Asda has completed a two-year project to innovate its retail distribution operation using a transport optimisation system combined with routing and scheduling optimisation software. As a result it has implemented a more efficient regional distribution structure.

The move has been completed by deploying Isotrak vehicle-tracking equipment to create Asda's fully-integrated supply chain execution system.

The Isotrak technology is combined with Paragon's routing and scheduling software. With the combined system Asda says it 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, Asda national transport manager, said, "Our transport has been completely transformed to provide new efficiencies across the board. The 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."

Hall said Asda has moved away from individual planning for each distribution centre, and has created seven planning regions across the UK instead to "maximise geographical resources and local execution".

Hall said, "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."

Rival supermarket chain Sainsbury's said last year that 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.