Just like the medieval fortress it’s named after, the Medvedgrad brewery is a Zagreb icon. 

The current COVID-19 lockdown of bars and restaurants is the biggest challenge this local brewer has ever had to face.

Operations Manager Petar Nauković explains that to survive the crisis, the business had to reinvent itself and introduce a same-day home delivery service – fast.

Before the COVID-19 the business had not looked into home delivery of its products, given that external food delivery platforms had the home delivery demand covered pretty well. Nauković says the business was focused on supplying and growing its commercial customer base of bars, cafes, and their own Medvedgrad pubs.

Medvedgrad before the lockdown

  • Deliveries to commercial customers  in Zagreb and its surrounds
  • Static routes created with basic online routing tools and knowledge of the city’s roads and shortcuts
  • 4 full-time drivers

Medvedgrad during the lockdown

  • Same-day home delivery in Zagreb, with a network of delivery partners for the rest of the country
  • Daily routes for multiple drivers planned in minutes – efficiently delivering 200+ orders a day
  • 14+ drivers, divided into 2-week shifts (according to epidemiological recommendations)

On turning to same-day home delivery

There was nothing to lose – we already had a pool of staff unable to work in other parts of the company, so we had a fleet and vehicles ready. But, I knew that scheduling and planning would need to be automated. There’s no way I would have had the time or patience to create delivery routes every day for a whole bunch of new locations all over the city. 

Before OptimoRoute I came across some route optimization software that turned out to be really bad at recognizing our addresses – I guess it works in the USA, but that was of no use to me in the middle of Europe.

On creating and running the new operation with OptimoRoute

As soon as I learned about OptimoRoute I started the free 30-day trial. 

From the get-go, it was easy to use, and we went live on day one. Ideally, we’d take a week or more to test the software, play around with it and get a feel for all of its capabilities, but in these lockdown circumstances, we just couldn’t afford to do that. Orders were coming in and we had to get out on the road immediately.  

Within a couple of days, we were making over 100 deliveries a day, then eventually over 200 deliveries a day. All orders that come in before 6 pm are delivered that day. We even added vehicles and drivers in the meantime, and we’re looking into ways of adding more vehicles to our modest fleet 🙂 

From my laptop and home office I can control the entire operation: Zagreb deliveries, our delivery partners in other areas of the country, the webshop, the accounting side of the operation – all made easier and more integrated with OptimoRoute. In a way, we’ve taken on a whole new avenue of work and created an operation from scratch – but that hasn’t meant a massive amount of accompanying administrative and logistical work too, which I’m grateful for.

Our drivers use the Mobile App for the list of delivery locations and turn-by-turn directions, and they’re happy with it. No hassles with finding the right location, there are no missed deliveries and it just saves a lot of time. 

Customers love the Realtime Order Tracking email and text message notifications – it lets us make no-contact deliveries and it lets them know when to expect us (so their cold beer doesn’t wait outside in the warm spring sun!)

On Medvedgrad’s future with OptimoRoute

What started as a crisis, or triage response now feels like a smooth operation and one that we have complete control over.  OptimoRoute helps us make the most of this situation and is turning it into the start of a new and positive Medvedgrad story.  

Using OptimoRoute has given us new ideas for later, when the lockdown measures start to get lifted. We know that it won’t be ‘back to normal’ immediately, but I feel confident that OptimoRoute can help us remain responsive and flexible, and that will help us deal with the unpredictability of the post-corona world.

If you have an alcohol delivery business, OptimoRoute can help!