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How Staples manages deliveries for the back-to-school rush

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Staples has used routing and scheduling software to help it deliver on the back-to-school rush this autumn.

The multichannel stationery retailer has provided school supplies to parents and their children for the last 30 years. It says demand rises at the beginning of August as families prepare for the start of term, stocking up not only on pens, rubbers and notepads but also on more hi-tech items. Seasonal marketing campaigns also push up visitor numbers to its more than 100 bricks-and-mortar stores, and to its ecommerce websites. Goods are distributed by DHL , which has used Paragon routing and scheduling software at its Staples operation at Watford Gap since 2009 to ensure on-time delivery across a range of options that includes next working day and free tracking via text, phone or online.

William Salter, managing director, Paragon, said, “The back to school period is an important peak season for Staples. Parents needing to prepare their children for the new school year have a limited period to buy all the stationery that they need, so it’s convenient for them to be able to buy everything on the list from one place. It’s essential that the stock is available when customers visit the store or the website to reduce the risk of them taking their business elsewhere.”

Planning is performed daily for multiple deliveries to each store. Loads fluctuate as consumer demand changes and DHL can use Paragon to optimise delivery schedules and ensure that each vehicle is at least 87% full.

“The system has helped us to ensure maximum use of our fleet capacity, giving us the flexibility to deal with store deliveries across the UK, plus supplier returns and waste collections. This all adds up to tremendous savings for our customer while maintaining consistent service levels, which is especially important at this busy time of the year,” said Craig Holmes, general manager, DHL non-food retail.

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