Real-time stock-control puts an end to missing pallets

Peter Green Chilled, one of the UK’s leading temperature-controlled logistics operators, reports significant time savings and improved stock monitoring since completing a 9-month trial of a new cross-docking solution from Mandata.

With over 60 dual-temp’ vehicles delivering throughout Europe to retailers, food manufacturers and wholesalers, Peter Green handles several thousand pallets each week and until recently has experienced the industry-wide challenges associated with mixed-loads, cross-docking and consolidation.

“Time was”, explains IT Manager, Simon Nash, “when a single mislaid pallet could take hours to locate. Furthermore, if a customer wanted to know the exact location and ETA of their consignment, we would have to work hard to provide the information. What we needed was a workable solution with traceability at its centre and that’s when Mandata stepped in.”

The two companies worked together to develop a bespoke software programe which using a unique barcode, attached to the existing Mandata TMS database, would scan identify and locate any pallet in the system. Above all, the new technology needed to be easy to use and installed without disruption.

“In both respects, we succeeded” continues Simon. “The new software integrated seamlessly with our existing Mandata transport management system and soon gave us real-time visibility and control from all points of the operation. Every pallet is scanned at the beginning of its journey and from then until it’s delivered, we can monitor its exact whereabouts and progress – either by mobile or from the traffic office.”

Moreover, the new cross docking app has a pallet enquiry function which, with a scan of the bar code, enables the handler to see details of the job it belongs to, where it’s going and where it is from. Also, once loading is complete a quick ‘warehouse sweep’ using the scanner, will highlight any pallets which may have been missed from an outgoing load.

All the while, pallet movements are logged and automatically updated within the Mandata TMS, for easy access and data retrieval. Meantime, the traffic office can view pre-planned incoming loads and depot locations are automatically assigned based on the job, type of cargo or postcode.

“Once the app was ready to go,” concludes Simon, “we quickly raised the bar – from paper-trails and telephones, to a purpose-designed  app which gives us and our customers full-time visibility and control.  Furthermore, operational costs and admin’ time are greatly reduced. Without doubt, this looks like the future for us and no doubt for cross-docking operations across many transport sectors.”

Established in 1960, Peter Green Chilled is based in Shepton Mallet and was one of the first logistics operators in the UK to achieve BRC Storage and Distribution accreditation. The company uses a variety of vehicles to suit each application in it’s next-day delivery network, from 44 tonnes – chilled, ambient and frozen – to 7.5 tonnes, sprinter vans and rear-steered trailers for urban delivery. All Peter Green vehicles are satellite-tracked.

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