Fleet operators and managers around the world struggle with the same challenges of delivering on time and without missed deliveries. They operate in an economy now where recruiting and retaining drivers is incredibly difficult as driver turnover rates are at an all-time high. Add to this rising fuel costs and the pressure coming from above to reduce carbon emissions and cut costs, and it is a very challenging situation for anyone managing a fleet. SmartRoutes is helping fleet owners and managers to find the most efficient way through the chaos of modern cities and increased home deliveries to rural consumers. Factor in all the variables of traffic, vehicle dimensions, time windows and so on. Not an easy task.
The client list alone on the SmartRoutes platform shows the diversity of businesses that have taken advantage of the leap forward of route planning solutions. Transport businesses Grennan & Sons and W.S. Dennison plus all of the major Irish newspaper titles Irish Times, Irish Independent and Irish Examiner are currently optimising operations using the platform. Along with a host of smaller businesses delivering food, medical equipment and even waste bins SmartRoutes is innovating the ‘last mile’ worldwide.
But why implement a system that simply tells drivers how to navigate a route they already know?
In extensive tests the SmartRoutes system has beaten experienced drivers time and again with shorter routes and savings of up to 33% on fuel and driver hours. Routes that might not seem intuitive to drivers can result in big savings. Blake Walsh, COO at SmartRoutes, recalls a customer being amazed at all of his vehicles returning to depot at the same time every day, unlike the staggered and uncertain return he was used to seeing when route optimisation and planning tools weren’t used. That simple coordination and dependability was enough to convince him of the power of the algorithm SmartRoutes uses to plan routes.
The big upsides come though on route planning time being slashed by over half. In reality, the planning of multi stop routes is exponentially more accurate and efficient than can realistically be expected of even the best maths brain. The fleet tracking system that works off a GPS tracker on the mobile app of the driver means there is total oversight on where drivers are, and, by extension, a live-delivery tracker for the end customer.
David Walsh, CEO of SmartRoutes stated: “Customer care teams have seen their phones just cease to ring once they implemented our live tracking system. Pre-delivery queries stopped, but so too did calls about missed deliveries which were dragging down so many of our customers before we came on board.”
Working with medical supply company Homecare Medical, they were able to get the logistics teams and drivers coordinated on one platform. Drivers used the mobile app to navigate a predetermined route and they could take notes, capture proof of delivery and even contact the end customer directly from the app. For the admin staff they could see where every vehicle was in real-time and set up delivery notifications for customers that were accurate to the minute.
Similarly as Blake Walsh explained: “For Nutrilean, a healthy meal delivery company using our software, one key question was how to divide delivery areas between drivers. They created geographical territories that meant when an order came in online, it was automatically assigned to the driver of that zone, saving huge amounts of time in planning and fuel costs”.
SmartRoutes has plans to double its headcount by the middle of 2022 and is currently advancing aggressively into the North American market after proving the value of the product in the UK and Ireland. Operating from its Cork HQ, SmartRoutes has its eyes set on optimizing fleets worldwide.