Maxoptra dynamic route planning and scheduling software is helping The Tomato Stall deliver fresh tomatoes across the country, supplying farmers' markets, farm shops, restaurants and deli's across the South of England, including London and Bristol.
Hailing from the tiny Isle of Wight, The Tomato Stall is a fast growing company with an enviable reputation for its slow grown, full flavoured fruit, and needs to ensure deliveries arrive on schedule and market-fresh to retain that high quality and taste.
By using Maxoptra, this south coast grower can now plan efficient routes and get an understanding of the actual cost of individual deliveries. The recently implemented cloud based solution is already saving time and money, and it is hoped its ongoing use will further support The Tomato Stall's environmental ethos.
"One of the unique features of our tomatoes is their superior taste due to the sunnier climate on the Isle of Wight. We also wait until the tomatoes are fully ripened on the vine for the best possible flavour. So, having taken our time and produced the best fruit, it is vital we get our tomatoes onto market stalls, shop shelves and restaurant kitchens in the optimum condition," said Kai Westmore, Logistics Manager at The Tomato Stall.
Using Maxoptra, The Tomato Stall's delivery routes are now much easier to plan – even in central London, which was previously difficult due to tight delivery windows and uncertain driving conditions. Maxoptra also allows for the scheduling of driver breaks within the delivery schedule, and the production of comprehensive driver manifests. The ability to calculate costs per customer and costs per run provides business critical information for timely decision making, and allows different scenarios to be modelled and the cost implications considered.
"Even at this early stage, Maxoptra is giving us a return on investment," continued Westmore. "The drivers' manifest feature is an excellent addition and is saving considerable time communicating with drivers about their routes. Looking ahead, we expect Maxoptra will help us to realise further savings and efficiencies while reducing the environmental impact of our mobile operation."
The Tomato Stall has been making the most of the maritime climate and extra hours of sunshine to grow tomatoes on the island since 2007. From humble origins, the company now delivers vine ripened hand-picked fruit across the UK. From Edinburgh to Ealing, Exeter to Eastbourne and Bristol to Bournemouth, The Tomato Stall supplies more than 150 varieties to hundreds of outlets every week.
"Small grower producers, like The Tomato Stall, face a unique set of challenges," added Stuart Brunger, Business Development Director at Maxoptra. "Timely decision making is crucial, as is communication and cost control. Using Maxoptra, The Tomato Stall can take back control of all these elements and continue to grow the business as well as the finest fruit."