Home distribution (of gas or any other product) is hard, heavy work with a large customer relationship component. Surely you have wondered if there is a smarter way to manage your day to day while maintaining full control.
On this page we will explain how Prio Energy not only managed to increase delivery productivity by more than 26%, nor save more than 25% in delivery costs, nor increase customer satisfaction to almost 100%.
But how you can also get it.
Prio Energy is an energy company that distributes bottled gas to homes with delivery throughout Portugal. Its operations focus on planning daily deliveries based on orders (and last-minute emergencies). They have a person responsible for organizing the routes and a team of delivery men who deliver to the homes of private clients and companies.
“We were able to save over 25.6% on distribution costs and get it up and running in 24 hours”
An operational need
Hundreds of deliveries every day create stress, errors, service complaints, extra trips and if you add staff turnover, you lose all accumulated experience and the assurance that there would be no problems with deliveries.
Surely some of these problems are familiar to you. You are not the only one. The first step in solving a problem is accepting that you have a problem and then setting goals to solve or minimize those problems.
These are the objectives that Prio Energy set to solve the challenges they had in home distribution
- Efficient management of existing resources
- Productivity increase by more than 10%
- Savings in fuel and CO2 emissions of more than 25%
- Standardisation of operational processes
- Increase customer satisfaction
The result of a good process
The most complicated moment of any tool is the start-up. “All” tools achieve the same goal, but the challenge is the energy and time required to achieve the same result. You can make fire with 2 stones or a lighter. How long will it take to achieve your goal?
Prio Energy tested different solutions and SmartMonkey Planner was the only solution that took them to deploy the solution in production in less than 24 hours after a single product demonstration.
That was the key to Prio’s success. The ease in adopting technology in your route planning team, delivery people and final customer. So easy that if Rui, Operations Manager, was on vacation, anyone could plan routes with the same level of efficiency and quality of customer service as if they hired a new delivery driver.
Look at the results they got (in just 24 hours):
The reality of going live
Is one of the largest distributors of home bottled gas and the largest producer of biofuels in Portugal. Thanks to the quality of the products and services offered by Prio Energy, it has consolidated its position as one of the most successful companies in the portuguese energy sector. As a result, it is showing unstoppable growth, expanding its supply to more than 250 service stations and reaching the figure of several million units of bottled gas sold per year.
The story behind the project
Large companies always have the resources to innovate. Prio in its Prio JumpStart program analyzes the best solutions for the company’s different challenges in the market. Long processes of analysis, testing and validation of solutions. They have a lot at stake, any change in a large company is difficult and tedious.
In small companies they simply try, like it and implement the solution in a few days. Everything depends on the desire to improve, offer a better service and have greater control of deliveries. Time, technology and investment are no longer the critical factors.
The operations manager, Rui, had clearly identified some challenges in his operations. For example: route planning could take more than 45 minutes a day, training new delivery men could take weeks or even months if they did not know the area, as well as total dependence on the operations manager, with the stress and risk that involved, among other challenges they had identified.
Innovation always carries an associated risk. That’s why there are trial periods. Test without commitment if something can work. That is how, after a demonstration to the operations team, the next day they were able to plan the routes efficiently, deploy the application to all their delivery men and have them start confirming the deliveries. 1 hour of demo and 24 hours later they had the system running in production without any help. Luck? Perhaps they simply exported their ERP deliverables in Excel format and were up and running.
With a little more time, they began to use advanced functionalities such as the multimodal system (of routes with hazardous materials), communication with customers, with which customer satisfaction could be measured and if the implementation of the tool had improved the service.
The conclusion is that customers had noticed an improvement in service, greater punctuality, greater convenience in delivery and a way to congratulate the drivers who did their job well. The same in those situations where any problem arose, they could report easily and without filters.
Every innovation project requires validating the results and after more than 5 months in production we were able to analyze the performance in detail. We compared performance to previous years and were able to give assurance that the improvements were very significant. The opinion of the managers and distributors was that there were many other improvements that made their day to day much easier.
The company: enthusiastic about the results. Direct savings of 25% of the cost per delivery, more satisfied workers, lower operational risk. In short, a success for all.
- Investment in route planning was time-consuming on a daily basis
- Process of training new drivers was slow (weeks, even months)
- Time it took for drivers to plan their route
- Lack of communication with customers
- Difficulties in measuring customer satisfaction
- Operational risk because of dependence on more experienced staff
- High toll costs
- Fast and automated route planning
- Standardised processes for planning and tracking of deliveries
- Direct communication with ETA customers
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Increase of 19.24% in delivery rate per hour
- Reduction of 26.6% in fuel and CO2 emissions
- Savings of 194% on tolls (5.000€ annual tolls)
Results and goals achieved
SmartMonkey carried out an exhaustive study on the impact on the logistics operations of one of Prio Energy’s distributors. The objective was to measure the real impact on operations once Planner had been implemented by means of a study of the return on investment (ROI). The ROI results were conclusive:
1. Savings of 25.6% of the cost per delivery (Savings of 0.86€/delivery)
2. Savings of more than 17% on fuel (5,500 litres of diesel annually)
3. Savings of more than 37.000Km per year
4. Savings of 194% on tolls (5.000€ annual tolls)
5. 16% increase in deliveries made (Increase of 2 deliveries/vehicle/day)
6. Increase in customer satisfaction to 4.93/5
7. Reduction of environmental impact by 26.6% (10 TCO2eq)
8. Standardisation of the delivery process
9. Reduction of operational risk on the part of the distribution manager
10. Reduction of training time for new delivery drivers
11. Optimisation and efficient management of existing resources
With SmartMonkey optimize your routes in seconds
Optimize your route planning proces in one step only. Unify the procedure and make your operations more effective. So flexible you can change your whole planning at any time. You will have all your planning under control with a high degree of detail, like you never experienced before. Also, reduce up to 30% your business carbon footprint.
Add all your business contraints
Include all the restrictions you need for the optimal functioning of the operation. With Planner you can take into account the number of maximum stops to be made per route, the autonomy of your electric vehicle, the maximum volume to be reached or even the time windows in which to do the visit. Easy to define, modify or change in 1 click.
Notifiy your customers when you will arrive
Avoid fail deliveries and notify your customers when their stop is near. You can also give the client a real time follow up of the route.
Measure your customers satisfaction (without filters)
Receive reviews and comments of the visit from your patients. Directly, without filters. You will also be able to know the opinion of the teams and thus reduce staff turnover. Get daily reports of the most important KPIs of your business.