Read our Case Studies
“So fresh it’s famous!” It’s a well known slogan, long proclaimed in the advertising of the Co. Longford based bakery – Pat the Baker. Freshness is not just a slogan at Pat the Baker, it is central to the way the firm does business. This is backed up by the numerous awards for excellence that hang on the walls of its Granard headquarters. However, in the fifty odd years since its foundation the company has expanded hugely and achieved nationwide distribution with depots in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Kilkenny, Galway, Donegal and Kerry, so maintaining that vital freshness became more difficult as the business expanded. Click here to view the Pat the Baker website.
“OutTrak allows us to monitor our delivery process in near real time, minimising the paper work, giving accurate information to our customers and reducing our cost to deliver. There is absolutely no way we could ever return to a manual process.” -Mary Farrell, Financial Controller, Pat the Baker.
“I would highly recommend that if you are in the distribution business that you investigate the possibility of automating/mobilising your current system. You can be sure that your competition is!” -Gerry Mulkeen IT Manager, Pat the Baker.
Challenges for Pat the Baker before OutTrak
Pat the Baker faced a logistical challenge managing stock with a large distributor/sales force handling up to 60 transactions per day each. In addition, each distributor/sales person had to ensure that the sales outlets had the correct amount of fresh bread on the shelf, remove and replace out of date product and take into account particular peak demands such as holidays. A very tight audit trail of all stock movements was required to make sure that the right products are with the right sales person at the right time.
One of the biggest challenges sales personnel faced was reconciling all transactions at the end of the day. Typically it took an hour to collate their day’s data, including stock control, receipt cash etc. Management concluded that this ‘dead’ time spent on paperwork could, with the help of technology, be more productively used to achieve increased sales.
The Solution: Implementing OutTrak
Having examined the requirements of Pat the Baker, the DreamTec team designed a software solution to address the bakery’s distribution requirements. The package was designed to specifically address the problems the bakery was having with its delivery process. The Initial deployment used TouchPC handheld devices and GSM communications. As the implementation went ahead new issues and new functionality were required to improve the initial design and add further value.
Since the initial implementation of OutTrak in 1999, the system has evolved and an updated version of the software has been installed throughout the entire sales force using Motorola MC75 handheld devices. This latest deployment takes full advantage of GPRS technology from 02. This technology allows Pat the Baker to have secure multiple dial in/out sessions with the sales force and, because they are charged by the file size and not by the minute, there are great savings to be made on the company’s mobile billing.
Benefits for Pat the Baker:
No paper input. Everything is done electronically
Stock control greatly improved
Cash flow improved
Customers responded to more quickly
More sales calls made every day by salesmen
Flexible customer billing
Tracking of bread trays
If you are in the bakery industry and are finding paperwork a challenge maybe we can help?
Call us on +353 1 2570400 or e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our software.
Purity bakery was established in 1920 in the Bahamas. The bakery produces a range of everyday baked goods and prides itself on the freshness of its produce. The bakery is famous for its bacardi rum cake, which is regarded by locals as an island delicacy. The management team at Purity are constantly looking for ways to improve the operations of the business and their customer service. Purity have been using OutTrak since 2012.
“OutTrak has transformed our delivery process; we have an accurate recording of all transactions and activities in the field, in real-time. Our drivers are spending more time with their customers and can do more calls, our service levels have substantially improved. Removing the paper mountain from the office has freed us up to do higher value more rewarding work for the business.” -Mr Knowles, Managing Director, Purity Bakery.
What were things like before OutTrak?
Historically, Purity drivers used multipart large A6 sheets that listed the products and prices, drivers would fill out the quantity ordered, multiply by the price and total the line and the docket. Customers would then sign and take the top copy; drivers would return the other copies to the office for further processing by office staff. These paper dockets created a number of challenges. Firstly, the sheets were full, so to add a new product meant that you had to remove another. This was not practical for a company that needs to grow its product range. Each product grouping had its own sheet, so drivers had three sheets to complete and for one customer delivery this could result in three invoices. This system meant that drivers were spending very valuable time reconciling routes, inventory and cash collected. With this system there was the risk of inaccuracies as well as large volumes of paperwork requiring extra administrative staff to process.
