Since introducing a new technology to automate the routing and scheduling of its delivery fleet, Sharps Bedrooms has realised around 600 man hour savings and significantly reduced the need for third party transport contractors, saving £12,000 a year. The cloud based Maxoptra software, which is used by a centralised team supporting 400 Sharps installers nationwide, is also helping to boost customer service.
With around 650 installations of bespoke fitted bedrooms and home office solutions every week, the West Midlands based support team receive around 65 calls per day requesting advice, additional parts or equipment. 90 percent of requests require a call out with the vast majority of jobs fulfilled the following day.
“Our bespoke fitted furniture is designed to exactly meet customers’ requirements in terms of design, functionality and fit, so following a home design visit and detailed technical survey, the installers cut and fit onsite,” commented Andy Turner, National Installer Support Manager. “It is therefore possible that additional equipment or parts may be required.”
If support is required, a call is placed by the installer between 0700 – 1200 hours. Requests are logged and communicated to the factory or warehouse to confirm availability. Once confirmed, the planning team uses Maxoptra to prepare routes, schedules and delivery manifests for the support team, which are communicated directly to Android devices.
“Prior to the introduction of Maxoptra a year ago the planning of deliveries took about 3 hours every day,” continued Turner. “This has now been dramatically reduced to just half an hour with a record set at 10 minutes. This resource, 600 man hours in the first year alone, has been reinvested in other areas of the business. In addition, due to the effectiveness of Maxoptra’s planning algorithms, we have been able reduce our reliance on third party transport, resulting in a saving around £12,000 per annum.”
Armed with optimised routes, Sharps drivers are more efficient and productive and real time traffic alerts help keep them on schedule whilst on the road. Customers are kept informed with automated ETA notifications, which has in turn resulted in a drop in the number of calls requesting updates, and installer time is better utilised as they are not having to wait around for deliveries to arrive. Once on site the Maxoptra POD app, which captures a signature from the installer or customer confirming delivery and transmits it, in real time, back to the office, is further boosting operational efficiencies.
Maxoptra launches next generation customer service, delivery management & route planning software
Maxoptra has released a new version of its cloud-based software that provides an all-in-one solution for customer service, delivery management and route planning for distribution fleets. Complete with a redesigned user interface for use across multiple devices, Maxoptra version 5.0 also includes a host of new functionality designed to enhance its appeal for transport organisations looking to boost their customer delivery experience, control costs and increase operational efficiency.
“Feedback from users has always been that Maxoptra is a user friendly, functionally rich solution,” commented Stuart Brunger, Maxoptra Business Development Director. “The latest version is designed to build on this proven reputation by enhancing the user experience whilst delivering new features to improve communications with the recipient of a delivery. We have also introduced new functionality and boosted the performance of the software engines that power Maxoptra.”
The redesigned Maxoptra user interface, complete with new iconography, is designed to boost use of Maxoptra across multiple platforms, including mobile devices. Maxoptra is cloud based, so is available at any time, from any Internet enabled device, and users of the advanced routing and scheduling platform are increasingly using tablets and smartphone to access up-to-the minute updates. The ability to personalise front-end screens, with a customer’s own branding, and customise menu options, also enhance Maxoptra’s ease of use and appeal.
Maxoptra version 5.0 also includes new features designed to help organisations engage with customers and improve their customer service experience. Enhanced Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) calculations and communications, using both real-time run information and Google calculations ensure the recipient is kept informed of their delivery status. An order ‘cloning’ tool is now included to rapidly address the issue of missed deliveries or repeat / regular orders, while a better mapping interface within Maxoptra’s Track and Trace module makes it easier and more intuitive for customer service personnel to identify, monitor and report on progress.
In addition to the existing cost calculation options, Maxoptra v5.0 can now allow additional factors, including cost per order and cost per vehicle, to be considered. The ability to add these charges will allow for the better management of third party costs; making scheduling smarter by reducing the use of additional vehicles if an up-front cost is associated. For larger, more complex operations, Maxoptra has introduced multiple planning screens allowing more than one despatcher to work at the same time and the Maxoptra scheduling engine, the driving force of this advanced functionality, has been made faster and more reliable.