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Peterborough-based Barnack Storage and Logistics, which provides chilled and ambient transport services to customers across the UK, has specified new TMS Go! from specialist software provider Mandata to automate transport functions and improve control of its growing workload.

The technology, which is currently being phased in across delivery operations, provides enhanced real-time visibility, enabling the company’s dispatch team to access a centralised drag and drop operated interface to check where company vehicles and drivers are at any given time.

This facility is being included as part of a package of technological-based measures from Mandata that will see PODs (proof of delivery) attached to orders and linked to electronic accounting software for fully automated e-invoicing, providing a comprehensive audit trail.

The move to TMS Go! delivers significant benefits for Barnack as it gears up for expansion over the next 12 months on the back of an ambitious capital investment strategy to fuel growth. The company plans to increase its current fleet of eight vehicles to 18 by the end of 2019 to meet growing demand for its distribution services from customers, who include Redstar Beverages and Windfall Logistics.

Indeed, a report* published in 2017 predicts the global refrigerated road transportation market to grow by more than 26% in the next three years in the face of rising e-commerce grocery deliveries and awareness of the benefits of cold chain logistics.

TMS Go! is an easy-to-use, off-the-shelf and subscription-based cloud product, which can be integrated with existing systems and modular services, enabling operators such as Barnack – who are looking to migrate to digital systems – to simplify and manage better ‘order-to-invoice’ processes via cost-effective paperless technology.

Initial usage by Barnack already sees upwards of 10 jobs a day processed through TMS Go!, but this is expected to ramp up significantly as the system expands and becomes further entwined across critical functions, and more vehicles are linked to the system.

The transport operator expects to recoup important savings on the back of its investment thanks to smarter vehicle optimisation and a greater capacity to plan for full trailer loads. This will ‘contribute significantly’ to driving down operating costs, reducing administration task and paperwork, and improving overall fleet performance and utilisation.

Mandata’s approach of channeling information into one place, on a single system, is a key benefit of TMS Go!, said Barnack’s managing director, Stephen Knight, who’s overseeing the installation of several user features, including automatic e-invoicing and control functions, that are expected to save several hours a week processing orders and customer invoices.

He added: “We are confident the system will improve workload optimisation long term for our own fleet and pallet network, along with greatly enhanced driver communication and customer visibility.

“Adopting the technology reflects automation of our current manual systems and better service levels. It also provides an extremely cost effective, flexible modular solution, which can be quickly scaled-up to provide even more added value as we expand fleet operations in the next 12 months.”

Barnack is also introducing Mandata’s digital Manifest app, which will enable drivers to receive work instructions and see at a glance, via a suitable smartphone device, the sequence of jobs and manifest details, which can be updated with changes throughout the day.

In turn, this will allow Stephen Knight and his team to ensure customers are better informed of the progress of an order via a robust paperless manifest to proof-of-delivery (POD) solution.

“Manifest’s set to streamline the business even further, facilitating ever smarter ways of working,” he said. “We are aligning it with current operations to enable us to deliver extra financial savings, efficiencies and higher standards of driver performance.”

Ultimately, for Stephen Knight, key performance indicators around future fleet operations will be the true measure of success.

“We’re constantly working with customers on ways to improve our service. Data provided by TMS Go! about how well the vehicle fleet is performing will be shared, enabling us to identify and tackle areas of under-performance, or issues before they become an inconvenient problem,” he said.

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