Nisa improves distribution with fixed driver routes

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Nisa has reported an average increase in on-time delivery service levels of up to 4.95%.

When Nisa introduced fixed driver routes to its distribution model earlier this year the intention was to build familiarity with the routes and the retailers to help deliver a better and more efficient service to its members. Now 60% of the way through the roll out, the plan appears to be working.

The first areas to receive fixed driver routes were the south west and those stores serviced out of the Stoke depot. In the five months since the roll out began, these areas have reported an average increase in on time delivery service levels of 3.72% and 4.95% respectively on what was already sector leading performance.

The first indication of how successful the fixed driver routes could be was seen during the flooding experienced by areas of the UK earlier this year. Nisa was able to complete all deliveries and achieved a 99.8% delivery on day rate, due largely to the drivers’ knowledge of the routes they were using.

“The fixed driver routes have proved very successful, with positive feedback received from both members and drivers alike,” said Jon Stowe, supply chain director. “During the flooding in the first month or so of 2014, we were able to achieve extremely high service levels, while competitors were struggling.

“The fixed driver routes made this possible, giving drivers’ confidence in their schedules and the relationships to discuss delivery arrangements first hand with their allocated stores. This resulted in the proactive rerouting of deliveries to miss troubled routes and still achieve delivery requirements.”

Richard Higgins of Nisa member RNS Holdings, which operates stores in the Wiltshire area, praised the developments: “Having a driver appointed to the route speeded up delivery times at the store as the driver knows where everything is and we know of any problems on the route early on as he will ring us direct to inform us – this allows us to react and manage the business.”

And this investment in distribution is further emphasised by Nisa’s decision to leave all of its delivery fleet in place following the departure of Costcutter in July 2014.

“We are leaving all our supply chain service in place after 2 July,” commented Nisa CEO Neil Turton. “We’re going to invest in service over that crucial period – it’s the middle of summer and the World Cup – and retailers need to trust that their shelves will be full. It’s a vital trading period and one retailers can ill afford to get wrong; it’s predicted an extra £124million will be spent on food and drink for every week England remain in Brazil 2014.”

Nisa has announced strong growth in its annual results, with sales up 10.5 per cent in value terms and 12.9 per cent in volume year on year.

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