Friday 21st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Wire-free telemetry keeps production flowing

Ensuring its fleet of vehicles are coordinated, efficient and able to meet ever-changing demands has led James & Son (GM), leading animal feed merchants and holders of the Royal Warrant, to combine its know-how gained over the past 150 years of business with investing one of the industry’s first ever silo and vehicle management system.

Conceived in conjunction with Coleshill based ‘wire-free’ telemetry specialist BOX telematics, who was recommended to James & Son by Orange’s Technical Sales Department, the new system is designed to co-ordinate the company’s fleet of heavy goods vehicles which are used to transport co-products from the country’s top brewers and food producers to farmers nationwide. In addition to supplying dairy herds with traditional feeds such as brewers’ grains, the company markets a wide range of co-product feeds and has operations in Australia and Argentina.

Roger Gaunt, finance director for James & Son, comments: “As a company we have two clear goals that must be achieved. These are to collect co-products from silos used by our brewing and food preparation customers and deliver them to our farmer customers across the country. Although this may sound simple, if this operation breaks down for any reason our customers could end up having to shut down production as full silos prevent the safe storage of co-products. This is obviously a costly scenario for any customer, similarly livestock farmers can not be left without feed, so it is vital we operate this process as efficiently as possible.

“From a business perspective, achieving full use of our vehicle fleet at any one time is our ultimate goal, as this results in greater efficiency and cost savings. By analysing the operations side of our business we were able to identify a greater need for silo management as, in some cases, our vehicles were having to wait at customers’ premises until enough co-product was available to achieve a full load, which was vastly inefficient.”

Having identified the operational problems within its business, James & Son contacted its network operator Orange for help in finding a workable solution. In turn, Orange recommended BOX telematics.