Increased visibility and control over transport operations has enabled business to grow at Derry Refrigerated Transport.

The haulage firm, which specialises in providing daily chilled and frozen distribution services across Ireland has invested in a number of new trucks and trailers, increased its staff headcount, and has expanded its cold storage warehousing facility from 6000 sq ft to 45,000 sq ft to help support the growth in job volumes.

Director at Derry Refrigerated Transport, Patrick Derry said that the increased workload would have been “unmanageable” if it were not for the company’s Mandata transport management system.

“Before we adopted the Mandata TMS, we were doing maybe 10 to 20 movements per day and we were working primarily on Excel spreadsheets, just using a basic IT system to manually input job details and charge for them.” Patrick said.

“With the Mandata TMS in place, we can now comfortably manage between 400 and 500 jobs per day. The flexibility of the system has allowed us to grow to the size that we are now.

Without a doubt, if we hadn’t had Mandata on board we couldn’t have gotten to where we are today.”

Derry first adopted its Mandata TMS as a cloud-hosted solution back in 2011, however, due to technical issues with the company’s internet connection at its headquarters in Portadown, County Armagh, Derry has recently moved across to a server based TMS.

“For some reason, the internet does go down in Northern Ireland. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but it does happen at times, which is no good when you’re trying to work online. Because of that, we decided to bring all of our IT in-house, so we can have our Mandata TMS available to us at all times. I do miss the remote access which came with the Cloud TMS, but it’s a sacrifice I was willing to make to ensure that we always stay online.”

Operating within the chilled and frozen sector, Derry work regularly with large supermarket chains and food wholesalers renowned in the industry for demanding a very high level of service from distribution partners. Derry has found the Mandata system to be very useful in providing visibility across their operations, and full job traceability for their customers.

“We’re currently working with over 400 customers, there’s probably not many food manufacturers in Ireland that we don’t do work for,” Patrick said.

“Because we have full visibility across the system, we can deliver the high levels of service our customers expect, and they trust us to do a good job because they know that we have the systems in place to reinforce what we’re doing. Our Web Services customer portal enables customers to track their job statuses and access POD’s, and at the same time saves everything back to our TMS, so all of the job information is kept together.”

“The Mandata TMS is very much a part of the business, we basically couldn’t do what we do without it. From creating the jobs right through to invoicing, everything is processed through the TMS. For repeat jobs, the customers don’t even need to call us, the system knows that this job happens at this time every day and it gets done, the customers don’t have to do anything.”

One part of the system that Derry is particularly impressed with is the Traffic Pad within the Mandata TMS.

“The Traffic Pad is great, it’s so interchangeable with what you want to do. The system makes it easy to build and split loads and allocate the jobs to the drivers, it’s really flexible and works really well for us,” Patrick said.

Looking forward, Derry is keen to invest further in its IT resources and are looking to adopt Mandata’s upgraded Drag & Drop enabled Traffic Pad in the near future. The company are also eager to expand further into the cold storage sector so they can make better use of their new warehousing facilities.

“Because of our new warehouse, we’re hoping to grow the chilled and ambient storage side of the business as well as the logistics side of things. Down the line we’ll probably look at acquiring some more storage space so we can prepare ourselves for future growth, but really, we just want to keep on doing what we’re doing now, and do more of it!”

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