As a company with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship in the foodservice and agricultural communities, Sanimax collects more than a million tons of animal and food by-products, vegetable oils, and hides and skins, for recycling. Every year the company transforms these waste materials into high quality products for industries throughout North America and around the world. Its customers include feed companies, chemical manufacturers, tanneries, soap producers and pet food manufacturers. Sanimax also produces clean-burning biofuels for commercial vehicle fleets and other energy uses.
The Sanimax Restaurant Services division has been in operation since 1927. It offers a sanitary system for the collection and recycling of cooking oil and grease generated by more than 7,000 foodservice customers in Ontario, including Burger King and McDonalds, among others. This division’s fleet of 27 vans and trailers performs a range of pickup and delivery services round the clock at a rate of 25 to 30 stops a day.
According to Transportation Supervisor Stephan Campagna, the job of routing pickups from restaurants and deliveries to various facilities was not being handled as efficiently as they would have liked. “Unlike some of our other operations that run on fixed delivery schedules, our timelines can easily change on a weekly or monthly basis. As a result, we were spending a lot of unnecessary hours setting up routes and had no visibility into driver activities on the road.”
Campagna adds that although Sanimax did have an automated routing program, “It wasn’t managed properly, and we found that delivery costs were escalating over time. A lot of mileage was wasted because drivers were often going to the same city twice in the same week or we had two trucks going to the same place at the same time.”
Sanimax required software that would optimize its route planning process; provide it with much needed visibility; and at the same time, enable the company to lessen its own environmental footprint. Sanimax turned to a Descartes routing and planning solution - a supply chain management solution that had been used successfully by its U.S. counterparts for several years.
Sanimax began working with the Descartes route planning solution to enable users to build optimal route plans based on available routes, fleet resources and their mobile workforce. As part of the Descartes Routing, Mobile and Telematics suite, the solution is an easy-to-use fleet management application that helps improve operational efficiency by leveraging market-proven algorithms and geographic network modeling capabilities to enhance the order fulfillment process while reducing costs through shorter routes, reduced fuel consumption and enhanced fleet utilization. It also determines the best vehicle and route resources to use, as well as, recommends order sequences to support dynamic routing needs. Users can select optimization criteria including lowest cost or shortest routes, or shortest distance between stops.
Campagna reports that although the route planning solution implementation is relatively new, the company has already started to see efficiency improvements. “The first area we are beginning to see results, is in the time our hourly-paid drivers are spending on the road. Efficiency has greatly improved. Our drivers aren’t making as many unnecessary calls, are able to find customers more easily, and are working on maximizing truck volumes. They’ve already seen a major difference in the hours when they come back at the end of their shift.” He estimates that some drivers are saving at least eight hours a week of driving time, if not more. “I know of one driver whose drive time has been reduced from 70 to 60 hours.”
Customer service has also improved. “We’ve seen a big difference in the numbers of customers calling us, because we are serving them more efficiently and frequently which means lower overall service costs,” explains Campagna. Benefits include:
- A reduction of 8 to 10 hours per driver per week
- Reduced customer service costs through reduced call center volume
- Fewer unnecessary stops through better route planning
- Improved capacity utilization
- A technology foundation for future growth