The RNLI is using software from Aptean to optimise its fleet distribution capabilities, with deliveries being made to 270 sites in coastal towns and cities across the UK and Ireland.
The charity operates a fleet of 15-tonne rigid trucks that are responsible for distributing merchandise to the charity’s retail shops and kiosks, as well as parts and equipment to its nationwide network of lifeboat stations.
The fleet also handles transport requirements for three RNLI factories—situated in Dorset, Wales and the Isle of Wight—that build and refit inflatable and all-weather lifeboats and amphibious tractors.
“We needed a strategic modelling tool that would enable us to analyse our distribution operations and understand where potential enhancements exist,” explained senior category manager at RNLI, Nick Saunders.
“Paragon routing and scheduling from Aptean enables us to fine-tune our fixed routes, better handle seasonal transport variations and target over a 10% reduction in our transport costs.”
Saunders says that not only can it now model different distribution scenarios to ensure it is operating the most optimum plans—with weekly deliveries that reduce during the winter months—it can now assess our depot strategies, fleet make-up and any under-utilisation of resources.
“Moving forward, we will explore leveraging the software for day-to-day planning, switching from fixed to dynamic delivery routes that better cope with fluctuations in cargo volumes,” he said.