The challenge Purity was facing
Purity management knew that competing on price alone would not win them long term market share so their strategy was to stay focused on their award winning fresh product and their unique selling point, exceptional customer service. The bakers ensured freshness and the drivers delivered the exceptional service so improving efficiency and accuracy was paramount. An empty shelf was their worst nightmare, one or two items left means they are delivering to the customer’s ideal PEG number (just in time inventory exactly meeting the right demand and supply). This equates to the end customer getting the freshness they value and the shop owner maximising the shelf space.
When looking for the ideal solution Purity needed a system that could be integrated with their ERP system. Automating the mundane labour intensive processes and eliminating paper was crucial. As part of the engagement process we estimated that Purity were processing upwards of 50,000 pieces of paper per month. Handling and storing this amount of paper transactions has a huge impact on accuracy, storage, costs and retrieval.
The technical stuff
The Purity management team wanted to automate as much of the field based paper and labour intensive processes. This meant using technology on board their delivery vehicles. Once we were engaged by Purity we quickly established a mutual understanding with GlobalBake their ERP provider on how we could deliver real value to Purity together. We shared a file format exchange document and began to build version one of the systems that reflected the Purity functionality requirements. Most of the systems integration and software testing was done away from the Purity site and only after we were both happy did we deploy a working system to Purity.
The solution was deployed on Motorola MC 75’s and Datamax O Neills 4” printers. A local cell provider supplied the data Simms so all filed based activity is reported in real-time to a networkable dashboard in head office. There is no limit to the number of users that canview the OutTrak dashboard at head office so operations, sales, accounts, management can all get access to the data as it happens in real time.
How does OutTrak work in practice?
For the driver the day starts by downloading, to the Motorola handheld device, the route for that day and any inventory needed. Once the inventory is loaded and signed for the driver is ready for the first delivery. At the customer site the driver takes stock of what stock is on the shelf and any returns are removed. The driver can then check the customer history to see the last three orders or input a new order. On the device screen he shares the suggested order with the customer, makes the delivery and capturers the signature. On some occasions he may take a payment or collect a cheque for the account. Once he hits "order complete" on the Motorola handheld the device begins to communicate with the dashboard in headquarters and sends all transaction details to the accounts package at the click of a button. While it is in contact with the office it will download any new orders or instructions that may have come in during the day.
Through the online dashboard office staff will see that the driver has completed a delivery and it will give a summary of the details and a copy of the signed proof of delivery in PDF format. This PDF can be redistributed to a customer or at a future date should they require a copy of the POD for payment purposes. Office staff can also send new deliveries to the drivers handheld throughout the day.
What does Purity think of OutTrak?
The team in Purity have identified six key benefits of the OutTrak system:
Drivers have no paperwork and minimum reconciliation time.
There is a considerable amount of time saved at the point of delivery and at the bakery.
Accurate invoicing at point of delivery.
Improved forecasting which is a key performance indicator.
Better cash/stock management- less credit notes improved debtor days.
There is no filing required and the signed POD’s easy to recall and store online.
If you have a bakery and are finding paperwork a challenge maybe we can help? Call us on +353 1 2570400 or e-mail email@example.com
Lee Strand is an Irish co-operative society owned by its farmer shareholders and employs over 100 people across the various business units. Lee Strand's main activity is the processing and distribution of liquid milk in the Kerry and West Limerick region. The business was established in 1920 and operated its creamery and production centre in Church Street in the heart of Tralee, County Kerry. In 1992 Lee Strand re-located to its new custom designed production premises on a 10 acre site at Ballymullen, Tralee.
In recent years Lee Strand has diversified into the property market and owns and operates a multi-story car park in Maine Street, Tralee and the Tralee Town Centre Apartments. Lee Strand also built Centre Point in Tralee, which includes commercial and retail units, penthouse suites and a 250 space car park. Browne's Steel, Agri & Builders Supplies in Castleisland, County Kerry is also part of the Lee Strand portfolio. The company recently developed a wind farm which has 16 turbines. The wind farm is located just outside the town. Click here to view the Lee Strand website.
