If you’re a construction professional or a fan of do-it-yourself projects in New Zealand, you’ve probably spent a lot of time in PlaceMakers, the country’s largest supplier of building materials and hardware.
A Southern Hemisphere version of The Home Depot or Lowe’s, the home improvement chain employs over 2,100 people at its 63 retail stores and eight manufacturing plants. It carries more than 74,000 product lines, ranging from concrete to paint and plasterboard.
Recently, the Auckland -based company decided it needed a better system for scheduling deliveries to its more than 300,000 retail and trade customers.
PlaceMakers implemented the cloud-based Descartes Route Planner solution to centralise its distribution planning operations across the country together with an automated ‘state of the art’ customer notification platform from Glympse to radically reengineer the customer delivery experience.
PlaceMakers completed the software deployment around the middle of 2020 and has already seen some impressive benefits including:
- 40% to 50% increase in delivery satisfaction,
- “significant” financial savings in transportation and internal business process
- reduced inbound calls by 16%,
- increased load utilisation by 13%,
- reduced loading times by 14%.
Wayne Armstrong, business transformation manager at PlaceMakers, said
“We sought to transform our customer delivery experience by moving each of our 63 branches from dispatching and executing deliveries with multiple logistics services providers to centralised logistics planning and our own fleet. Descartes Route Planner and Glympse have proved to be a world-class, end-to-end solution that is helping us provide an industry-leading customer experience.”
Optimising Routes in Real Time
The system utilises “always on” technology to incrementally build shipment schedules and route plans, so as each new order is received, the schedule is regenerated in real time to reallocate resources to optimise efficiency, deliver priority service to the most profitable accounts and routes, and maintain overall customer service objectives... all whilst respecting promises to customers that have already been made.
Critical to this process is the utilisation of Glympse technology to advise customers of the status of their delivery. As vehicles are in motion, Glympse provides end customers with a live view of their delivery’s physical position and real time Estimated Time of Arrival along with additional detail of the driver and other important information.
Many of Placemakers’ customers occupy building sites with limited load/unloading sites. Live tracking the progress of a delivery permits the site managers to allocate labour and ensure the availability of suitable unloading areas as they are required saving all participants valuable time and energy.
Bestrane Group’s Managing Director Dave Sanders adds
“The technology used to promise and execute deliveries to customers is evolving quickly. PlaceMakers have embraced Glympse and Descartes technology to develop a more sophisticated relationship with their customers and achieve their objectives.”
Glympse CEO Chris Ruff continues
“Companies such as PlaceMakers are utilising customer service as a genuine point of difference in the market. We’re pleased that they have selected Glympse to enable their vision”