Steering Nationwide Delivery Toward Greater Efficiencies
Based in Melbourne, Australia, ACM Parts was established in 2013 to provide new and innovative solutions to address inefficiencies in Australia’s automotive parts supply chain. With rapidly expanding nationwide operations, the company looked to Descartes’ advanced route planning and execution software to drive greater efficiencies out of their delivery fleets and enhance the customer experience by supporting ambitious same-day and next-day delivery service goals.
Challenge: Centralizing Route Planning and Delivery
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Suncorp Group, ACM Parts has grown significantly over a short period of time. With sites in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT and Victoria, in addition to headquarters in Melbourne, each location had been relying on somewhat different paper-based practices to plan routes and manage deliveries of its original, recycled and independently certified parts to customers in the motor repair industry as well as directly to consumers. With a nationwide delivery footprint and over 200,000 items in stock, ACM Parts needed to shift to a technology-based solution to help centralize route planning and delivery processes and standardize the delivery experience for customers across the country.
“Descartes route planning, execution and mobile solution has contributed significantly to improvements in our delivery operations and customer experience and has been scalable to meet the demands of our business as we have expanded.”-- Ankur Arora, General Manager, Operations, ACM Parts
Solution: Route Optimization for Same- and Next-day Delivery
After selecting the Descartes’ route planning, execution and mobile solution, ACM Parts partnered on the technology deployment with Bestrane, the authorized distributor of Descartes solutions in Australia and New Zealand. The company implemented the solution to better manage 30+ delivery vehicles and help drivers provide improved customer service outcomes.
“With the cloud-based solution, ACM Parts has a single platform to plan, optimize, dispatch routes, track and monitor their nationwide delivery fleet in real-time,” said Dave Sanders, MD, Bestrane. To maximize efficiency, for all locations, ACM Parts uses the system to optimize both static routes and dynamic routes by considering geographic zones, time windows and other constraints when planning deliveries to consumers as well as to customers in the motor repair industry.
Supported by new route optimization capabilities, ACM Parts operates two delivery cycles each day across the country. Customers who order by 11:30am receive deliveries the same day, within a four-hour time window; customers who order by 4:30pm receive items the next morning, within a three-hour time window. Integrated mobile capabilities provide real-time visibility into driver performance against planned routes, so ACM Parts can better manage service levels and customer commitments.
With mobile devices, drivers can also provide status updates throughout the day, proactively notify customers of delivery progress, and confirm deliveries in real-time—with electronic proof of delivery (POD). The customer’s signature is captured to signify the safe arrival of items at their destination, and digital pictures confirm if goods are free of damage and that no items are missing.
“We want our customers to be able to rely on us to deliver right to their door, every time, wherever they are throughout Australia. With the Descartes solution, we have the tools to better tailor delivery times to suit customer needs, and to better manage a growing fleet of trucks that performs more deliveries to metropolitan areas than any other auto parts supplier in the country,” said Ankur Arora, General Manager, Operations at ACM Parts.
Improved Delivery Performance
With more intelligent route planning nationwide, ACM Parts has enhanced customer satisfaction by creating a more predictable and reliable delivery environment. Real-time visibility into driver performance also allows the company to reassign deliveries, respond to customer changes and manage exceptions on the fly.
Reduced Fleet Mileage
Optimized routing for the company’s delivery fleet not only improves capacity utilization for each vehicle, it also reduces overall kilometers driven; drives down mileage, fuel consumption and idle times; and lowers vehicle operating costs.
Shorter Billing Cycles
Electronic POD helps ACM Parts to shorten billing cycles as the company’s controllers receive the driver’s delivery confirmation from customers in real-time. By collecting information more quickly, drivers are also back on the road faster to make the additional stops on their routes.
By shifting the ability to plan deliveries, optimize routes, dispatch orders and communicate with drivers to a completely paperless environment, Descartes’ route planning software has helped ACM Parts reduce unnecessary administration and recover higher value productive time in its delivery operations.
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