“OutTrak gives us real time information on what exactly is happening in the field. There are less accounts discrepancies, less paper and less admin work.” –John Sayers, Accounts and IT.
Challenges for Lee Strand before installing OutTrak
Prior to installing OutTrak Lee Strand did have a mobile system but it wasn’t functioning effectively to meet the business needs. The old system didn’t have a signature capture function, barcode scanning capability or an online dashboard. The hardware used with this system was not designed to suit the needs of busy drivers. With this old system the driver had to use a large office printer in the cab. This printer required a router, power router, and ink cartridge. These printers caused problems with maintenance and cartridges did burst in the cab from time to time.
Another issue with this system was that the barcode would be printed on the docket but the handheld was unable to scan the barcode. At the end of the day each docket had to be brought back to the office, scanned in and uploaded to the accounts package. The lack of communication between the accounts system and the handheld system meant fixing discrepancies became very time consuming.
Without the online dashboard the office team had no visibility over deliveries. It was not possible to review the status of the order or deliveries completed throughout the day. Another major challenge for Lee Strand before OutTrak was visibility over remote drivers. With the old system every driver had to come back to the office at the end of the day. This meant that employing remote drivers was simply not possible.
The Solution: Investing in OutTrak
Having examined the requirements of Lee Strand, the DreamTec team designed a software solution to address the shortcomings of their previous mobile system. The package was tailored to specifically address the problems the business was having with its delivery process and improve the efficiency of the entire system.
Lee Strand installed the OutTrak handheld software throughout its fleet in 2013. OutTrak was integrated with their CORE accounts software. The DreamTec team worked with CORE to design an interface that would connect the handheld system to the accounts package.
The Motorola MC75 mobile device was chosen for Lee Strand. This hardware is rugged, allows for signature capture and has barcode scanning capabilities. A lightweight 4 inch O’Neills thermal printer was also selected to address the issues the larger printers were creating in the cab. This model of mobile printer is light enough for the drivers to carry with them on to the customer site and they have Bluetooth so they do not need to be left in the cab.
Benefits for Lee Strand
Real time visibility over the fleet
The office team now have full visibility over all deliveries through the OutTrak online dashboard. They can see what is happening in the field in real time.
Paperwork has been eliminated from the delivery process
Paperwork and administrative tasks are now considerably reduced. Prior to installing OutTrak queried dockets were very difficult to locate. If a delivery docket is queried the team can now find a PDF copy of the docket quickly online.
The team can now continue to expand the business by employing remote workers. They can now cover a larger area and have full visibility over workers who are not coming back to headquarters at the end of the day.
After installing OutTrak the accounts team found that there were less accounts discrepancies. They no longer difficulty reconciling the accounts.
If you are interested in learning more about the OutTrak handheld system please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The name Tedcastle McCormack has been synonymous with trade and progress for a period spanning over two centuries. The original company was founded in 1800 by Robert Tedcastle to import and distribute coal in Dublin. Today the Tedcastle Group of companies include TOP – one of Ireland's leading fuel importers and distributors, TOP Kelly Fuels – a leading oil and coal importer and distributor in Northern Ireland. Today they operate 107 delivery vehicles across 22 depots throughout Ireland. Clickhere to view their website.
“There are so many benefits to installing the i-Meter system; Electronic meter integration. Data is available in real-time. Management and monitoring of stock movements, vehicles and drivers. Meaningful reporting on depot and driver performance. Easy excel export for further analysis. No IT investment as this is a hosted solution. An open and transparent audit trail for every pump and transaction”. –Seamus McGovern, ICT Manager, TOP Oil.
The Fuel Distribution Challenge
With this spread of depots and trucks over a large geography it was difficult for head office to get an accurate handle on field activity. Waiting on tickets to return from drivers could take a couple of days and if any transaction required further analysis the lapse of time made reconciliation difficult and time consuming. Same day deliveries, overtime costs and the varying performance of drivers all needed another level of monitoring and management to deliver an exceptional service to customers.
