Solopress is a full colour, 24 hour, fast turnaround printers that employ a team of 96 people and a fleet of vehicles to support the 55,000 customers they supply. They recently adopted Direct Route software to plan their delivery routes and job scheduling more effectively.
Adam Wilson-Bowen, Operations Manager of Solopress comments: "We use a combination of our own vehicles and carriers for deliveries. The strategy of allocating drivers was always very approximate and about 60% of enquiries each day were from customers asking what time their orders would arrive. As our customer base is growing rapidly we were keen to improve the service to our customers and save time and money.
"We arranged an extended trial of Direct Route from AutoLogic Systems which gave us the ideal opportunity to see how things could be improved and if the investment would be worthwhile.
"The many ways in which Direct Route can be used is amazing."
Solopress is integrating their print scheduling with the Direct Route software to optimise delivery times to customers. Every night, all customer orders are downloaded from the Solopress order management system and Direct Route automatically produces a report of the vehicle routes and the sequence for those orders to be delivered the next day. Direct Route also determines whether a Solopress vehicle or external carrier should make the delivery to ensure fast delivery and that costs are kept to an absolute minimum. It also takes into account factors such as similar print runs, timed deliveries and other special requirements so that the presses can still work efficiently.
Once the routing has been completed which now takes only a fraction of the time than before, the routes are uploaded back to the order management system. This is all completed in time for the jobs to be labelled and loaded in the optimal sequence for the vehicles as they are taken from the presses.
Solopress are also automatically uploading the delivery schedules from Direct Route to a live tracking system so their customers can obtain precise information on where their order is and what time it will be received.
Adam adds: "Because we are delivering orders so much more efficiently, our orders are getting there before 5pm where as before some of our deliveries were getting there much later. Our vehicles return earlier and we can start loading earlier as we know exactly how the orders are to be delivered in advance.
"Our planning time has also been dramatically reduced and a process that used to require a huge amount of effort has been greatly simplified thanks to Direct Route.
"The support we received from AutoLogic throughout the process has been second to none and they have been fully committed to working with us to get the vehicle routing system up and running within very short timescales."