Yodel is one of the UK’s leading independent parcel carriers and delivers millions of parcels each week from more than 50 sites nationwide. Yodel serves multiple industry verticals, including fashion, leisure, health and beauty, home and garden, electrical, gifts, publishing and entertainment. Yodel also specialises in handling delicate items like wine and flowers. The company employs approximately 10,000 colleagues throughout the year and more to support its services during peak delivery seasons such as Christmas.
With Yodel announcing record growth and demand for its services, the company was seeking an efficient way to reduce the time spent in depots by drivers and improve productivity, all while maintaining great customer service.
E-commerce was already experiencing rapid growth prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic caused a huge spike in demand as people stayed home and ordered items for delivery online. In the run-up to Christmas last year, Yodel’s delivery volumes rose by almost 35% compared to the same period in 2020, with demand expected to remain high throughout 2022.
High demand added pressure on Yodel’s fleet and led the carrier to find tools that improve efficiency and maintain customer satisfaction. Customers now expect orders to be fulfilled quickly, and many have specific timeframes for when they’re available to receive deliveries, so ETAs must be accurate.
Yodel has always been committed to innovation, so the company explored new solutions to help drivers maintain peak performance as demand for delivery services accelerated. That’s why Yodel partnered with Trimble Maps to integrate new routing technology into Yodel’s proprietary driver application.
Chris Quin, EMEA VP at Trimble Maps: “Technology that enables drivers to optimise stops in seconds helps Yodel’s full-time and lifestyle drivers improve productivity while improving customer service. Putting advanced technology in drivers’ hands to automate route sequencing and ETAs helps drivers focus on exceeding customer expectations.”
Integrated routing technology optimises each driver’s delivery sequence in real-time, automatically generating accurate ETAs and enables load balancing on the fly.
Trimble Maps technology was first integrated in 2008 into HDNL’s workflow, which formed a part of Yodel in 2010. With the goal to provide critical information directly to drivers via iPhone or Android devices, Trimble Maps’ technical teams collaborated with Yodel to ensure the success of that deployment. When it was time to integrate new routing technologies into the app, it was a natural extension of the existing partnership.
Now, when parcels are assigned and loaded into each Yodel driver’s app according to their region and start time, the software instantly generates an optimised stop order, accounting for predefined priority destinations, expected delivery time per stop, historical travel times etc. to create an accurate ETA for each stop along the way.
Trimble Maps’ routing solution allows drivers to quickly identify if a route is over or underloaded, so routes can be load balanced prior to finalising. Once the driver approves and finalises the route, the technology generates an accurate ETA for each stop, which allows Yodel to communicate a two-hour delivery window to customers receiving a parcel through Yodel’s Xpect service.
Integrating Trimble Maps technology into the Yodel Driver app has given drivers an average of 20 extra minutes each day through better route optimisation, increasing driver productivity.
At the same time, the technology has allowed Yodel to communicate accurate delivery time windows to Xpect service customers 98.77% of the time, improving customer satisfaction.
Through Trimble Maps’ technology, Yodel can meet rising demand efficiently while maintaining its focus on customer service. This helps the company stay a step ahead of competitors in an industry where success is increasingly being defined by the quality of the customer experience.
Carl Moore, COO at Yodel: “Our partnership with Trimble Maps has been key to our success. Having worked closely together for 14 years, we have been able to coordinate on the development of the technology and ensure it is seamlessly implemented across our network. We look forward to the future of this partnership to continue to provide a flexible and effective delivery service.”