TOP Oil began by piloting a remote depot of 8 trucks all with LectroCount Electronic Flow Meters. In a matter of days the i-Meter system was up and running and the vehicles were visible on the online dashboard viewer. The i-Meter map feature showed each truck moving in real time. The online dashboard was accessible at the head office and at a local level. Very quickly team members could see that the i-Meter was measuring and recording information that was difficult or impossible to access in the past. Management learnt new things about how the business worked, gaining a better understanding of individual driver performance. They found a big variance in drivers “first order” delivery times and took immediate action to eliminate non-productive activity that was slowing drivers down in the morning.
After a month they could see the value of having all of the fleet equipped with this low cost tracking tool. However, they still had one big problem, 26 of the vehicles still had mechanical meters. The management team considered the value of having complete transparency over all depots, drivers and transactions. They concluded that i-Meter needed to be installed on all the vehicles. The the value of the goods the drivers were shipping meant that it only took a few transactions to go astray for this investment to pay for itself. The remaining 26 vehicles were upgraded from mechanical to to electronic immediately.
Key Benefits of i-Meter
Besides the obvious operating benefits of seeing the vehicle/driver activity in real-time possibly the biggest impact has come from using the data to analyse business performance. After making the investment in a further 26 electronic flow meters, using i-Meter adds considerable value to that investment and provides a different view of the business that ERP software just can’t deliver. At the heart of the distribution business is the delivery performance of the drivers; it is the key activity, the one with the biggest impact on revenue and profits. Capturing accurate calibrated data on truck start times, first delivery time, last delivery time, distance travelled, transactions completed are the key performance indicators for the heating oil distribution industry. Having this accurate information at the click of a mouse means the team can make better business decisions using fact based evidence.
With the CSV export functionality the accounts team can compare depots and drivers, add in sales data to give a complete financial picture. Looking at what the productive drivers are doing and coaching others to improve, management can quickly measure that improvement and feedback the results. Having the right number of trucks at the right location to match the order flow is now very transparent and the business can react to market changes in days. As a result of this valuable data the team can free up capacity to deliver and move into new geographies. The i-Meter installation has resulted in more deliveries per day, less mileage on average, less idling and reduced overtime helping the management team to keep drivers focused on the task while the company makes money on delivering fuel.
Centenary Thurles is a farmer owned co-operative society that has been in existence since 1898. In 2005 Centenary merged with Thurles co-op and the business grew. Centenary now operates under four divisions; agri, dairy, home and garden with seven shop outlets in Tipperary. Centenary have been using the OutTrak system to manage its milk distribution since 2011. This system replaced the outdated paper based system that was previously in operation.
“What OutTrak gave us was accuracy in stock, dates and cash control. It’s reliable and won’t go wrong” “The customer service is excellent. There is always someone at the other end of the phone to offer a quick fix” –James Casey, Operations Manager.
The challenges before OutTrak
Prior to using OutTrak in 2011 there were considerable challenges for Centenary in terms of the amount of paperwork the milk delivery system was generating. Before moving to an electronic system each driver would use paper based dockets to record deliveries. At the end of the day the drivers would all arrive back in the depot at the same time. They could not leave for the day until the dockets had been collected and manually added to the system by the administrative staff. This was to ensure that there were no discrepancies with any of the dockets.
This paper based system wasted a lot of time for the drivers and also resulted in a lot of discrepancies which caused problem for the accounts team. The system became a problem if someone rang looking for a receipt from a previous delivery. Often it was difficult to locate old order dockets. When Dunnes Stores asked Centenary to provide printed dockets at delivery they knew they needed to move to an electronic system.
The solution: implementing OutTrak
Centenary decided to move to an electronic system in 2011. They wanted to eliminate discrepancies and increase driver efficiency. OutTrak was installed and integrated with their CORE back office system. The OutTrak handheld system has greatly increased the efficiency of the drivers and the administrative staff as well as improving the accuracy of accounts. They now have full visibility over all deliveries and now have less accounts discrepancies.
