Worcester, United Kingdom, October 21, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- A nationwide white and brown goods retailer has cut its annual overheads by £50,000 after taking advantage of smart route-planning technology.
Bradford-based Sonic Direct, the UK’s largest independent electrical retail outlet, began using the online logistics scheduling software Route Optimiser after noticing inefficiencies in its delivery fleet’s manual route-planning process.
When the company saw positive results from a single-lorry trial, they made the switch across their entire fleet of 25 vehicles.
Sonic Direct’s general manager Ajay Jhala said: “As a company reliant on its fleet of delivery vehicles, we were staggered by the disparity we identified when comparing the delivery times of various drivers. Some would take twice as long to complete the same journey as another. The difference was perplexing.
“Sonic’s phenomenal success is all about offering the most competitive pricing without compromising customer service, so the thought of wasted fuel and labour cost was a real problem for us. Since January 2011 we deployed Route Optimiser throughout our entire fleet of distribution vehicles. When we first trialled Route Optimiser using one vehicle, we saved quite significant resources. Deploying it fleet-wide to 25 vehicles has delivered substantial savings and improved our operational efficiency and customer service.
“We would estimate the overhead manpower hours and fuel we’ve saved at a staggering £50,000 per year. But it’s not just the cost savings that benefits us. The service is very easy to use and the optimised routes are plotted automatically. A daily snapshot of our schedules means we know where our drivers are.
“People are so busy these days. Whether customers work full time, or are busy doing the school run, time is of a premium for everyone. Taking delivery of a new television or fridge-freezer should be an exciting experience, but often it can be marred by the frustration and anxiety of having to wait in all day until it appears.
“Having access to precise delivery intelligence is vital because it allows our customer service team to give customers two-hour delivery windows. They think it’s brilliant. Our drivers are delivering goods in the most fuel and time efficient way - which also helps to minimise their stress levels!
“So, we have happy drivers, satisfied customers and a senior management team saving loads of money which means we can maintain our competitive price promise. I think the fact we’ve rolled out Route Optimiser to our entire fleet is a telling endorsement of how much we value the service.”
Postcode Anywhere is the Worcester-based IT company behind Route Optimiser. Managing director Guy Mucklow said: “Efficiency is critical at every stage of the supply chain. Often, online retailers will spend a considerable amount of time tweaking their website to increase conversion rates, while simply trusting to luck with the physical delivery processes that are already in place at the other end.
“Route Optimiser gives better routes in a fraction of the time it takes to plot them manually. But perhaps even more importantly than the immediate cost savings, offering delivery windows dramatically improves the level of customer service you can offer as a business. It’s not only a competitive advantage: it’s the kind of service consumers are coming to expect when they order goods online.”
The news follows last month’s Postcode Anywhere study of 1,000 UK consumers, which found that nearly two-thirds of people rate timed deliveries as important to their online shopping experience.
Sonic Direct is prides itself on supplying the very best in consumer technology and providing outstanding customer service, while offering savings of up to 40% of typical high street prices. For more information on Sonic Direct, please visit the website at www.sonicdirect.co.uk.
For further information about Route Optimiser, or to take a free trial, visit the website at www.routeoptimiser.com. No downloads are required and the service works on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no contracts or hidden fees.