London-based ice experts, Icebox, has started using Edinburgh-based PODFather’s route planning and electric proof of delivery system, which has made a significant impact on the business and the employees. Icebox was established in 1993 and has become the leading supplier of ice cubes and ice sculptures in the UK and parts of Europe, and the demand is exceptionally high during hot summer days. Because of their business structure they were in desperate need of an efficient planning and ePOD system.
Piotr Korotkiewicz, Operations Manager for Icebox, comments: “The cube side of our business is very time sensitive and we often get ‘rugged response’ jobs, where a customer calls, and we need to deliver the ice within two hours. There’s a lot of last-minute jobs to fulfil.”
In the busy summer season, Icebox need to hire extra vehicles to help with the workload. Since their previous tracking system was vehicle hard-wired, and the vans they hired didn’t have trackers installed, that meant that the company could only see half of the fleet during their busiest periods. Other problems they faced included a system that was unreliable and inefficient. If a customer enquired for an ETA update, it would take up to two minutes each time to track the driver. This delay led to long phone queues, which gave off a poor impression to customers and clients.
Before PODFather, Icebox used old Windows-based devices that were complicated and defective from the start. Piotr Korotkiewicz explains: “We got very little support from our previous supplier, and it took two years to implement, which meant that once it was in working order, it was already outdated. It was very frustrating.
There was no automatic route planning and I was essentially the only person in the business capable of planning routes as I know London well. It took me three hours in the morning and an additional three in the afternoon per day during the busiest summer days.”
Our drivers now have a reliable and fast system that offers everything they need for their day-to-day tasks. Since the software runs on smartphones, we don’t lose tracking capabilities for trucks we need to hire in and if a device breaks, we replace it and we’re good to go.
To rectify their situation, Icebox met with PODFather and decided to switch to their electronic proof of delivery system. It was clear PODFather’s modern Android-based system would fit Icebox’s needs as a business, and after some customisation the new routing and ePOD software was in place.
Colin McCreadie, Managing Director at PODFather, adds, “The process of distribution planning is complex regardless of what type of product you are delivering. Our customers transport everything from building materials, food and drink, to ice cubes and sculptures. By investing in our routing system, it is possible to make a rapid return on investment by fitting more jobs onto your existing fleet whilst ensuring you meet your customer delivery commitments. The fact you can save hours of time in the office every day is a huge bonus and we’re delighted to have added value to the Icebox business.”
Piotr Korotkiewicz continues: “Our drivers now have a reliable and fast system that offers everything they need for their day-to-day tasks. Since the software runs on smartphones, we don’t lose tracking capabilities for trucks we need to hire in and if a device breaks, we replace it and we’re good to go.”
With PODFather it merely takes the click of a button to see where any driver is at any given moment, and then plan and change their routes. It takes a maximum of one hour per day to plan all our work, which means we save an average of five hours each day. This massively reduces the stress involved in the planning of getting all the deliveries completed on time, and it helps us focus on other things than sending a POD manually.”
Installing the PODFather system has made a significant impact on Icebox’s business. The added efficiency and speed allow their drivers to complete more jobs in the same amount of time, which in turn enables them to expand the business into new areas and improve profitability.
Icebox Operations Manager, Poitr Korotkiewicz, concludes: “It’s just a great tool to have. It will help you develop your business, and you’ll be easier on your drivers, planners and everyone else in the business. Don’t even hesitate. Go for it.”