GRS Building Products Transforms Aggregate Deliveries with Podfather

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GRS Building Supplies, Britain’s largest supplier of bagged aggregates, has transformed its delivery operation with a logistics planning, route optimisation and ePOD solution from Podfather. With depots nationwide, GRS delivers more than 100,000 bags of stone and landscaping products to builders’ merchants and retailers, every day. As part of a major digitisation project, Podfather has helped GRS to optimise its delivery services, made real-time information instantly accessible and reduced the environmental impact of its nationwide operation.

Operating from 21 bagging plants across the UK, strategically located close to source, GRS offers a broad range of stone, slate, chippings, gravel, sand and paving. Supplying more than two million tonnes of landscaping materials each year products are delivered in bags, ranging from handy mini-bags to bulk, or straight from the truck for larger orders. GRS operates a fleet of over 100 articulated lorries, each making around 3 or 4 journeys a day to companies such as Travis Perkins, Jewson, Selco and MKM.

“Prior to Podfather we produced, shared and stored around 1,500 bits of paper a day, which were used as Despatch Notes to communicate with Depots, and Proof of Deliveries that were given to customers,” commented Anna Zorzoliani, Operational Analyst at GRS Building Products. “This required a significant amount of admin work and meant that there could be a considerable delay in updating our central management systems. With Podfather, GRS’s order fulfilment processes have been significantly enhanced with automated system updates.

“Since implementing Podfather we created a virtually paperless delivery process. We have improved our customer service as we have total visibility of the mobile operation and access to real-time updates and feedback, and we are more efficient and effective in our fleet utilisation with bulk-load planning and route optimisation features.”

Integrated with the company’s ERP system ORACLE: NetSuite, Podfather has transformed the planning and management of GRS’s delivery operation. Purchase orders are transmitted directly to the bagging plant and a bespoke picking list is used to produce and prepare the order for delivery. Depot Managers and the Transport Team use Podfather to intelligently allocate loads to vehicles based on customer demands and time constraints in the most efficient possible manner.

The Podfather app gives drivers access to all job information including routes, delivery instructions and order details and also means drivers can digitally capture customer signatures and photographic evidence of a delivery. The Podfather app is also used by GRS’s contracted hauliers ensuring a consistency of service for the customer and better visibility and control for management.

Podfather is also helping GRS boost service levels with additional touch points integrated within the customer experience. Prior to Podfather the customer would receive confirmation when an order was processed and when the order was delivered. Using location information from the Podfather app, ETAs are sent and updated if schedules change.

“The ability to integrate with existing systems and capture, record, access and share real-time information has transformed our management and reporting processes and abilities,” added Samantha Fergus, Operations and Logistics Director at GRS Building Supplies. “In the first six months of using Podfather we noticed measurable improvements in performance, evidenced through customisable reports that we could produce in minutes. These improvements have been ongoing and, with the support of Podfather, we are confident we can continue to improve customer service whilst minimising our environmental impact.”