Descartes Reservations™ facilitates online scheduling of pick-ups and deliveries; either self-service or as a decision support tool for customer service agents.
Descartes Reservations helps:
Intelligent reservation agent. Analyzes requests for delivery, order by order. Considers the schedule and presents options for the appointment window, ranked based on a rules engine. Lets customers, or a customer service agent working on their behalf, choose among presented options.
Value-driven prioritisation. Employs a variety of criteria to evaluate the assignment of particular shipping windows, including profitability of the account and/or order, availability of the slot in reference to other orders, and customized business rules.
Robust yield management. Includes configuration options to restrict costly delivery options while offering incentives for more beneficial time slots. Lets users reserve preferred shipping windows for the most profitable customers, and automatically close off slots to those of lower priority.
Flexible configuration. Uses distributed architecture for deployment in a variety of manners that can align with a customer’s requirements (i.e., as an outward-facing customer service portal, back office support to an online store, or an extension to an internal customer service or scheduling application).
Danny Griffiths, Central Planning Manager, discusses John Lewis Partnership’s success using Descartes Reservations™ to improve route planning of their in-house fleet, while reducing delivery miles and transportation costs and significantly impacting their carbon footprint. Since implementing Descartes Reservations, John Lewis Partnership has reported a 500% increase in the take-up of additional services by offering customers a one-stop-shop to buy all products and services in one place with one click in-store or on the Web.
The Descartes solution, implemented by Bestrane, is a unique and comprehensive platform. We could not find another last mile delivery solution that provides scheduling, delivery route planning and execution, proof-of-delivery, automated pre- and post-delivery notification services, and imaging functionality. It has fundamentally transformed our delivery operations.
Mark Parsons, Managing Director BC Sands.
Propelling Delivery Experience to New Heights with Descartes Last Mile Technology
As a leading supplier of premium building and landscape products in a demanding Australian marketplace, BC Sands required route planning and delivery software that ensured consistent, on-time, in-full delivery. The company used the same-day optimization capabilities of the Descartes solution to automate delivery appointment scheduling, route planning, and proof-of-delivery (POD) to heighten the customer’s delivery experience, improve operational efficiency, and reduce costs.
The Challenge: Optimizing Last Mile Delivery
With successful last mile delivery a priority, BC Sands struggled with meeting tight delivery windows and high demand for same-day deliveries—both further complicated by Sydney’s intricate road network and traffic congestion. In addition, the company delivered a range of diverse products in vehicles with varying dimensions and capabilities. Complicated load building rules and regulations also added to the complexity. BC Sands sought a comprehensive, integrated delivery scheduling software with route planning, execution, and proof-of-delivery (POD) capabilities in order to increase operational efficiency and satisfy customer expectations.
The Solution: Same-day Optimization Drives Efficiency
With the goal of increasing operational efficiency and improving the last mile delivery experience for more than 1,100 customers each week, BC Sands worked with Bestrane, the authorized distributor of Descartes solutions in Australia and New Zealand, on the implementation. The company deployed Descartes Route Planner™, including Descartes Reservations™ and Descartes Mobile™ modules. The software combines planning, execution, and comprehensive reporting to provide sophisticated route optimization with fully-integrated route tracking and execution via mobile devices.
BC Sands takes advantage of same-day optimization capabilities to book its online and phone orders directly into the dispatch schedule. Real-time status updates from GPS-tracked vehicles help ensure accurate availability, while providing visibility into deliveries enroute and the ability to notify customers of delivery progress.
“With Descartes’ dynamic delivery software and Bestrane’s domain expertise, we’ve moved from ‘best guess’ times for deliveries to accurate, scheduled time windows,” explains Mark Parsons, Managing Director, BC Sands. “We can meet same-day delivery expectations, keep customers informed and easily amend orders on the fly, while increasing consistency of our ability to ‘Deliver In Full, On Time (DIFOT)’.”
Parsons continues, “By optimizing planning, scheduling and routing, we’ve lowered our distribution costs: we’re getting more capacity out of our fleet and have reduced the number of returned loads by ensuring the right product is loaded onto the right truck. And we’re able to better manage a huge array of products in vehicles with different dimensions and capabilities.”
Differentiated Customer Experience
BC Sands improved its last mile delivery experience with Descartes’ advanced same-day optimization technology and real-time delivery appointment booking. Customers enjoy short lead-times, flexible time window choices, and consistent DIFOT.
By optimizing route planning and delivery with a GPS-based mobile solution, Descartes helped BC Sands to reduce logistics costs by enhancing fleet capacity utilization, reducing frequency of returned loads, and minimizing distance travelled and fuel usage.
Increased Accuracy & Efficiency
The Descartes solution ensures the right product is loaded onto the right truck, while scanning and POD ensure accurate delivery. With optimized scheduling and route management, orders can be changed in real-time and routes dynamically adjusted based on actual performance.
Improved Business Insight
With the critical logistics data captured by the Descartes software, BC Sands is better positioned for growth through increased visibility and deeper insight into its operations and improved monitoring of key metrics.
Home Delivery Benchmark
Retail Systems Research released the results of their Home Delivery Benchmark Study. Sponsored by Descartes Systems Group, this study surveyed 83 retail organisations, with the majority of respondents being “C” level executives. The study asks questions like: Who Is Running the Home Delivery Show?
And then identifies “Retail Winners, and Why They Win”.
A “must read” for all online, and bricks and mortar retailers, download your copy here:Retail Systems Research - Home Delivery Benchmark - Retailers Brave New World (613 downloads)
BC Sands Case Study
Propelling Delivery Experience to New Heights with Descartes Last Mile TechnologyBC Sands - Case Study (101 downloads)
John Lewis Partnership (JLP) Case StudyJohn Lewis Partnership - Home Delivery (96 downloads)
Home delivery as a competitive advantage – Increasing revenue through valued added services.