How Monitoring Cases Per Hour Can Help Improve Delivery Efficiency
Every distribution company on earth wants to improve its delivery efficiency. But as the old business saying goes, what gets measured gets done. Unfortunately, most distributors struggle to measure how efficiently they’re serving their accounts.
They know which customers are buying the most cases of a product. They have a general idea of which customers make it easy to complete deliveries and which ones don’t. But they can’t quite tie all that data together to determine how best to deploy their drivers for greater profitability.
Gridline Last Mile solves this problem by providing a comprehensive view of delivery efficiency. Stakeholders from distribution companies can easily see their cases per hour (or the equivalent) and then plan routes in ways that will improve their performance against this all-important metric.
Get a Bird’s-Eye View of Driver Performance
With Gridline Last Mile, stakeholders can view and analyze their delivery efficiency from one account to the next to answer questions about driver performance, both good and bad. Suppose XYZ Distribution’s largest customer by volume is Joe’s Grocery. XYZ can pull up Joe’s account to review metrics such as:
- Planned versus actual number of deliveries
- Delivery frequency
- Average volume per delivery
- Total labor spent on deliveries
- Variance in delivery times by day of the week
- Planned versus actual volume
Having data points like these can inform any distribution company’s analysis—but it’s only a starting point. From there XYZ can drill down to see deliveries that fall outside the norm. Suppose all Wednesday deliveries at Joe’s Grocery took 20 minutes longer than on any other day of the week. XYZ can try to determine whether Joe’s loading dock is simply busier on Wednesdays and consider moving its deliveries to another day. Or XYZ may discover that a different driver makes those deliveries because the usual driver for this account has Wednesdays off. XYZ’s managers can then work with that driver to help them increase their efficiency.
Using up to three years’ worth of rich data within Gridline Last Mile, XYZ can finally measure individual drivers based on their productivity. This can also help plan for situations such as increases in orders for the holidays, school being back in session, or other similar seasonal variances. In the end, being able to monitor each driver’s cases per hour is essential to delivery efficiency. After all, selling more product is a matter of each driver working as quickly as possible to transport cases from the truck into the customer’s stock room or warehouse so that they can get back on the road and serve another customer. With Gridline, a clock starts when a driver arrives at a customer location and stops when they leave.
Identify Your Best and Worst Customers
One of the biggest advantages of using Gridline for measuring delivery efficiency is that you can feed your data back into your route planning solution to enhance your planning. Suppose XYZ discovers that although it was striving for its drivers to deliver 60 cases per hour, they’re only delivering 45. As we mentioned, it may be possible to coach drivers towards greater efficiency in some situations. But if the delivery rate has maxed out at 45, XYZ knows to plan more time between stops on its routes.
This works both ways. XYZ may discover that although it had planned two hours for deliveries at one of its largest accounts, drivers typically finish in just one hour. That’s another hour that can go back into the route plan and be “spent” on others.
By revealing the hidden factors that can drag down delivery efficiency, Gridline Last Mile helps distributors identify their best and worst customers so they can make strategic decisions about which accounts to serve and how to serve them. For example, XYZ may see that at Steve’s QuikMart, deliveries take 90 minutes—and discover that it’s making four deliveries there per week. To make matters worse, perhaps Steve’s QuikMart is only buying five cases at a time. Meanwhile, other accounts are buying 30 cases per delivery and only taking two deliveries per week—and XYZ’s drivers can get in and out in under one hour. Armed with this information, XYZ may very well decide that it no longer makes financial sense to continue serving Steve’s QuikMart or change the way they service them.
Want to Know More About Delivery Efficiency?
When you gain new insights into your fleet’s delivery efficiency, you can deploy your drivers in ways that delight your customers—and improve your bottom line. But again, it’s impossible to make these kinds of decisions based on guesswork.