Edinburgh, 07 November 2023 – Lilley’s Cider is implementing logistics planning, route optimisation and electronic proof of delivery software from Podfather. They supply to more than 3,000 outlets as well as festivals. Using Podfather software, Lilley’s will replace its paper-based processes with automated fleet utilisation tools designed to save time and money.
“Prior to Podfather we manually planned our deliveries using a paper map and a spreadsheet,” commented Mia Brixey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Lilley’s Cider. “This worked when we had a handful of trade customers. However, as we now make thousands of deliveries each week/month, it was taking more and more time and impacting on the customer experience.”
“After reviewing a few routing systems, we chose Podfather because it’s the most user-friendly,” Brixey continued. “It was visually appealing, with an easy to navigate interface, and the functionality, although advanced, was easy to use. Podfather also integrated with our existing business tools.”
Based in Somerset, Lilley’s Cider is a family run business which was established by father and son Chris and Marc Lilley in 2007. From humble beginnings, Lilley’s now crafts a range of nearly 40 different flavoured ciders and perries. All of these products are distinct, gluten-free, and made on-site at the family farm in Frome. Lilley’s is the holder of 3 Great Taste Awards, including one prestigious Gold 3-Star Award, as well as many CAMRA Awards. Its Mango Cider is the top-rated fruit cider on UNTAPPD. Operating its own national distribution network, Lilley’s supplies pubs, shops, and other outlets across the UK. Lilley’s is a holder of a SALSA food safety certificate.
Before selecting Podfather, Lilley’s management of its delivery operation was completely manual. This was time consuming to plan and difficult for drivers to execute. It did not offer customers the choice or service quality Lilley’s prides itself on. With no scientific evidence to support planning, routes often repeated week in and week out. This occurred regardless of fluctuations in demand.
Podfather produces and optimizes routes based on locations, item volumes, weights, and customer requirements. Moreover, they issue automated ETA notifications. All paperwork is sent directly to the drivers’ mobile phone or tablet. Hardware is provided by independent B2B communications specialist G-Force Communications. Management has total visibility of the delivery operation as it unfolds, with any issues instantly flagged for investigation or intervention. Drivers can capture ePOD notifications, including mandatory photos, as they make each delivery and use this information to update back-office teams.
Additional functionality including daily vehicle texts, driven by and completed using the driver’s mobile device and integration with the company’s Sage accounting software will further improve the efficiency of Lilley’s sales and delivery operation and help reduce costs and the environmental impact of the delivery service.
“Using Podfather we hope to dramatically reduce the time and resource it takes to plan routes. We hope that this will significantly impact our business by freeing up back-office resources, enabling us to deploy them to make a difference in other parts of the business and improve the service we offer to our trade customers,” concluded Brixey. “We also hope to reduce unnecessary mileage and paperwork which will help us manage costs and improve our green credentials.”