Micronclean Achieves Considerable Savings with TRUCKSTOPS Truck Routing System

The challenge

  • Improving logistics efficiency at Micronclean from Fenland Laundries
  • Reducing fleet size and modelling alternative depot network scenarios
  • Proving the effectiveness of Truckstops against competing products
  • Checking planned routes against real-world driver experience

Altogether we were able to save five vehicles from our twenty-five strong fleet.

Workwear rental and cleaning specialist Micronclean from Fenland Laundries Ltd operates from three modern factory locations in Lincolnshire, delivering and collecting workwear garments over a large part of mainland Britain. Its specialities include ultra-hygienic cleaning and processing for the food and pharmaceutical industries. It also serves a wide range of clients in industry and the hotel and leisure market.

Managing director Simon Fry introduced Truckstops VRS routing and scheduling optimization system at the company some years ago to help optimise the fixed collection and delivery routes run by the company’s transport fleet, but at the time it was not fully implemented.TRUCKSTOPS VRS helps cut Micronclean fleet by 15%

More recently the company launched a programme to streamline its logistics operations, and at the same time to check on how well its planned schedules were reflected by real-world experience of drivers on the road. As part of this initiative, it decided to adopt a vehicle tracking and telematics system.

In support of this efficiency drive, the company appointed a new transport manager, James Bell, whose earlier priorities included the task of reviewing the TRUCKSTOPS application against competing products, and deciding whether it had the potential to produce the required performance gains.

The solution

  • Further exploiting the power of the TRUCKSTOPS VRS routing and scheduling system
  • Reorganising internal data flows to provide more complete and consistent information
  • Weighing, measuring and recording details of vehicles and products
  • Implementing the Masternaut vehicle tracking and telematics system

We expect to be able to re-optimize every two to three months. It means a much quicker route to savings.

The results of James Bell’s evaluation of Truckstops were highly positive. “What we found was that Truckstops itself was the right system for our requirements, but we could get much more out of it by standardizing and improving the quality of the data that we fed to it,” he says.

He adds: “In addition, in our market the volumes of garments that we handle can vary from week to week. We needed to set up a more precise way to measure these fluctuations.”

The company mounted a comprehensive programme to harmonise data flow, monitor exact load volumes, weigh individual vehicles and establish average load weights. Armed with this much more precise data, James Bell was in a much better position to use Truckstops to model current transport routes and optimize them.

Meanwhile, the Masternaut vehicle tracking system was implemented across the fleet, providing real-time feedback on journey and delivery times, and laying the groundwork for a system to check proposed schedules against actual performance.

“Instead of going out with twenty-five individual drivers, I will be able to sit in my office and see how long they’re all on the road, how long they take to make deliveries, and how closely their routes match with the ones Truckstops proposes.”

The benefits

  • A 15 per cent reduction in fleet size
  • The opening of an additional vehicle outbase, reducing miles run
  • Ability to check fixed routes against day-to-day experience of drivers
  • The opportunity to re-optimize routes much more frequently

Fleet size has been reduced by around 15 per cent, and the company has made further savings in transport costs by opening a new outbase to serve south-east England.

As a result of these measures to squeeze the maximum benefit from Truckstops, Fenland has achieved major efficiency gains in its collection and delivery system. Fleet size has been reduced by around 15 per cent, and the company has made further savings in transport costs by opening a new outbase to serve south-east England.

Identifying the opportunity to add an outbase was achieved by using Truckstops as a modelling tool – a capability that the system offers in addition to scheduling fixed routes and ad hoc daily journeys.

The company already operated outbases at Manchester, Newcastle and Perth, so the concept was well established. v indicated that a location just north of London would be ideal, so the company set up a base at Letchworth in Hertfordshire. “Altogether we were able to save five vehicles from our twenty-five strong fleet,” James Bell reports.

By integrating Truckstops VRS with the Masternaut real-time vehicle tracking system, the company is now poised to
press the benefits even further. “Currently we re-optimize our fixed routes with Truckstops every six months, but with the much more immediate and detailed feedback on actual performance from Masternaut, we expect to be able to re-optimize every two to three months. It means a much quicker route to savings.”