Asda is nearing completion of a two-year project to transform its retail distribution operation with new logistics and route optimisation software.

Over the last 18 months Asda has been implementing a new regional distribution structure using Paragon TTS from Paragon Software Systems.

The transport optimisation and execution system is integrated with real-time vehicle tracking. With the software, Asda has been able to improve delivery services to its stores, make better use of driver resources, ensure route compliance and reduce operational costs.

Chris Hall, national transport manager at Asda, said, "Asda transport has been completely transformed to provide new efficiencies across the board. The new system is providing significant improvements in the way we plan and manage our resources and in how we plan more than 18,000 store deliveries a week using our 900 strong fleet."

Asda has moved away from individual planning for each distribution centre and has created seven planning regions across the UK to maximise geographical resources. There are 21 distribution centres within the regions, with two in Scotland, three in the north east, four in the north west, three in Yorkshire, four in the midlands, three in the south west and two serving the south east.  

"We have been able to take a standard solution and configure it to our specific requirements. We already used Paragon for fixed routing, but this is a step up combining routing, scheduling and resource optimisation with Isotrak's vehicle tracking and transport execution and management," said Hall

"It gives us full visibility of the entire operation and this has been instrumental in the success of this project."

Rival supermarket chain Sainsbury's last week said it was enhancing communications, visibility and accuracy for 800 suppliers across Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The deployment of a system from Wesupply allows those suppliers to have browser access to the supply chain.