With the costs associated with distribution climbing at an alarming rate, GrowthBusiness discovers some nifty ways to lessen the impact.
The price of petrol has reached record highs and, as a result, businesses are faced with soaring costs when it comes to delivery.
Cleaning company Zenith Hygiene Group is one business that has taken control of the situation and implemented a system that allows it to lower costs while improving efficiency.
The company’s network of 119 vehicles carries out in excess of 1,000 deliveries a day. It installed navigation and fuel monitoring devices across its large fleet last year and the investment has already paid off. Within six months, Zenith saved £10,000 in fuel costs, according to figures from the devices’ creator TomTom. Zenith operations director Michael Raynor comments, ‘We have increased our customers and increased our miles but we have actually decreased fuel costs since we installed the devices.’
Printing company Solopress also felt the pinch when it came to fuel costs and has adopted Direct Route software that plans its delivery routes and scheduling more efficiently.
Operations manager Adam Wilson-Bowen says the software has improved the company’s service to its customers, as well as saving money. ‘Because we are delivering orders so much more efficiently, our orders are getting there before 5pm, whereas previously some 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.’
For Raynor, too, there have been benefits beyond the cost cutting. ‘Customers are happier, and it helps us when bidding for new contracts as we can show customers our carbon footprint and how we are lowering it.’
For those still unconvinced of the benefits, Wilson-Bowen advises following Solopress’s lead and requesting a trial period. ‘We arranged an extended trial from AutoLogic Systems, which gave us the ideal opportunity to see how things could be improved and if the investment would be worthwhile.’
Raynor adds that Zenith used a return-on-investment calculator before installation to gather a ‘pretty good idea’ in advance of what the cost savings would be.