With a history that spans more than 70 years, Martins Atacadista is the largest wholesale company in Brazil. In an effort to be more responsive to customers' needs, reduce costs, and improve fleet efficiency, the company switched out time-consuming manual processes for the Descartes Suite. The solutions were deployed quickly and with the training tools needed for maximum results.
Challenge: Lack of Visibility and Inefficient Manual Processes
Martins was struggling to improve fleet efficiency due to a lack of detailed and accurate information about what was happening with deliveries and customers in the field. They had to rely on information drivers occasionally phoned in or shared at the end of the day.
“We had no real-time visibility over the status of our deliveries or if the route plan was being followed, and we could not respond quickly to the emergencies that arose during the day such as unplanned stops or long wait times at customer locations,” said Cassio Macedo Neto, Logistics Director.
The company also struggled with too many manual processes and piles of paperwork, both in delivery and Hours of Service (HOS) reports.
“Based on the information Descartes is providing us, we make better decisions regarding our route plans and have streamlined several processes, thus improving our daily operational performance."-- Cassio Macedo Neto, Logistics Director, Martins Atacadista
Based in Uberlandia, Brazil, Martins Atacadista is a retail distributor with 1,200 vehicles in its fleet and 45 distribution centers. Since 1953, it has evolved into the biggest wholesale company in the country.
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Solution: Transforming Performance with Real-Time Information
With Descartes' help, Martins rolled out the Descartes Suite—Descartes Live™ for its dispatchers and Descartes Driver™ for its delivery fleet.
The Descartes Suite is an innovative, state-of-the-art solution designed to provide companies with real-time visibility over mobile resources while comparing actual-vs-planned performance and providing proactive alerts for plan deviations. Descartes also analyzes actual data, such as geocodes, service times and time windows, and seamlessly feeds that information back into the routing software, allowing for future routes to be optimized, reducing go-to-market logistics costs.
To implement these solutions in such a large fleet and in different parts of the country, Martins and Descartes produced training materials, including videos and user guides for drivers. Because Descartes Live™ and Descartes Driver™ reside in the cloud, Martins was able to deploy the technology quickly, gaining real-time visibility of their fleet within the first few hours of launching the project.
The initial goal was to achieve an 8% mileage reduction across Martins' operation. At the time of full implementation, the company reached 9.2%. In addition, Martins' comprehensive training tools allowed drivers to easily learn how to use the mobile app, resulting in a high adoption rate.
These significant results helped compensate for the recent increase in fuel, tires, and maintenance service costs, said Monique Chinen, Project Manager for the Online Delivery project. They were able to migrate all Hours of Service control over to Descartes, integrating it with their payroll system, a critical requirement because of new driver laws.
Martins first objective was to reduce mileage by 8% across the entire organization. But the company had surpassed that goal by more than 1% by the time the Descartes Suite was fully implemented.
Better Driver Performance
By optimizing delivery routes and supporting driver efficiency through Descartes Driver™, the company saw a reduction in idle time and unplanned stops.
After automating processes and turning to digital apps, Martins cut back on the cost of paperwork and is saving time that used to be spent doing manual work.
The Descartes Suite was successfully integrated with Martins’ existing telematics and routing solutions.