Client Story

BAMA Gruppen

Delivering fruit and vegetables to Norwegian homes, sustainably and efficiently

Norway’s leading fruits and vegetables distributor, BAMA, needed to optimise supply chain efficiency in order to reduce costs and enhance sustainability. We developed an award-winning app to help transportation planners make data-backed decisions, reduce third-party logistics costs, and drive down the company’s carbon footprint.

Streamlining distribution for the benefit of people and the planet

BAMA – Norway’s leading supplier of fruits and vegetables with a market share of 70 percent – has a highly complex supply chain that transports fresh fruits and vegetables from more than 80 different countries.

Fruits and vegetables travel via land transport, a large proportion originating in Spain, and to ensure fresh produce stays fresh they need to take the most efficient route.

Yet managing the movement of different types of produce, including those requiring cold storage, was a largely manual process.

The freshness of the fruits is very important for the business, but this has a sustainability dimension as well; better route planning solutions also means lower carbon emissions.”
Digital strategy and experience expert, PA

Harnessing data to plot the way forward

A team of 12 transport planners were responsible for the logistics of producers, retailers, and endless possible transportation routes – hugely complex tasks – but were heavily dependent on manual processes and tools such as Microsoft Excel. These were suboptimal solutions to the challenge of managing diverse produce and ensuring routes were efficient.

Recognising the need for a more data-driven tool to find the best routes, the data science team had developed an optimisation algorithm to improve the process but lacked the capabilities to build and roll out a full-scale application.

The algorithm we had developed was only suitable for transport planning between Spain and Norway, and we needed something that could connect our dozens of origin countries. We knew we couldn’t build the full-scale application to enable this and so we needed a partner like PA to unravel this complexity.”
IT Manager, BAMA Gruppen

Empowering transport planners

BAMA needed a solution that would revolutionise and update its approach to supply chain planning and management. This meant pulling together a cross-functional delivery team with a combination of expertise between us, BAMA, and NoA Ignite – a Nordics consultancy whose developers and UX-designers dovetailed with our own team.

We used BAMA’s optimisation model to develop an application that would automate transportation planning and enable the team to find the best routes and most efficient vehicles at the touch of a button.

To make sure the tool was easy to use, we brought agile software development practices that enhanced the skills of project managers and helped the team bridge the gap between the business and the IT department, so everyone involved felt a sense of ownership. We also ran workshops to upskill the data science and IT operations teams, enabling them to maintain, troubleshoot, and debug the application themselves.

Thanks to our well-established partnership with Microsoft, we drew on our cutting-edge understanding of Microsoft Azure technology to enable us and BAMA to design and implement a scalable and cost-efficient application that could be scaled to other business units that depended on an optimisation algorithm.

PA not only made sure our people were able to maintain and adjust the application independently, they made sure we could scale it for future route planning exercises.”
IT Manager, BAMA Gruppen

Designing an award-winning app

The app has already saved BAMA eight million NOK (approximately £600,000) so far with further savings of up to four million expected through brokering better deals with transport providers and further streamlining journeys.

Better route planning has also helped to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, aligning with broader sustainability goals, something that caught the attention of judges at Norway’s Computer Society Insight Award, who awarded BAMA the Insight Prize 2023 for an “important contribution towards the green shift. They’re saving climate, time, and money, which is a win-win for everyone.”

But perhaps the biggest impact has been felt by the app’s end-users – the team of transport planners. Not only has the tool improved their daily work experience, it has empowered them to make better decisions that impact the company’s success as well as every Norwegian.

This project is not just a standalone success story; it’s part of the broader narrative of companies leveraging technology to achieve more with less – less cost and less environmental impact.”
Data science expert, PA

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