The
Customer

• A service that started during The Blitz developed into an established organisation in later years.

• Delivers cooked meals, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

• Volunteers prepare food in borough kitchens and package them according to the customers dietary requirements.

• Over 300 residents in the local borough are catered for by the organisation.

CHALLENGES FACED BY
THE BUSINESS CLIENT

• Each borough kitchen delivers to 300+ households across various postcodes. This requires complex planning.

• The properties need dividing into groups based upon the relative proximity of postcodes, to minimise batch delivery costs.

• New customers often need to be included with pre-existing routes.

• The drivers and helpers preferences must be taken into account when assigning routes.

• Hot food must always be delivered within a restricted time frame.

• Individual customer menu choices and the protocol for entering a property are further challenges that must be considered.

BUSINESS
OPTIONS

• The business could continue to manually plot the route based upon paper maps and hold records in physical folders. The organisation runs an end to end manual operation from taking the orders to delivery.

• A hybrid solution using advanced spreadsheets could be implemented alongside manual route planning.

• Geospatial Mapping solutions provided by Microsoft Azure would revolutionise the efficiency of the process.

OUR SOLUTION

• After understanding the end-to-end process of the operation we implemented a geo-spatial mapping solution.

• The solution uses postcodes and plots the routes automatically, via a one-click process.

• Microsoft Azure’s Map technology was used to design the daily route.

• Azure’s machine learning suite introduced predictive analysis methods in order to forecast lead times and provide these to the customers.

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The
help4IT
effect

• Manual plotting of routes became obsolete, resulting in fewer human errors and more accurate route planning.

• Customers were given the ability to track the progress of a delivery with confidence.

• The business was able to expand its service to an additional 200 customers.

• Bookings were loaded into the database and the drivers, meals and route were tightly aligned.

• Spreadsheets became a thing of the past.

A FINAL WORD
FROM THE CLIENT

“Our route planning exercise has reduced to minutes as opposed to hours. Artificial Intelligence sounds like an expensive solution, but instead, it was economical from a financial and an implementation perspective.”

Chief Operating Officer

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