Dynamic delivery route planning software is allowing Leekes – one of the UK’s leading independent retailers – to automate its nationwide home delivery service. The online Maxoptra delivery route optimisation platform is helping Leekes to streamline the complex task of scheduling over a thousand deliveries of homewares and home improvement products every week across the UK. Integrated with the company’s sales order system, Maxoptra Dynamic Route Scheduling Software automatically processes order locations, produces optimised routes based on vehicle capacity and customer requests, and allows for the accurate calculation of ETAs.
Following a free trial of the Maxoptra platform, Leekes implemented the hosted solution without the need for external support, using the system’s openly published API (Application Programme Interface). Since then, Leekes estimates it has saved up to two hours planning time per day, which has allowed for additional deliveries to be scheduled and routes planned without extra resources. Leekes is confident Maxoptra will also facilitate improvements in customer service, with more accurate ETA notifications, shorter delivery windows and, in due course, an online delivery tracking service for customers.
“We are proud of our home delivery service and the feedback we receive tells us it is one of the reasons customers come back to us,” commented Simon Perrin, Distribution Manager at Leekes Ltd. “However, managing such a complex operation is time consuming, and as the company expands we needed to be able to increase the planning and delivery management function accordingly.”
Leekes currently operates a fleet of two-person Class 2 LGV vehicles from five regional operating centres. Delivering furniture, large home appliances and even complete kitchens, up to seven days a week to customers across the UK, Leekes is in the process of expanding its delivery service with a new regional operating centre coming online soon.
“Prior to the implementation of Maxoptra, the scheduling and route planning task was predominantly manual and overwhelmingly paper based,” continued Perrin. “Maxoptra easily integrated with our sales order system so we can now automatically export addresses and calculate routes in a matter of minutes. The intuitive drag and drop functionality means we can adjust to incorporate local knowledge or changing requirements, and the automatic production of delivery manifests, in order, by vehicle, is a real eye opener.”
Stuart Brunger, Head of Business Development at Magenta Technology, added, “The feedback we have received is that Maxoptra was easy to implement, easy to use and, even at this early stage, is delivering tangible results, and we are looking forward to working with Leekes to build on these early successes.”