UK: Since introducing a new technology to automate the routing and scheduling of its delivery fleet, Sharps Bedrooms has realized around 600 man-hour savings and significantly reduced the need for third-party transport contractors, saving Euro 14,000 (USD 17,000) a year. The map-based Maxoptra software, which is used online by a centralized 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 on site,” 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 manifest 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 to reduce our reliance on third-party transport, resulting in a saving around £12,000 per annum.”
Armed with optimized 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 are better utilized 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.