation project to ensure that their infrastructure could continue to support the business as it grew, providing operational efficiencies and maintaining the high quality of service that they are renowned for. The existing computerised scheduling system they had in place could not deal with the increasing number of orders and the complexity of the delivery jobs needed, so it was decided to look for a replacement.

www.naturesmenu.co.uk

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