Using their new system routes (a list of retail outlets/customers) are set up in the CORE accounts software so when the driver logs on first thing in the morning he is asked to select his route for that day. Once the route is selected it will down load all the outlets to be visited. When the driver gets to the first outlet he will select it and the account details will appear, name, address etc. The driver can also view account balance and any special notes attached to that customer. The driver can select account history to see previous orders or can select regular order. This will populate the handheld order screen and the driver can amend as necessary or just select and deliver. While he is building the order at the van he can print out the delivery ticket for the customer, he returns to the shop giving the customer the paper delivery docket and invites them to sign the screen. Once the signature is captured the order is completed and the driver moves on to the next delivery. In the background once the driver has hit complete, the handheld sends all the transaction details back to the OutTrak online dashboard and the CORE sales ledger and a signed copy of the POD is delivered to the dashboard for storage and retrieval. At the end of the shift the driver completes an “End of Day” signing off on all stock movements, sales made and cash collected. This signed document comes back as a PDF to the dashboard and the handheld screen returns to log in and is set for the next days orders.
Centenary identified OutTrak's key benefits:
The speed at which deliveries can be carried out
Increased productivity for administrative staff after eliminating the need to type docket information in manually
There are less discrepancies in the accounts and the accounting process is more transparent and accurate
The OutTrak online dashboard is very functional and allows office staff to see where the driver is and what they have delivered
The driver now knows before handing in the dockets and unloading their round if there is a discrepancy with the stock
If you are in the dairy industry and are finding paperwork a challenge maybe we can help? Call us on +353 1 2570400 or e-mail email@example.com
Established in 1980 by Leo and Martin Walsh, Delicatessen Meat Supplies has grown to become a recognised leading provider of Quality Delicatessen Supplies to the Retail, Catering and Food Service Sectors. Through their dedicated team of 30 staff, their objective is to provide their customers with the best products and best customer service for their business. Delicatessen Meat Supplies operates from a 25000sq.ft in West Dublin. Click here to visit the Deli Meat Supplies website.
"OutTrak significantly increased our workers productivity and helped make substantial financial savings throughout the organisation” -Sean Casey, Operations manager, Deli Meat Supplies.
The challenges for Deli Meat before OutTrak
Previously Deli Meat processed customer orders in a traditional paper based way using docket books. Drivers went out with a docket book each day and filled in the quantities in the docket book and new products were hand written onto the docket. This process created further work for the office staff as all the order information then had to be keyed into the accounts system at the end of each day.
Any orders that the drivers took out on the road would have to be phoned in to the office, where the office staff would then write these down on a paper docket and then hand them into the stores to create a picking list. The paper based system was inefficient and created a huge amount of paperwork which led to inaccuracies. With this system it was hard to keep track of stock. Another problem with this system was that old order dockets could not be easily located if they were queried by a customer.
The solution: Implementing OutTrak
Today Deli Meat have advanced the way in which they process their orders by using the OutTrak handheld system. The system allows Deli Meat drivers to send in orders during the day to Deli stores and auto generate a picking list for each van. The OutTrak system has allowed Deli Meat drivers to carry out invoicing on the road, print A4 dockets using the bluetooth printer and generate picking lists instantly for the store manager in the warehouse and also allowing sales staffs view each shop history. The OutTrak online dashboard viewer gives office staff have real-time visibility over stock and orders in the field and this helps staffs know the level of stock each van should contain.
At the point of delivery all orders are processed on the handheld computer and the customer is invited to sign the screen. The customer is presented with an accurate printed delivery invoice and, within one minute an exact electronic PDF copy is sent back to the dashboard as a POD. These are stored electronically in conjunction with the invoice in the back office system for further distribution or recall. So on a daily basis Deli Meat management have all delivery information back in the sales ledger ready for posting; eliminating any administration errors which allows them to get the invoices out quicker.
