Server-based Truckstops delivers on major DX delivery contract

DX Logistics implementation improves delivery, flexibility, timing, efficiency and enhances customer service 

DX Logisitcs delivery efficiencies gained with TruckstopsDX Logistics has made wide-ranging improvements in customer service and delivery efficiency on a major dedicated delivery contract by introducing the Truckstops routing and scheduling optimisation solution from CACI.

DX Logistics provides dedicated solutions within the DX group, whose other operations include delivery services, parcel freight and courier services. The operation for which DX has rolled out Truckstops involves a bespoke fleet of more than 100 Ford Transit-sized vehicles, which make frequent deliveries from 14 regional bases to a network of locations spread across the country.

Truckstops, one of the world’s leading routing and scheduling solutions, is developed and marketed worldwide by CACI’s logistics optimisation solutions team. It is widely used for day-to-day planning and scheduling of the movements of vehicles, which is how DX has implemented it here. Truckstops can also be used for strategic planning and fixed-route revision.

Explaining the thinking behind DX’s implementation, account director Steve Bescoby says: “We are delivering to recipients who mostly work from private addresses, but are usually out and about. They need to know exactly when deliveries will be made, so that they can be on hand to receive them.”

In the past, deliveries were made on a cyclical basis. “For instance, a given agent might expect a delivery on the third Tuesday of every month,” Steve says. “But this was inflexible, and failed to take account of existing stocks at the agent’s premises. It also relied on manual scheduling of up to 210 routes a day, which inevitably made it difficult to produce the most efficient routes.”

Having tried a range of routing and scheduling systems in the past, DX concluded that Truckstops offered the best all-round solution for this application. Its usability was a big plus, Steve Bescoby says. “We liked the familiar, straightforward Windows-style interface and the ease of navigation. It ticked all the right boxes.”

His confidence was reinforced by the approach of the Truckstops team. “We were impressed with their ability to ‘play back’ our requirements to us, showing a quick understanding of what we needed. They made clear what Truckstops could do ‘out of the box’ and what would involve additional development work to meet our requirements.”

DX wanted to install Truckstops at a central location, but to continue to schedule routes locally at each of the 14 locations where the vans were based. “This is an operation where local knowledge and familiarity with individual recipients is invaluable. We felt that moving to a centralised ‘control tower’ planning system might compromise that hands-on approach.”

CACI already offered a server-based version of Truckstops, making it ideal for this approach. The application is accessed by the different locations via DX’s existing IT network, and each of the the local teams schedules its delivery rounds just as if Truckstops were installed on a computer on site.

DX Logistics offer timed deliveries that better suit the needs of the customersTruckstops now schedules daily deliveries for the whole operation on a dynamic basis. “We let Truckstops do 95 per cent of the job, but then we allow our local teams to fine-tune the result. This gives us more flexibility to reflect special requirements.” Truckstops makes this process especially easy; call points can be dragged interactively between proposed routes on a screen map, and Truckstops will automatically flag up any instance where weight or time constraints would be compromised.

DX Logistics has taken full advantage of Truckstops’ ability to respect time windows for individual call points. “Now we can offer recipients timed delivery slots, which helps them manage their own time more efficiently.” There are also benefits at the head office, he says. “Truckstops makes it easy to export delivery schedules to other applications. This helps us to provide our customer with accurate delivery pre-notifications, and it enhances product traceability.”

Summing up, Steve Bescoby says:

“Truckstops has enabled DX to establish a better-structured and more efficient route network for this operation; to offer timed deliveries that better suit the needs of the recipients; and to provide both the recipient and our primary customer with more timely and accurate delivery information.”

For CACI’s logistics optimisation team, Ian Prentice comments: “Server-based implementations of Truckstops are becoming increasingly popular, saving users from having to install and maintain the application on multiple computers. The DX application has provided the opportunity for us to scale up this approach, demonstrating its effectiveness in helping our client to enhance both efficiency and customer service.”

About DX Freight

DX Freight operates a consistent and reliable delivery service with the capability to handle anything from a document satchel to a pallet, along with the ability to handle more awkward shaped items and lengths up to 6 metres. It offers next day and timed delivery options, Saturday delivery and delivery throughout the UK and Eire, as well as all offshore Islands.

To find out more about Truckstops routing optimisation solutions call us now on +44 (0)20 8568 7000 or email info@cacilogistics.com