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The UK’s leading bed manufacturer Silentnight has saved more than 400,000 litres of fuel in the last five years, cutting CO2 emissions by over 1,000,000 kilos as part of its sustainability drive.

The leading manufacturer identified an opportunity to enhance its delivery experience for both the independent retailer and the home-delivery customer and implemented the BigChange Transport and Delivery Management technology in 2013, before upgrading to the latest version in July last year. The move has now seen the business named as a finalist for a Technology and Innovation award at the prestigious Logistic Awards 2018.

From its state-of-the art factory in Barnoldswick, the Silentnight Group manufacturers over 500,000 beds per year and delivers direct to consumers, via a network of independent stores and through some of the UK’s leading furniture retailers.

The BigChange platform offers an all in one system combining back office delivery planning, a proof of delivery app for drivers, defect management and real time tracking, alongside paperless delivery which ties into the company’s wider sustainability agenda.

Robert Livingstone, Operations Director at Silentnight said:

“Our aim is to not only deliver the best night’s sleep for our trade and home delivery customers with market leading products, it’s also about ensuring we lead the market with our delivery service.

Robert Continued:

“The BigChange technology has ticked so many boxes for us; it’s driving tangible savings, transforming customer service and is a key part of our sustainability drive.”

Silentnight has prevented a staggering 105 million plastic bottles from going into oceans and landfill in just one year, after launching its Eco Comfort mattress manufactured from 150 plastic bottles. It has also pledged to support the Marine Conservation Society as part of its drive towards a greener planet.

The Logistic Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in the logistics and supply chain sectors, recognising the most impressive achievements throughout the industry over the past 12 months. The winners of the 2018 awards will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 20 September at the Swan, Shakepeare’s Globe, London.

Bobst Lorry

The UK’s leading bed manufacturer Silentnight has saved 400,000 litres of fuel worth £500,000 and has cut CO2 emissions by over 1,000,000 kilos with BigChange Transport and Delivery Management technology.

The All-in-One system combines back-office delivery planning, a proof-of-delivery app for drivers, defect management and real-time tracking of tractor units and trailers.

From its state of the art factory in Barnoldswick, the Silentnight Group manufactures over 500,000 beds per year and delivers to the UK’s leading furniture retailers, direct to consumers and to a network of independent stores. The company has taken a holistic approach to innovation right across the customer journey, from the science of sleep and advanced manufacturing processes to constantly improving customer service and the quality of its delivery offering. Silentnight identified the opportunity to enhance the delivery experience for both the independent retailer and the home-delivery customer.

Robert Livingstone, Group Logistics Director at Silentnight said:

“Delighting our trade and home delivery customers is not just about delivering the best night’s sleep with our market leading products, it’s also about ensuring we lead the market with our delivery service; that’s why we have invested in making the process quick, easy and hassle free. BigChange is key to this.”

The upgrade to the full BigChange platform is introducing a paperless delivery revolution at Silentnight and is replacing paper-based manifests and delivery notes. This is being rolled out to all customers across the next 12 months. Drivers are being equipped with the latest Samsung tablets that manage receipt of delivery instructions, electronic proof of delivery with photo capture, timesheets, electronic start-of-day vehicle walkaround checks and a daily driver debrief. On the day of delivery, independent retailers or home-delivery customers will receive an automated estimated time of arrival text message alert, allowing them to ensure they are ready to take receipt of goods.

Inbuilt telematics, integrated with the vehicle tachograph captures detailed insight on driver behaviour, including metrics on speeding, harsh braking and cornering. Silentnight rewards drivers with a bonus twice a year to recognise their efforts to reduce fuel use, improve safety and cut carbon emissions. Since the technology was implemented in July 2013, the BigChange system has cut carbon emissions dramatically by over 1 million KG of CO2 and is saving Silentnight over 100,000 litres of diesel annually. Fuel economy has improved by 12% from 9.9mpg to 11.2mpg.

Robert Livingstone, commented:

“BigChange technology has ticked so many strategic boxes for us; it’s driving tangible savings, transforming customer experience and is a key part of our sustainability drive. It has no doubt contributed to the prestigious 2017 Sustainability Award we received from the Furniture Markers’ company. In a market where all manufacturers are under cost pressure through the supply chain, these savings allow us to reinvest across the business to maintain our market leading position.”

The BigChange driver app automatically navigates drivers from drop-to-drop and ensures the correct items are scanned and delivered at each drop, taking into account any special customer requirements. Customers ‘sign on glass’ to complete their delivery, and photos can be instantly captured in the event of a customer query. Progress against the plan and proof of service is instantly relayed to the back office, giving the logistics team live visibility of the operation. Together with the proactive text alerts, this has reduced the number of calls to the customer service centre.

Martin Port, Founder and CEO of BigChange said:

“Silentnight is one of the most famous and beloved brands in the UK. They have been a stalwart of British manufacturing for over 100 years and we are proud that they are using our technology platform to drive their business forward. Here’s to the next 100 years.”

Silentnight Group, the iconic British bed manufacturer has reported improved fleet safety and a 10% improvement in vehicle Miles Per Gallon following the implementation of BigChange’s JobWatch system that helps Silentnight Plan, Manage, Schedule and Track their transport operations. The company has rolled out the system to its entire fleet of tractors and trailers and is using the technology to coordinate delivery of their products throughout the UK.

Group Logistics Director Neil Birch chose BigChange after carefully evaluating the market: “Having used vehicle telematics for a number of years, we were looking for something more sophisticated and integrated than just a tracking system. We immediately liked the rich functionality of JobWatch, especially the Driver Safety and Productivity mobile app that we are currently rolling out. The BigChange team gave us real confidence and we now see them as being a key part of our business processes moving forward.”

The JobWatch system was implemented as part of Silentnight’s new technology programme that seeks to empower drivers, improve safety and fuel efficiency and ensure the brand delivers a consistently fantastic experience for retail and home delivery customers.

Silentnight’s integrated JobWatch system combines CANbus connected vehicle telematics, a mobile app for drivers and a cloud based back office used by the transport planning team. At the start of each day, drivers now carry out paperless walk-around checks, logging and photographing defects that are securely logged and alerted.

The app also provides a daily driver scorecard, underpinned by data on MPG, speeding, harsh acceleration and braking, idling and cornering. Rewarding safety and fuel efficiency efforts at Silentnight is not just ‘flavour of the month’; driver behaviour is now built into the company’s KPI reporting. Meanwhile, integrated truck-nav with live traffic is ensuring that drivers can be quickly re-routed using roads appropriate for the size and height of their vehicle.

Real-time visibility is critical for Silentnight, with their logistics operation making daily deliveries into the Regional Distribution Centres of the UK’s largest retailers, explains Neil Birch:

“Everything must be perfect and nothing can be left to chance. Retailers have very strict booking slots so it’s critical that we have an up to minute view of progress against the plan 24 hours a day. With JobWatch, our team can anticipate any potential problems before they happen and take proactive steps to ensure that we stay on track.”

“The JobWatch app is also enabling our drivers and back-office team to communicate and solve problems in real-time. For example if there’s a problem with accessing a customer’s property or in the unlikely event of a product fault, the driver can take photos and liaise with customer service in real-time to resolve and ensure a positive customer outcome.”

BigChange founder and telematics pioneer Martin Port has had a working relationship with the Silentnight Group for over 10 years;
“Silentnight has always been a fantastic company to work with and I look forward to working with Neil and the team as they continue to roll out their technology strategy,” said Martin Port.

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