Thursday 27th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

ITS transforms retailer’s supply chain

Safeway and its third-party logistics provider, Wincanton, expect to save “several millions of pounds” within the supermarket group’s supply chain having launched an integrated transport system (ITS) to improve efficiency throughout each of the supermarket chain’s network of 20 depots. The anticipated cost savings will come from a significant reduction in the empty running of delivery vehicles as well as improved back-hauling, where lorries collect goods from suppliers on their return to distribution centres having delivered to stores.

Safeway supply chain director Mark Aylwin says: “We are always looking at ways we can make our supply chain more efficient and this new system is a major advance. The new computerised system will dramatically reduce the number of empty vehicles on the road, which in turn will provide us with significant cost savings to our supply chain right from the start of its integration.”

ITS provides a common operating platform across Safeway’s in-house and third-party contract sites and is being implemented in two phases. The first phase, entailing routeing, scheduling, Wincanton’s Interface Management System (IMS) and supplier collections, has now been implemented in England and is currently being installed in Scotland.

The key element of the routeing and scheduling is an upgrade of Paragon’s existing planning systems. The Paragon software uses data from Safeway’s central system, which takes store orders as well as creates pallets and assigns them to vehicles, taking into account what supplier pick ups and deliveries are scheduled for that day. It will feed into GPS technology which will guide delivery drivers and