Lisburn Fuels has improved supply chain efficiency, increasing the number of orders it can deliver, after deploying Optrak’s vehicle routeing software.
The company, a regional distributor of fuel oils to a domestic, industrial and agricultural customer base, was drawn to the software as it had specific functions for dealing with compartments and was accessible to smaller companies.
Steven Frazer, managing director of Lisburn Fuels, says: “We gave Optrak two days of our operational data and the results clearly showed a strong business case for the investment even though we have a relatively small fleet.
“After using the software for some months the results have been impressive with a 20 per cent increase in our delivery capacity, while minimising our fleet running costs and the impact that we have on the environment, all of which are central to the company’s long term performance.”
Lisburn Fuels uses the software to plan daily routes and loading schedules, which it can now do in minutes, while taking into account the weight and volume limits of each vehicle and compartment.
Once routes have been finalised, a customised trip manifest report is printed for each driver. Optrak also produces a loading report so that drivers have a visual summary of the products that need to be loaded into each compartment.
In addition, the transport office uses an Optrak report showing volume utilisation per vehicle, which helps it to identify which drivers could potentially take on urgent deliveries and reduce paperwork.
Frazer explains: “Optrak gives us a more global view of deliveries for the next few days. We can now see clearly what ‘can-go’ orders can be added to the ‘must-go’ deliveries. It is more convenient and cost effective to fulfil ‘can-go’ orders as early as possible as it offers greater flexibility, we are making maximum use of our resources and it is better from a customer service point of view.”
Furthermore, it has enabled the company to minimise the amount of additional fuel it carries but does not deliver, which in turn cuts its distribution costs and reduces environmental impact.
Frazer reckons Optrak is particularly good for smaller fleets. “Many routeing systems were designed for larger fleets but Optrak was able to scale down to meet the needs of a smaller operation.
“The software’s flexibility and design enable it to adapt to the specific requirements of the fuel industry and closely match our requirements. It has delivered real benefits to us and has become integral to maintaining our service levels which is an important differentiator. Additionally the investment has proven to be extremely cost effective when compared to the benefits that we have achieved, and we have seen a rapid return on our investment.”