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Launched in November 2014, FreshBake is a busy factory bakery located in Brightwater, Nelson, with 10 staff. From breads to cakes, savouries to sweets, FreshBake delivers their delicious goods to restaurants, cafes and private homes.
The outbreak of Covid-19 saw demand for their products increase significantly, and that brought with it delivery challenges, as the business did not have any kind of delivery routing tool available. It was time to investigate ways to automate and streamline deliveries and bring FreshBake into the digital era.
Like many businesses that operate a direct-to-consumer delivery service, FreshBake saw their online orders swell to over 100 per day when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Combine that with the typical demand they see on Mother's Day - which was also on the horizon - and the business realised that their old system of deliveries wasn't going to keep up. "Previously we used a combination of guesswork and Google Maps, which only allowed input for 10 deliveries and did not do route planning," says Shelley Sims, FreshBake's owner. "We'd be peering at a screen and trying to figure out what was the order for delivery; invariably we got it wrong on the day."
This situation, Shelley realised, could not continue as the country went into lockdown and Easter and Mother's Day was approaching. Deemed an Essential Business, FreshBake were allowed to continue operating, but it was clear they would need a delivery routing solution to ensure accuracy, timely, contactless deliveries. "It would have been chaos without one," Shelley said.
The hunt began for a delivery route optimisation solution that would not only be able to cope with the high demand, but that would ensure accuracy of deliveries. "We searched the web for routing models, but they were invariably from America and appeared very clunky," Shelley recalls. "They were also very expensive. One was $200 a month with a minimum year’s subscription." As proud Kiwis themselves, FreshBake were also keen to find a New Zealand-based solution in an effort to support the country's economy. "The options we looked at were not user-friendly for New Zealand users, and we always want to use local suppliers as our customers live here too," Shelley explains. "We need to support Kiwis so in turn, Kiwis can support us."
A Google search directed FreshBake to Critchlow Geospatial and our Smart Routing for Small Business solution. "What a great day that was," Shelley recalls. "Smart Routing for Small Business was exactly what we needed."
Smart Routing for Small Business is a web-based route optimisation tool that automates optimal route design, without the need for a lengthy implementation process. In other words, FreshBake was able to start using it immediately, and because it's flexible and easy to use, Shelley and team got the hang of it quickly.
Smart Routing for Small Business got its first serious test on Mother's Day. "We did an online promotion and gained 115 orders throughout the wider Nelson-Motueka area, from Atawhai to Motueka West Bank River Road for both rural and suburban addresses," Shelley says. "Some of them we'd never heard of!"
Smart Routing for Small Business provided the ability to load plan and deliver within time windows, ensuring not just accuracy but timeliness as well - an important consideration for shelf-sensitive or urgent product offerings.
So how did Smart Routing for Small Business stack up? "It worked to perfection," Shelley says. "Our wonderful team of four delivery drivers all said the new system allowed far better load planning and deliveries all within the required time. Without it we could not have done a promotion of this size."
As a direct result of the promotion and its success, FreshBake has gained around 250 new followers on Facebook. "A great outcome!" Shelley enthuses.
With Smart Routing for Small Business in place, Shelley has her eye on future growth. "You can't scale an online delivery option without the ability to load plan," she says. "A smart route delivery planner is an integral factor on the path to growth, because it takes the guesswork out of order fulfilment."
If you'd like to find out how our Smart Routing solution can help optimise your delivery service, get in touch and we'll get started.