UK firm Forest Produce picks Podfather as it looks to boost delivery service automation   — Retail Technology Innovation Hub

Since implementing the Podfather system, Forest Produce has seen a 75% reduction in the time take to train new delivery drivers.

What used to take days, learning processes and individual routes, now takes just a few hours getting to know the business and learning how to use Podfather. Back office admin and support teams are also realising efficiency gains through the use of the system resulting in a saving of around 40 hours a week.

“The hospitality sector is facing unprecedented skills shortages and, as we are constantly expanding, we are constantly trying to recruit,” Quick adds. “Using Podfather we are able to be more efficient with the resource we have which allows us to respond to this challenge.”

Forest Produce also introduced a zero to landfill policy from the start. From day one with Podfather, it halved the amount of paper it produced daily with electronic delivery notes and will shortly be digitising its pick notes with the introduction of barcodes.

Additional green savings have been achieved with intelligent route planning and vehicle usage, resulting in fewer miles travelled, and Forest has now introduced its first all alectric vehicle to its fleet.

It has also boosted customer service with newly introduced Dispatch Notes.

Using Podfather, customers are alerted to any differences between goods they have ordered and those actually dispatched before the vans have even left the depot allowing them to respond and adjust the day’s service accordingly. ePOD notes, including in-box photos that are date/time stamped, are also reducing customer queries, especially in the case of dead-drops (when no customer is present).

Whilst real-time updates from the drivers allows for timely removal of refused substitutes, improving the accuracy and speed of invoicing and reducing the number of credit notes being issued. 

“Podfather aligns so closely with our company values and ethos it has been more of a partner in our journey rather than just a tech-supplier,” Quick concludes.

“So much so that drivers who were, shall we say ‘reticent’ about its introduction now say they simply could cope without it.”

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