Saturday 22nd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

University experts launch Santa saving software

Software engineering experts at Edinburgh Napier University have developed an interactive demonstrator, to help companies optimise their delivery strategies in time for Christmas.

The university said the software will ensure all orders are fulfilled within specified time-frames in the most economical and sustainable way.

Using Google Maps, the system reveals a companies’ most efficient delivery option, including information on the minimum number of delivery vans required, the cost of journeys, and the best route maps to fulfil the desired number of orders.

It has been incorporated into a new online “Route Santa” page, where anyone can add their home address, to ensure delivery on time for 24 December.

“Managing delivery logistics effectively and efficiently is a challenge faced by companies and manufacturers of all sizes on a daily basis,” said Dr Neil Urquhart, software engineering programme leader at Edinburgh Napier University.

“The goal here is to distribute to as many customers as possible, using the most cost effective and environmentally sustainable route within the desired delivery schedules.”

Commenting on the new software, senior industry consultant in strategic supply chain management, Kenny Wiggins, said: “The development of such software tools will greatly increase the effectiveness of the decisions that are made by allowing the user to make an ‘informed assessment’ of the options.

“In this specific example, it can help firms in the distribution sector considerably not just in effective route planning, but also with improvements in vehicle and resource utilisation, which in turn will lead to a reduction in overall business operating costs.”