The benefits of OutTrak
Deli Meat has been able to carry out their orders using an automated process powered by the OutTrak system and thereby eliminating paperwork. The system allows drivers have an electronic signed POD of every Sale, Return and Credit note. The accounts package is automatically updated so there is no manual processing. Every stock item that leaves the van at point of sale is scanned in using the mobile handheld system. This gives Deli Meat full traceability over where every stock item has gone and also has an immediate response if ever a product recall is needed.
Implementing the OutTrak system, Deli Meat have been able to increase the delivery capacity of its van fleet by 22% and also reduce the time it took to receive payment from five days to three days by giving documentation at the point of delivery.
If you are finding paperwork a challenge maybe we can help? Call us on +353 1 2570400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about our software.
Johnston Fuels are a second generation family business based in Bathgate, West Lothian. The company distributes oil, kerosene and LPG throughout Scotland and England. Jimmy Johnston founded the business in 1965 and his son Sam now runs it. Jimmy started with one tanker and a small yard in Bathgate, West Lothian and steadily grew the business over the years. In the late 1980’s Jimmy expanded the business and bought three other oil companies, two in Dundee and one in St Boswells. In 2007 he set up a depot in Aberdeen. In 2008 a depot was opened in Middleborough and a business in Gloucester. The business now employs 160 people and has 8 depots and is growing year on year. Click here to view their website.
“ i-Meter is a very scalable system. It doesn’t matter if you have 20 or 50 vehicles in the fleet. The tracking of the vehicles and GPS co-ordinates of the deliveries has allowed us to improve customer service and improve the efficiency of our routing.”
“Customer retention is number one. i-Meter allows us to differentiate ourselves from others with improved customer service”
–Geoff Russell, Finance Director, Johnston Fuels Ltd.
The challenges before i-Meter
In the early days of the business it wasn’t difficult to manage a small fleet of vehicles from the office. As the company expanded and more vehicles went on the road it was difficult to track the movements of each vehicle and the daily deliveries being completed.
The company encountered problems proving that a delivery had been completed in the case of absentee deliveries. Often people were not home when the delivery was made. If a customer disputed a particular delivery the business had no proof that it had actually been carried out if the customer had not signed for it.
Prior to installing i-Meter members of the customer service team were unable to answer basic customer queries about deliveries on the spot. Previously, if a customer was enquiring about the delivery time the office would need to call the driver, query it and then call the customer back. The office team had no way of tracking the vehicle or the progress of the order. This process was not efficient and created safety concerns for the driver as well as slowing down their productivity if they were getting regular calls from the office.
Another big problem for the company was visibility over stock levels. Prior to installing i-Meter the office had no way of knowing exactly how much stock each vehicle was carrying until it arrived back to the depot at the end of the day. Without any tracking or stock control it was also very difficult for management to accurately measure the productivity of each driver as they had very little visibility over individual progress throughout the working day.
The solution: Installing i-Meter
In 2011 Johnston Fuels installed the i-Meter system throughout their fleet. The i-Meter boxes were integrated with their TE550 and LC3 electronic meters in order to provide full tracking of the stock straight from the meter. The office team can now see where each vehicle is and track the movement of stock straight from the meter. The transport manager can now display the i-Meter map on a large screen in the office and monitor how the deliveries are progressing each day. The accounts team uses the i-Meter grid for stock control. The i-Meter system gives the company the vital proof that each delivery has been completed. If a customer queries a delivery the team can compare the GPS co-ordinates against the delivery in order to prove that the delivery was completed in that exact location.
Key benefits of i-Meter
As a result of installing i-Meter management now have increased visibility over the fleet. At any time the office knows the exact GPS co-ordinates of each vehicle and each delivery. Customer service within the company has improved greatly. The office team can now provide a more professional and proactive service. If a customer rings up enquiring about the estimated time of delivery their question can be quickly answered. The team can answer 99% of queries there and then with real time information. This type of visibility is vital in the company’s success. I-Meter has also resulted in improved driver productivity. The standard of driving has improved as the management team can now look at how long each delivery takes in order to assess the performance of each driver.
