CUTTING EDGE FIREWOOD

Cutting Edge Firewood faced a complex logistics problem in delivering, placing, and stacking artisan firewood at their customer’s site.

Overview

You may remember loading firewood into the back of a pick-up and stacking it in the shed, but times have changed. Cutting Edge Firewood delivers racks of perfectly sized and seasoned artisan wood right to the customer’s fireplace or backyard pizza oven. It’s a great new business niche, but the company faced challenging logistics.

Solving a sprawling logistics puzzle

Metropolitan Atlanta comprises 29 counties and 8,000 square miles – a land area equal to Massachusetts. Unlike e-retailers who fulfill via Amazon.com or ship with UPS, a “white glove” firewood delivery service requires a fleet of trucks, trained drivers, plus super-efficient scheduling and routing.

Cutting Edge faced a logistics puzzle: There are no regular routes or destinations. Even though deliveries concentrate in affluent sections of town, far-flung customers in the suburbs created a logistics game for capacity planning, routing, scheduling, and time estimation.

Google Maps can estimate trips and add stops along the way, but can’t know the order size, the truck’s capacity, how long it will take to place and stack a delivery, the customer’s availability, and how many hours are left in the driver’s day.

Moving from a manual system

Cutting Edge Firewood had been planning deliveries manually when the company asked TwinEngines to create a seamless logistics solution. Requirements were straightforward: receive orders directly from the Salesforce order entry system, schedule the most efficient route for each order and manage the delivery with a mobile tool.

TwinEngines developed a Web-based platform, code-named “Vulcan” for the god of fire, that captures, integrates, and schedules the customer order and delivery information.

Calculating the most efficient delivery routes

The solution captures order information from Salesforce via the API and then goes to work building routes for each truck. The management platform shows each truck in the fleet, truck capacity, scheduled deliveries, and racks onboard. The trip duration lets the scheduler know how much time remains in the driver’s day in case a last-minute delivery needs an available truck. Color coding calculates route efficiency at a glance.

Interactive mapping

Once the truck routes are planned, a drag-and-drop map view is presented using Bing Maps to show each customer’s location, products ordered, and any customer service notes, for example, where to stack, how to get into the garage, or beware of the dog.

TECHNOLOGY

  • Microsoft Visual Studio, C#, .Net
  • SQL Server
  • SQL Reporting Services (SSRS)
  • Power BI

INTEGRATIONS

  • Salesforce
  • Bing Maps

“The Cutting Edge logistics solution demonstrates how third-party applications like SalesForce and Bing Maps can be integrated to create an integrated operations platform,” Dean Baskin of TwinEngines explained. “We are excited to extend the capabilities of Salesforce to integrate with real-world operations for our supply chain customers.”

Extending access via a mobile app

The driver accesses this delivery information via a mobile app. The driver begins each leg of the route with a click. The app captures real-world delivery data for continuous improvement, for example, factoring into the system that a delivery stacked by the customer’s pool added 12 minutes to the order.

Delivering digital transformation through third-party integrations

The driver can also communicate via SMS directly with the customer.

“The logistics side of our business drives our profits because, in addition to selling high-quality wood, we are selling customer service and convenience,” said Leroy Hite, Founder & CEO of Cutting Edge Firewood. “With transportation costs continually rising, the Vulcan platform has improved a critical margin in our business.”

“The Cutting Edge logistics solution demonstrates how third-party applications like SalesForce and Bing Maps can be integrated to create an integrated operations platform,” Dean Baskin of TwinEngines explained. “We are excited to extend the capabilities of Salesforce to integrate with real-world operations for our supply chain customers.”

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