Eastern Propane & Oil, a family-owned and -operated energy provider in New England, recently designated Descartes Systems’ last-mile delivery solution to help it supply propane to over 100,000 residential and commercial customers throughout New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
“By using advanced delivery technology and providing 24/7/365 service, our commitment is to always be there for customers when they need us,” Chuck Clement, chief technology officer at Eastern Propane, stated in a news release. “Delivery strategies are becoming more important to customer differentiation and financial performance, and the Descartes solution will help us meet customer service objectives while keeping costs down through increased route density, decreased mileage, and lower fuel consumption.”
In propane and oil distribution, companies often have flexibility on the days they deliver. For example, some customers may be running critically low on fuel and must be serviced immediately, while others may have time before they need additional fuel. The Descartes solution automatically considers these factors and can schedule non-urgent deliveries for customers in the same neighborhood as an urgent delivery, instead of having to come back a few days later, the company said. With same-day optimization capabilities, companies can pull forward additional stops when they have extra propane on the vehicle because customers did not require as much fuel as projected and replenish customers they were not expecting to supply on that day.
Descartes’ last-mile delivery solution helps bulk fuel logistics providers achieve “more agile, efficient, and sustainable routing,” which improves fleet resource management by generating additional delivery capacity and reducing distance per delivery and costs, Descartes added. Dynamic delivery appointment scheduling helps companies maximize revenue, enhance the customer experience, and minimize costs by intelligently controlling the delivery booking process. Descartes’ route execution helps drivers perform their daily routes, keep managers aware of progress, notify customers with an estimated-time-of-arrival for their deliveries, and capture essential proof-of-delivery details, supporting customer service excellence and order accuracy through real-time mobile communication.
“We’re pleased to help Eastern Propane & Oil enhance distribution performance and reduce transportation costs through automated route planning, optimization and execution technology,” said James Wee, general manager of routing, mobile, and telematics at Descartes. “In many industries, such as distribution, last-mile delivery is an important part of a company’s competitive strategy. The ability to deliver to customers quickly, reliably, and precisely can improve customer retention and lower last-mile operating costs.”