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With the Swiss online supermarket coop@home, customers can have goods delivered on the day of the order – reliable to within the hour. This service is supported by a route planning solution from Wanko and the navigation solution from infoware.
Delivery services are booming – not only for pizza. More than every fourth German has already ordered groceries to be delivered once. Every second person between the ages of 18 and 69 can basically imagine ordering groceries to be delivered. The condition for it to work is timely delivery – because who wants to wait hours for goods from the supermarket?
Extremely high delivery reliability can be a competitive advantage. The best example of this is the Swiss online supermarket coop@home. New order processing was introduced in 2013 and since then sales and customer numbers of the Coop subsidiary have enjoyed significantly faster growth than the market. No wonder, because the service speaks for itself: customers choose from up to 30 delivery times in the following ten days during the online ordering process. There are times to choose from daily in the morning, afternoon and evening. Goods are delivered from 8 am to 10 pm. And delivery is reliable and to the hour – often still on the same day.
Per day, 3,500 customers are supplied with goods from the dry, fresh and frozen assortment of the two Swiss logistics centres in Spreitenbach and Bussigny. No easy task for central dispatch and driver.
Permanent dynamic optimisation
Working hard behind the scenes is the fully automatic dynamic route optimisation software solution Pracar from the software provider Wanko – and the MapTrip navigation solution from infoware. “We have moved away from our previous concept of fixed routes and, despite the extremely short-term planning, have obtained optimal results with very high utilisation rates of all trucks,” reported coop@home CEO Philippe Huwyler. “For us, it was clear from the beginning that we could only implement reliable delivery to the hour on the day of the order with dynamic route planning.”
The solution implements dynamic route optimisation for the individual routes and trucks. Fixed routes and zones for the around 130 delivery vehicles do not exist in this concept. Instead, routes are dynamically assigned to new orders received during the day. The route planning server directly checks the implications or feasibility of every desired delivery time while the customer is still busy placing the order. As more orders are received, other routes are opened. But information is also regularly exchanged between the individual routes, so that new optimal routes are continuously created. The built-in weight control prevents the overloading of vehicles.
Integrated navigation for 150 routes daily
The approximately 150 routes per day are transmitted to the two warehouses two hours before the order deadline to allow the order picking to start with enough time to spare. But even after the order picking has started, more orders are always received in the background. This may necessitate moving orders from one route to another. In this case Pracar automatically checks whether the change is worthwhile. Dispatchers can intervene in the process at any time and set their own priorities.
The driver navigates according to the instructions given by MapTrip. The infoware solution provides drivers with peace of mind on their route. They are safely guided by the map and voice announcements. Navigation is almost self-explanatory and so flexible that a route change is implemented in no time. Other features contribute to making driving easier: the MapTrip navigation solution calculates routes in the inner city, for example, so that they can be followed as easily as possible yet fast too. Direction changes are limited to a minimum, but without including detours to achieve this. Road traffic restrictions are taken into account: for example, prohibited entry for trucks, a pedestrian zone or a “residents only” street.
To the driver, the seamless integration of MapTrip in Pracar and the Prabord telematics solution looks like a single application – by pressing a button the route management solution switches to navigation and guides the driver to the next destination. Planning is enhanced and the driver can also find his way in unknown areas, without having to manually type in destinations, thus reducing the potential for error. And the dispatchers at coop@home are always up to speed about the current status. By selecting a specific delivery area they can view the current status of all routes on a map. “If one of the dispatchers identifies potential for further optimisation, he can intervene manually at any time and complete the respective route,” said Huwyler.
The routes are viewed at the latest after the order acceptance deadline and loading is released. A monitor displays the utilisation and number of orders and vehicles of the next day for every respective day and area. The final routes are then transmitted to the SAP ERP system. On completion of the order the routes are transmitted to the mobile on-board computer via GPRS and so to MapTrip.
Customers are “thrilled by the convenient ordering process and the reliability of the delivery service,” according to Huwyler. They find the short waiting times within the specified time window a particularly positive aspect. This makes it ideal, especially for professionals and workers, to optimally plan the delivery times of their goods. But the best though is that, apart from the delivery fee, there are no additional costs for the convenience and the time saved – the prices do not differ from those at the branches. Excellent preconditions for market share and sales of coop@home to continue to grow.
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