Thorntons Recycling are one of the most successful companies in Ireland's recycling industry recovering over 80% of the 250,000 tonnes of waste material processed annually. The company operates facilities in Dublin, Meath and Kildare. The company has invested in excess of €50m in state of the art facilities and sorting technologies with a view to recovering as much of the material it collects as possible. The company was founded in 1979 by Padraig and Carmel Thornton. Thorntons currently employ over 200 staff and operates a fleet of over 100 trucks.
“The OutTrak software does exactly what they said it would do, if not more,” – Conor Sunderland, Transport Manager, Thorntons Recycling.
The challenges Thorntons faced before OutTrak
Prior to using OutTrak Thorntons were using excessive amounts of paper in their day to day delivery of skips, exchanges or repositions. They went through a manual process of entering the Bin ID when the trucks arrived at the weigh bridge yard and drivers had to collect dockets for the next day deliveries from the office each morning. This process created a considerable amount of paperwork for the drivers and further work for the office to manually input the information when the driver had their route completed at the end of the day.
As well as being a waste of resources the paper based system was very inefficient from an accounts perspective. This system resulted in many discrepancies for the accounts team when docket information was added to the ERP system manually or if dockets were lost. Often when orders were queried by a customer it would be difficult to locate the original docket. If the original docket was lost there was no way of proving that the order had been carried out. Paper dockets proved extremely unreliable as proof of delivery as storing them was difficult.
From an operations perspective it was difficult to keep track of vehicles and drivers as there was no online system for tracking their deliveries throughout the day. This meant that the office would be unaware of orders that had not been completed until the driver returned to the depot.
The solution: Implementing OutTrak
In recent years Thorntons have implemented the OutTrak handheld system which has helped the company allocate jobs easily to their drivers. The OutTrak Dashboard Viewer (ODV) has also been of huge benefit to the office staff, whereby they have real-time visibility over the jobs assigned to drivers in the field. The visibility and transparency that Thorntons now have through the OutTrak dashboard has lead to them knowing what jobs were completed, outstanding or were wasted journeys.
The OutTrak online dashboard ensures that office staff no longer have to ring a driver to see what jobs they have left. Messages can also be sent to the handheld without disturbing the driver. The OutTrak system allows the driver to automatically send back an electronic proof of delivery with an electronic signature when their order is complete. The ERP system is automatically updated as each order is completed and the docket can be retrieved in a matter of seconds.
The benefits of OutTrak
Thorntons have been able to eliminate paperwork from their process by switching to an online system for managing job tickets and each driver can now download their jobs for the next day in the evening and route them for the following day. By putting this automated process in place using the OutTrak handheld system, the month end process is a lot easier for the accounts team. The ERP system is always up to date at the end of the day and there are less discrepancies.
Thorntons found the OutTrak system to be a simple to use online interface with a very durable and reliable handheld device. Implementing the OutTrak system, Thorntons can batch all PDF’s for a particular customer and email them to the customer instead of having to go through files to retrieve the paperwork. This has allowed Thorntons save a lot of man hours searching for queried dockets. OutTrak also allows drivers to concentrate on deliveries instead of having to complete paperwork.
If you are in the waste industry and are finding paperwork a challenge maybe we can help? Call us on +353 1 2570400 or e-mail email@example.com
Jones Oil Ltd, established in 1984 is an Irish owned company and the largest distributor of Esso branded products in Ireland. In addition to quality fuel products, they provide a flexible, friendly local service through their network of 22 Jones Oil and Three Rivers Oil fuel depots. For 25 years Jones Oil has operated local depots in Dublin, Dundalk, Navan, Athlone, Mullingar, Cavan, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ballina, Sligo and Letterkenny. The Jones Oil brand embodies first class customer service and they strive to achieve the highest possible standards in all of their customer interactions. Click here to visit the Jones Oil website
“The OutTrak system has paid for itself in a very short time; we have no hesitation in recommending it to any fuel distributor looking to grow their volume and improve their bottom line fast” -Paul Curran, Finance Director, Jones Oil Limited.
