8 August 2019

London-based Berkmann Wine Cellars are working with PODFather, and have implemented their ePOD and logistics system to improve customer service and stay in the know.  Established in 1964, Berkman Wine Cellars are now the largest family-owned and family-run wine importer in the UK. The company imports over 1,400 wines from 20 countries across the globe and operate their own delivery network out of regional warehouses.

Before PODFather, Berkmann Wine Cellars used a paper-based system to manage their delivery processes. With around 500 deliveries a day, the paper system was not sustainable and they needed to find something that was more efficient.

The best part is that we have full visibility of the drivers, since the system is phone based our tracking is not limited to certain vehicles with fixed trackers.

They chose PODFather because it was the most suitable system for the company’s needs and after a few weeks of implementing and testing, the system was in place. Out of the many modules that were implemented, Berkmann Wine Cellars have found the Route Optimisation and Tracking functions to be the most useful.

Graham Miller, Head of Transport at Berkmann, comments, “Since we often find ourselves criss-crossing across all four points of the compass, especially in London, the route optimisation and comparison features are very handy since it allows us to see our drivers’ locations and keep everything efficient and balanced.”

He continues, “For example, if one van is looking heavier than the others, we can then easily redistribute jobs across the fleet to balance it out. If runs are altered, it’s easy to then re-optimise the drop sequences to ensure customer delivery time windows are going to be met.”

Since rolling out the system, Berkmann Wine Cellars have improved their customer service. With a paper-based system they were unable to give a fast response to a customer enquiry about a delivery, since they were essentially blind to the process until the final paper POD made its way back to the office.

With PODFather, Berkmann now send delivery ETA notifications to their customers and the tracking features show live updates of the driver’s position to both staff in the office and the customer. If there is a query about a delivery, either the live ETA is available or the electronic proof of delivery, or ePOD, is displayed instantly showing details like what was delivered, who signed for it, along with accompanying photos and the GPS location to back up the address location. This helps avoid misunderstandings and keeps customers happy and informed.

Graham Miller explains, “The best part is that we have full visibility of the drivers, since the system is phone based our tracking is not limited to certain vehicles with fixed trackers. As long as the driver has their phone on them – which they always do – we know their exact position, and we can even track it all the way back to when the system was first implemented, which is an unexpected benefit.”

Colin McCreadie, Managing Director at PODFather, adds, “Berkmann Wine Cellars are a long-established business and one which has grown quite substantially over the last few years. This growth highlighted business processes in logistics which were ripe for improvement and we’re delighted that by using PODFather, Berkmann have made improvements to both logistics planning and customer services.”

Graham Miller, concludes, “For a medium-sized business it’s a perfect piece of software with some great features and a very competitive price.”