12 May 2020
As an integral part of the wider AF Group, AF Biomass are straw merchants responsible for fueling three of the four straw fired power stations in the UK. In addition, they provide essential supplies to the agricultural sector in general, such as bedding and feed to farmers across the country, straw for mushroom compost and covering vegetable crops. They are seeing significant savings having introduced PODFather’s route planning and delivery management system into its operation. With over 500 farmers producing in excess of 110,000 tonnes of power station straw every year, AF Biomass needed a software solution capable of streamlining what was previously a very manual, and paper-intensive, process. PODFather is now used daily to plan straw collections from farms, and deliveries to power stations and a complex variety of customers within the food and energy supply chain. Within a matter of weeks of go live AF Biomass is reporting significant savings in the form of increased drops per vehicle, a 10% reduction in empty running and a per load saving of over £50.
“Before introducing PODFather we ran a paper-based process which was neither cost effective or time efficient,” comments Jon Wilson-Read, Logistics Administrator at AF Biomass. “With PODFather we have been able to revolutionise how we plan and manage our vehicle movements. It’s easy to use live route optimisation feature, and the level of visibility and flexibility it gives me, enabled us to quickly increase the number of loads on our vehicles from 1.5 to over 2. This has had a massive impact on the efficiency of our fleet and the cost to our business as we are now saving over £50 on every load, every day which is unprecedented.”
With PODFather we now have visibility of what’s going on in real time and we’re being able to phase out our reliance on the movement of paper tickets around our business which is going to speed up all our processes.
AF Biomass is now using PODFather every day and is gradually phasing out the old paper-based processes. Drivers have access to the PODFather smartphone app which enables the transport team to track movements, reallocate work on the fly and share job information with drivers quickly and easily. Being able to track vehicle movements ensures farmers are kept informed about, and be ready for, straw collections and drivers have visibility of their power station ETAs. Power station deliveries can be monitored and logged in real time, helping AF Biomass keep active track of what is being moved, and delivered to where.
“The movement of straw is inherently tricky as we need certain types of vehicles and specially trained drivers,” adds Wilson-Read. “With PODFather we now have visibility of what’s going on in real time and we’re being able to phase out our reliance on the movement of paper tickets around our business which is going to speed up all our processes, and ultimately maximise efficiency across our entire operation.”
“Paper tickets are the bane of so many transport operators lives yet so many still rely on them every day to run their businesses,” comments Colin McCreadie, Managing Director at PODFather. “With PODFather we are able to prove, time and time again, that you can eradicate paper for good with smart, intuitive technology that is both easy to use and effective in streamlining the flow of data across an organisation. We welcome anyone struggling with the inefficiencies of a paper-based operation to give us a call.”