A leading provider of chilled and frozen food distribution Nagel Langdons Ltd., and its software partner Mandata (Management and Data Services) Ltd., are celebrating having just reached a significant milestone in their company’s histories.

In 16 years, Nagel Langdon’s, part of the Nagel-Group has quadrupled itsworkload whilst breaking a Mandata record and clocking up 10 million jobs in its Mandata TMS.

Operating from nine strategic locations in the UK, the firm is now handling 100,000 jobs and delivering 260,000 pallets on a monthly basis for over 1400 customers via its extensive depot network; demonstrating an impressive four-fold increase in work now being managed through its TMS.

The firms ICT Director, Spencer Dixon believes the firms approach to embracing change and adopting new, relevant technology has been a key factor in their growth and success.

They were one of the first UK transport operators to issue truck drivers with mobile phones in the 1980’s. In the 90’s, they started scanning PODs and offering customers access to them on-line, and they’ve been using satellite tracking linked to remote temperature recording since 2005. Their pioneering ways have continued ever since. In 2001, Nagel Langdon’s was the first company to implement Manpack3; the now ubiquitous Mandata TMS used by many UK road transport companies to plan, manage, invoice and report on work.

Installing Mandata ensured firm foundations were in place for growth, enabling the company to build on their investment and introduce further innovations, Spencer explains:

“When we introduced Manpack3 we were looking for something that was truly multi-depot, flexible enough to cope with our complex ‘everywhere, everyday’ operation and scalable to cope with future growth in volumes and depots.”

At the time Nagel Langdon’s had three depots in mainland Britain (Bridgwater, Taunton and Peterborough) plus partner depots covering the rest of the UK and Ireland.

“By 2004 we were introducing customers to on-line bookings and consignment tracking and they were able to remotely book their own shipments directly onto the Langdon’s Mandata TMS. After that, they could track the progress of their pallets as they moved through our network driven by updates from satellite tracking.”

By working in collaboration with Mandata over the years and as founding users, Nagel Langdon’s, along with others, have helped to shape functionality in the system that many Mandata customers use today, Chris Wall, Mandata’s Client Services Director explains:

“It has always been our approach to work closely with our customers to customise their systems to their specific need. It’s the freedom not to be constrained by technology that many of our customers value. Spencer is visionary in his approach and his input along with feedback from our other customers is helping us to make continual improvements in functionality and meet market needs.”

Advances such as map-based planning to visualise routes, see mileages and cost estimates helped drive further efficiencies in the business. Providing track and trace capability to customers on their mobile devices through real-time tracking, and displaying KPI’s in dashboards to simply communicate real-time performance are just some of the ways the company is delivering value through its systems.

Now Nagel Langdon’s operate nine of their own depots (Bridgwater x2, Barnsley, Dover, Motherwell, Liverpool, Luton, Peterborough and Redditch) plus partner sites in Ireland, as well as direct access to more than 130 Nagel-Group sites in Europe.

Whilst Mandata systems are playing a crucial role, they are only part of the story, Spencer explains:

“Mandata gives our staff the tools they need to make good decisions with real-time, accurate information at their disposal. The systems do lots of funky stuff in the background and save us a lot of valuable time which in turn enables our staff to concentrate on delivering the personal, proactive and consistent quality service our customers have come to rely on and expect from us.”

“Having a good TMS with real-time information at your fingertips is vital. Our Mandata TMS has changed our business by enabling us to grow and offer unrivalled service by reacting quickly to customer’s needs.”

To recognise the company’s achievement, Mandata presented the team from Nagel Langdon’s who processed the 10 millionth job, with the Mandata Pioneer Award at the CV Show in Birmingham.

“When we were approaching the 10 million mark, some our staff admitted to feeling a little nervous, that we might suffer a ‘millennium-bug scenario’, but when it came to it, Gillian Markley at our Peterborough depot booked in the 10 millionth job for our customer Broadland Hams in Norfolk without a hitch,” said Depot Manager Tony Kane.

Looking to the future, Nagel Langdon’s will be continuing its visionary approach to growing their business. Steps are already in place to grow their mobile offerings further with the Mandata Manifest and Vehicle Check Apps to enhance communications in operations and its supply chain, making more real-time information and electronic documentation available to its customers and staff.