When the Covid-19 emerged, a local plant nursery was forced to quickly transition from a fully brick-and-mortar business model to online sales and deliveries. The initial travel restrictions and regulations placed on businesses heavily affected the nursery and a routing software was what they needed for an efficient delivery management system.
The shift to e-commerce
Founded in 2016, our client is a local plant boutique that boasts a myriad of indoor plants. They offer a wide variety of planters and pots, and their retail outlet also carries over a dozen varieties of houseplants. As their outlet is nicely situated near many cafes, they were especially popular with the weekend crowd. But as the pandemic arrived, the nursery could no longer rely on foot traffic to sustain their business. As with any retail operation, they had to shift to online sales to survive.
Managing routes was a problem for the nursery business as they had no delivery management system in place after getting their drivers on-board.
Fulfilling online delivery orders manually was taking a toll on our small team and we had more demand than expected after launching our online store.” Amy, the nursery’s co-founder remarked.
Their entire delivery process was manual, and their drivers were using paper to mark down their delivery points. They struggled with the manual system that they whipped up in a haste before they decided to reach out to us for help in managing their routes, after hearing about uRoute from a mutual acquaintance.
She explained that his business needed a routing software to quickly create an efficient route for her drivers as it was taking her team two to three hours just trying to plan out their deliveries. Even with a fleet of only 3 vans, there were many complications due to the high volume of orders they were getting per day.
Concise information on the delivery jobs had to be timely prepared to effectively dispatch the drivers to perform deliveries. Many factors also had to be considered in planning, for instance, the location of the pick-up point to drop-off points, distance, time windows, vehicle capacity and even additional delivery remarks.
Free access to uRoute's functionalities
Luckily, their team was eligible for the promotional free trial for uRoute’s professional plan and got a whole year of free access to all our software features. As our software is fully customizable by the client themselves, they were able to kickstart their own development after a short live demo with our dedicated team of experts.
With an easy-to-use and clean web interface, Amy and her team was able to quickly improve their delivery management and they gained an edge over other plant nurseries that were also starting their e-commerce operations. Without the need to invest in additional equipment such as a car or van GPS tracker.
Our drivers found the app easy and useful as they can just use their phone to complete deliveries while following optimized routes.”
Compared to the manual process of tracking deliveries on paper, using the camera app to save a proof of delivery then getting the customer to sign on the delivery order, uRoute combines the entire process and digitalizes it, eliminating the need to use any paper. Every delivery job’s data is now centralized in one system and both the admin and driver can access the records of completed and ongoing jobs on the web and mobile app respectively.
No more manual work
Each day, there is little to no admin work for the team as our API Integration functionality enabled their e-commerce Shopify platform to directly feed the delivery orders to our system in just one click.
This generates the best route for their deliveries and auto-assigns them to their scheduled drivers based on their own assignment rules such as regions, location as well as capacity. In addition, there is also live tracking of the location via the driver app allowing them to see where their drivers are at any point in time.
Though the improving pandemic situation has tipped the balance of retail sales back up to 70%, Amy still plans to continue using uRoute to automate their delivery system for his e-commerce orders.
Are you running a small business that needs a route optimizer? Book a demo with us today!