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Routing and scheduling solution proves critical for Natures Menu

Raw pet food manufacturer Natures Menu says dynamic scheduling and vehicle routing software from Maxoptra has proved essential in ensuring operational efficiency while expanding its delivery fleet.

Natures Menu makes around 150,000 temperature controlled deliveries per annum.

With sales of natural pet food growing by nearly 30% last year, the Norfolk-based Crufts sponsor has seen a fourfold increase in the size of its delivery fleet since the introduction of the Maxoptra software in 2012. The company now makes around 150,000 temperature controlled deliveries per annum, and is due to open a brand new £14m manufacturing plant later this year to deal with increasing consumer demand.

Each day orders are automatically exported from the company’s Enterprise software into Maxoptra, where intelligent route planning and optimisation features are used to auto-plan around 600 deliveries to retailers and consumers’ home addresses. This includes customisation of routes to incorporate local knowledge or specific delivery requests, and the approved schedule is then communicated directly to the drivers’ in-cab navigation devices and also back to the central Enterprise system.

“The daily planning of B2B and B2C deliveries would be very difficult without Maxoptra. We currently operate around 60 vehicles in the UK, from four different depots, making on average a delivery every minute,” commented Chris Warden, operations manager at Natures Menu. “Maxoptra has really benefited our operational efficiency in the supply chain and without it we would definitely need additional planning staff and more vehicles.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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