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Customer Testimonial: Anglia Freight

"We want to be more proactive in how we communicate consignment updates and issues with our customer base.”

Sometimes it takes unexpected, even unwelcome, news to bring about positive change. That’s what happened to Anglia Freight, which operates 45 trucks and 50 trailers out of Suffolk.

Recently, the 30-year old company was informed by its logistics software provider that it would no longer offer TMS functionality, a feature crucial to Anglia Freight’s day-to-day operations. This proved to be a pivotal moment for the company’s Director, Pete Holden.

“It forced us to evaluate and reconsider our options,” Pete explains. “As it stood, we had planners interacting with the collection and delivery legs of every single one of our 1,500 daily consignments. That’s 3,000 manual planning decisions a day.”

All change

Scoping the TMS scene is no mean feat, and Pete recognised that “any new solution had to be right for so many different aspects of our business, whether it’s invoicing, tracking, proof of delivery, selling or customer comms – there were so many different pressures on me to deliver a TMS solution that was right for the entire team as well as customer facing elements.”

Meetings were held with six different TMS providers – but it was actually a conversation with Chris Welch at Welch’s Transport (another Qargo customer), which led Pete to Qargo: “As an industry, we’re constantly talking to each other, comparing which systems we’re using and why. Chris spoke highly of Qargo so we set up a meet with the team.”

Getting it right

In the meeting, it soon became apparent that Qargo offered the functionality and support needed. First, any new system had to be cloud-based as Anglia Freight supports agile ways of working. Second, the solution provider had to be an innovator as, Pete “wanted to be able to expand, improve and push the TMS provider and they had to be open to change, and to us asking them for new features that addressed our unique logistics needs."

Finally, the right level of support was vital. Pete needed a service where, once a support query was raised, it would be acknowledged and addressed within an agreed time frame. “One of the things that blew me away early on with Qargo was the ability to interact very, very fast within the TMS environment via messaging service or phone call.”

“What really excites me is working closely with the Qargo team to design, test, create and roll out an IT platform that is absolutely sector-leading.”

Benefits driven

On a micro level, Qargo’s range of baked-in benefits also impressed Pete. Its system allows users to automate and optimise the route planning process, potentially reducing a three-hour planning operation down to 15 minutes. The platform also promised Anglia Freight the deep connectivity it needed whether interacting with drivers out on the road or updating customers on the fly.

Pete explains: “I’ve been grappling with route optimization packages for the last 10 years and they were either cost prohibitive, or couldn’t integrate with our existing systems. However, Qargo’s platform simply worked – and just as importantly, it’s cost effective.”

Milestones met

For all these reasons, Qargo was selected as Anglia Freight’s new TMS provider. Fast forward to today and the platform is currently in the final development phase: “We are gently setting up our system,” explains Pete. “So far, we’ve experienced no time or financial slippage – development is exactly where it should be.”

Pete is also confident about the onboarding phase, which will begin later this year: “Qargo offers a critical care phase during onboarding,” he explains. “So rather than setting us up and leaving us to get on with it, they’ve committed to being on site with us for a week during the ‘go live’ phase. It’s inevitable we will come up against challenges that need to be resolved – but I know Qargo will be there in the room, working alongside us and supporting us.”

Changing culture

It’s obvious that the change triggered by Anglia Freight’s previous provider has ultimately proven to be hugely positive; that taking a step back to reassess the company’s primary IT platform has created a genuine opportunity for improvement. However, Pete is aware that significant operational change can also introduce uncertainty, even fear, within the culture of any company – as it threatens the status quo.

Pete explains: “Change management is always really tricky. Remember, we’ve been using our existing system for 15 years so everyone is very familiar with it.” To ensure stakeholder buy-in, Pete has spent time speaking with Anglia Freight’s different departments, advocating for the Qargo system by explaining its advantages and how it will improve working lives, not introduce disruption or friction.

Adopting this advocacy-centric approach has paid off: “While everyone is realistic about the challenges ahead, we are all excited to get stuck in,” says Pete. “We can’t wait to see the benefits Qargo will bring us once it goes live.”

“I don’t have a bad word to say about Qargo – so far, the experience has been outstanding.”

We’ll provide an update on Anglia Freight’s onboarding in early 2024.


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