Podfather adds sparkle to Lilley’s Cider deliveries

Lilley’s Cider is replacing its time-consuming paper-based processes with logistics planning, route optimisation and electronic proof of delivery software from Podfather, in a move aimed at cutting administration and fuel costs.

The award-winning drinks manufacturer operates its own national distribution network, supplying more than 3,000 pubs, shops, festivals and other outlets across the UK with a wide range of ciders and perries, made on-site at the family farm in Frome.

Lilley’s chose Podfather’s software to replace its paper-based processes with automated fleet utilisation tools designed to save time and money, and reduce the company’s environmental impact.

Before selecting Podfather, Lilley’s management of its delivery operation was completely manual. The company said this was time-consuming to plan and difficult for drivers to execute and impacted on customer service levels.

With no scientific evidence to support planning, routes were often repeated week in and week out, regardless of fluctuations in demand.

Using Podfather, routes are produced and optimised, based on locations, item volumes and weights, and customer requirements, and automated ETA notifications are issued.

All paperwork is sent directly to the drivers’ mobile phone or tablet, with hardware provided by independent B2B communications specialist G-Force Communications, and management has total visibility of the delivery operation as it unfolds, with any issues instantly flagged for investigation or intervention.

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ePOD notifications, including mandatory photos, can be captured by drivers as they make each delivery and this information used to update back-office teams.

Mia Brixey, Lilley’s Cider sales and marketing manager, said: “Prior to Podfather we manually planned our deliveries using a paper map and a spreadsheet.

“This worked when we had a handful of trade customers but, as we now make thousands of deliveries each week /month, it was taking more and more time and impacting on the customer experience.

“Having reviewed a few routing systems, we selected Podfather as it was the most user friendly,” Brixey continued. “It was visually appealing, with an easy to navigate interface, and the functionality, although advanced, was easy to use. Podfather also integrated with our existing business tools.”

Additional functionality, including daily vehicle texts, driven by and completed using the driver’s mobile device and integration with the company’s Sage accounting software, will further improve the efficiency of Lilley’s sales and delivery operation and help reduce costs and the environmental impact of the delivery service.

Bricey added: “Using Podfather we hope to dramatically reduce the time and resource it takes to plan routes. We hope this will have a significant impact on our business, freeing back-office resource which can be deployed to make a difference in other parts of the business and improving the service we give our trade customers.”

“We also hope to reduce unnecessary mileage and paperwork which will help us manage costs and improve our green credentials,” she concluded.

The post Podfather adds sparkle to Lilley’s Cider deliveries appeared first on Motor Transport.

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