The challenges for Jones Oil before OutTrak
Prior to using OutTrak Jones Oil processed customer orders in the traditional paper based way. Orders taken at the office were routed, tickets printed and distributed to drivers by hand. The driver completed the order running the ticket through the meter and used a pen to make any amendments including the quantity. At the end of the day the driver would hand the ticket back on return to the depot and a local administrator manually updated the back office. The ticket was then filed for reference and for possible recall by the customer. With this system there were a lot of discrepancies and the daily volume of paper dockets created a lot of extra work for the office team. Another issue for the office was the difficulty in storing the paper dockets and locating a particular docket if it was queried.
The solution: Implementing OutTrak
After installing OutTrak things changed a lot for the team in Jones Oil. For the most part orders are taken via the website processed by the back office, pushed into the OutTrak dashboard and distributed directly to the drivers handheld device. The drivers no longer need to handle paper dockets. At the point of delivery all orders are processed on the Motorola handheld device using the data from the on board electronic meters and the customer is invited to sign the screen. The customer is presented with an accurate, meter driven delivery ticket or invoice and within one minute a PDF copy of the ticket is sent back to the dashboard as a POD. These are stored electronically in conjunction with the invoice in the back office system for further distribution or recall. So on a daily basis Jones management have all delivery information back in the sales ledger ready for posting; eliminating any administrative errors and they get the invoices out quicker which results in getting paid quicker.
Internally Jones office staff are accessing the OutTrak online dashboard throughout the day to monitor on board stock levels and driver location with a view to improving customer order turnaround times. This visibility and transparency lead to significant delivery cost savings and a much quicker customer service. If a customer calls looking for an update on where the driver is the team can see this information straight away without having to call the driver.
The benefits of OutTrak
Over a period of time the data relating to tanker performance i.e. Number of deliveries per day, average delivery size, time from first order to last, average time between deliveries etc builds up a picture that allows the management team to plan their resource allocation much more accurately. This has had a profound effect on growing volume. Not only can Jones Oil make sure that their vehicles assets are performing to their maximum but they can redeploy any extra capacity to new geographies.
Using OutTrak, Jones Oil have addressed most of the challenges a manual paper based system presents for a fuel distributor. This in turn has brought increased efficiency allowing the company to significantly grow their volumes without adding to the overhead. OutTrak has given them the tools to do more with less.
If you are an oil distributor finding paperwork a challenge maybe we can help? Call us on +353 1 2570400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Oil are one of the leading suppliers of home heating oil, agri diesel and commercial diesel to the mid west region of Ireland. The company employs 23 staff and has an automated 24 hour filling station centrally located on the Dock Road in Limerick. Click here to view their website
The Tara Oil fleet comprises of both rigid and arctic vehicles. The vehicles use either LC3 or TE550 electronic meters. Tara Oil use the i-Meter fuel delivery tracking system on 14 of their vehicles.
“i-Meter gives us full visibility over all stock movements. We can now track where each delivery has been done and it ensures tighter stock control” –Christy O’Riordan, Stock Controller, Tara Oil.
The challenges before installing i-Meter
Prior to installing i-Meter the office team had very little visibility over the stock being delivered. Though the company was using an accounts system it had no meter integration. This made it very difficult for the stock controller to track where the delivery had been done. It was hard to identify the cause of a stock discrepancy as there was no visibility over stock movements from the meter.
The solution: Installing i-Meter
In 2012 the team in Tara Oil installed the i-Meter fuel delivery tracking system to give them greater visibility over the deliveries. The stock tracking capabilities of i-Meter along with the meter integration were designed to tackle some of the issues the team were encountering. Once the i-Meter system was installed the office team could tell exactly what stock was being pumped off through the meter, the exact GPS location where the stock was delivered and the time of the delivery.
The benefits of i-Meter
One of the main benefits that the Tara Oil team have experienced as a result of installing i-Meter was the improved stock control. Every drop of oil is extremely valuable so the ability to track stock movements accurately is very important.
The stock controller can now use the vehicle report in i-Meter to reconcile the stock movements. If there is any discrepancy i-Meter gives him the tools to shed light on what has actually been delivered and where the error is coming from. As a result of this the team have found that there are now less stock discrepancies. If there is a problem with a delivery it is quickly spotted.