Since the advent of e-commerce, the last-mile delivery segment has come under considerable scrutiny, as rising consumer expectations have forced businesses to expedite delivery. Companies look to do this in several ways like automating warehouses, setting up inventories close to cities, utilizing data analytics to understand product sales trends, and beating road congestion by using e-bikes for delivery.
Last-mile route optimization is also effective because it minimizes time spent by drivers planning their routes manually, and helps increase the number of deliveries per day. Automating route planning has an edge as the built-in algorithms can keep a tab on parameters like traffic congestion, street signals and road restrictions, while providing consistently optimized routes – saving time and resources.
FleetZoo, a delivery and service optimization startup, is solving the last-mile problem by providing a solution that lets companies optimize and visualize all their delivery routes in a matter of minutes.
“What we saw in this space was the issue of effectively achieving the routing of last-mile deliveries. And more broadly, not just the delivery of goods, but also providing service to the last-mile delivery personnel. And there are a number of ways by which it can be done,” said Walt Wilson, vice president of operations at FleetZoo. “People were struggling and were manually assigning deliveries. Using our solution, they can now utilize their available drivers and vehicle resources to deliver the set of packages with a push of a button.”
FleetZoo allows companies to achieve optimal allocation of orders to drivers while minimizing travel time. And as the personnel drive less, they spend more time delivering packages and engaging with their customers, which translates into better customer service, while simultaneously boosting profit.
To stay ahead of the competition, FleetZoo has enhanced its core offering to integrate a growing array of real-world constraints that primarily affect delivery businesses. “It’s fairly straight-forward to deliver route optimization until you begin to take into account issues like delivery time windows and vehicle capacity constraints that affect the ability of the solutions that need to be put in place. We are integrating these constraints into our solution,” said Wilson.
FleetZoo is also making sure that its product is readily available to providers of back-end systems that do accounting and enterprise resource planning-related functions, to add route optimization as a component of their offerings.
“We combine an enhanced and growing functionality with what we strive to deliver every day – personalized customer service that not only gives our clients the tools they need, but also ascertains that they know how to use them effectively to achieve the results they seek,” said Wilson.
Though a startup, FleetZoo has its roots in a software development business called Productivity Apex – a company that has been in the space for over 18 years. FleetZoo’s initial versions were built within Productivity Apex, after which it spun out as a separate entity with a solution that had already been piloted and validated in the last-mile delivery market.
Wilson mentioned that feedback relating to FleetZoo’s product has been very positive. For one, customers appreciate the level of service they get from the team, which Wilson explained was the startup’s absolute priority. “We also hear from our customers that they are seeing real hard dollar results of utilizing our solution. They are making more money in a day than they were able to make before – more stops and more deliveries. They can put their finger on the actual results and see the benefits on a daily basis,” he said.
Because of its success in this space, FleetZoo is now one of the finalists in Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest competition that will be held on April 29 at Orlando, Florida. The startup will soon be up against seven other companies, all vying for a $100,000 investment.
“Working with the Rise of the Rest team has been great. They have provided us with resources to hone our message and to put our best foot forward on the stage. We hope to tell our story, which I believe is a very strong one, in the best way possible and hope the judges respond well to it,” said Wilson.