PODFather’s route optimisation planning solution enables you to tackle the complex problem of managing vehicle routes with ease. Our route optimisation systems allows you to upload jobs, create routes (either manually or automatically) and then share those routes with your drivers’ handheld devices.  Here we look at how it works.

Upload your Job Information

When planning your delivery or collection routes with PODFather you need to start but uploading your job information into the system.  Job information can be uploaded via SFTP, API or manually (although SFTP and API are best). Our advanced API ensures that PODFather will work harmoniously which whatever ERP or SOP solution you have in place.  Jobs can be uploaded into PODFather as ‘allocated’ or ‘unallocated’. 

PODFather new job booking screen

Case Study: Destiny Foods

Destiny Foods, one of the UK’s largest manufacturers and distributors of frozen desserts and specialist patisseries has selected PODFather’s route planning and proof of delivery solution to roll out across its nationwide operation. With over four thousand active customer accounts, Destiny Foods needed a solution capable of giving it the operational visibility required to optimise and grow its premium product business.  The fact that PODFather could offer route planning, vehicle checks, driver tracking and electronic proof of delivery, all in one out of the box system, made it the obvious choice for the Destiny Foods team.

Destiny Foods dessert selection

Route planning – allocated Jobs

If your jobs are already allocated to a route then this information will flow through to PODFather.  Jobs will be displayed on their allocated routes and our easy to use drag and drop functionality, and interactive map displays, will allow you to visualize your operation and make any required changes.  Once you have uploaded, and amended your allocated jobs, they can be released to your driver handholds at the click of a button.

PODFather route planning module

Case Study: AF Biomass

As an integral part of the wider AF Group, AF Biomass are straw merchants responsible for fuelling 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 tons 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.  Within a matter of weeks of go live AF Biomass reported significant savings in the form of increased drops per vehicle, a 10% reduction in empty running and a per load saving of over £50

AF Biomass Ltd vehicle loaded with straw bales

Route planning – unallocated jobs

PODFather is more than capable of allocating jobs to routes in the most efficient way.  As part of your system set up you will import your vehicle and driver information.  You will also set customer time window preferences.  PODFather’s advanced algorithms will then allocate your jobs to your vehicles and plan their associated routes in the most cost effective and resource efficient way.  You can be assured that any parameters set – such as customer time window preferences – will be met.  Once you have uploaded your jobs, and set your parameter, route optimisation will take a matter of seconds (maybe a little longer if you are handling high volumes).  You can then review and manipulate the results using our drag and drop editor and interactive route map displays.

Case Study: United Wholesale Grocers

United Wholesale Grocers, the leading wholesale distributor, is committed to delivering a best-in-class service for its nationwide customer network.   With over 500 Shop Local, Lifestyle Express, and Shop Smart stores located in Scotland and the North East of England, plus a nationwide network of independent retailers, hospitality and food outlet customers, United Wholesale Grocers needed a software solution that could help it deliver on its customer service commitment.  Having reviewed the range of options that the market had to offer; United Wholesale Grocer found PODFather to be the only supplier capable of delivering an end-to-end solution that provided everything it needed.  PODFather is now relied upon to help plan routes, track deliveries, provide customer ETA notifications and capture electronic Proof of Delivery in real time.  Customer experience has improved, as has On Time In Full performance. 

United Wholesale Grocers building

Adjusting your route plans

Once routes have been created you can use our interactive desktop display to adjust your route plans. Jobs can be moved between routes, routing regions can be reviewed, and jobs can be viewed on a map display.  This will enable your planning team to make any required adjustments before routes are released to drivers.  The clear visual displays make it easy to get a feel for what is planned across your whole operation. 

route optimisation software

Drag and drop functionality.

Our drag and drop functionality allow any route plan changes to be made with ease.  By dragging jobs between routes, you can see the time and milage implications and make informed business decisions accordingly. 

Map views and displays.

PODFather’s route optimisation software allows you to review your route plans, and jobs, using our interactive map displays.  Easy to use, Google Maps functionality helps bring your operation to life, giving you full visibility across your whole operation.

PODFather planning screen

Case Study: Berry Bros. & Rudd

Berry Bros. & Rudd., Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, is using route planning and proof of delivery technology from PODFather to keep wine deliveries flowing during a period of unprecedented demand.  Based in London, Berry Bros. & Rudd supply a wide selection of carefully selected fine wines to customers across the UK.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Berry Bros. & Rudd operation has seen an upsurge in home delivery orders as well as high demand from the supermarkets it supplies. Having used PODFather for over ten years Berry Bros. & Rudd has been able to use its existing delivery management system to cope with the significant increase in demand and the introduction of safer, COVID-19 compliant delivery procedures. 

Berry Brothers & Rudd Wine Merchants

Release jobs to handhelds

Once your jobs have been uploaded, your routes planned and optimised, you can release your jobs to your drivers from the PODFather route scheduling screen.  At the click of a button route information is passed to each drivers’ handheld device onto they have downloaded the PODFather app.  You do not have to print any paper tickets; all the job information is transferred straight across. 

PODFather driver handheld driver job detail screen

Track real time route performance.

Vehicle tracking is standard for all PODFather users.  Our driver app allows your transport teams to track vehicle movements in real time.  Watch as your route plans play out during the day and deal with any delays, issues or missed delivery windows in real time.  Even the most efficiently optimised routes can be subject to unforeseen change.  With PODFather you know as soon as there has been a deviation from the optimised route plan and can take the necessary action to keep customers informed.

PODFather delivery tracking screen on a monitor

Case Study: Walls & Ceilings International

Walls & Ceilings International Limited, the UK home building supplies specialist, has introduced route planning, automated customer notifications and electronic proof of delivery software from PODFather.  With 20 vehicles delivering to thousands of customers across the UK, and ambitious plans for future growth, Walls & Ceilings International Limited saw the need to update paper-based processes of old with an automated delivery management system.  Having reviewed the solutions the market had to offer Walls & Ceilings International opted for PODFather based on the company’s proven track record, and associated benefits, in the building materials sector.  With PODFather in place Walls & Ceilings International is looking forward to improving service, reducing empty running, and optimising fuel usage with PODFather.

Walls & Ceilings International delivery truck planned by PODFather

End of day Reporting

Once your vehicles are back at the depot you can use the real time information gathered by PODFather to review planned vs actual route performance.  Assess where there are unnecessary delays, or where tweaks can be made to route planning parameters.  Feeding real world performance information into your route planning process ensures your route schedules are realistic, achievable, and efficient. 

PODFather Job Performance Screen

Book a Demonstration

Let us show you just what our Route Optimisation technology can do. Complete this form and we’ll get in touch to organise an online demonstration.

Find out more about our route optimisation solution on the following pages:

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