Tomato Mountain Farm Quadruples Deliveries With OptimoRoute
May 31, 2021
300% increase in delivery efficiency in a single month
50% increase in their driver fleet while remaining profitable
Extended their delivery from 2 days to 4 days per week
Improved decision making with a detailed analytics dashboard
Tomato Mountain is a farm based in Brooklyn, Wisconsin, that delivers local, sustainable produce right to customers’ doors. Using OptimoRoute, they quadrupled their customer base from 300 to 1,200 members in a matter of 30 days.
When Claire Molek joined the team as the CSA facilitator at Tomato Mountain Farm, one of her objectives was to improve their delivery planning. She endeavored to create a new system that would reduce the risk of small but costly human errors and replace software that couldn’t accommodate their business’ unique needs.
What Molek didn’t know was that the choices she made and the new system she developed using OptimoRoute would help her company persevere in a global pandemic and scale safely at lightning speed.
Here’s how Molek and her team are carving out a path of lasting success for their farm delivery business, even in a turbulent economy.
Why Tomato Mountain Farm Chose OptimoRoute
Tomato Mountain Farm offers a subscription service where patrons get weekly deliveries of certified organic produce. The farm partners with nearby dairies and other farms to deliver a variety of sustainable, seasonal foods. Delivery teams aggregate orders in a warehouse in Chicago, then drop off boxes to customers around the city and surrounding suburbs.
Tomato Mountain Farm didn’t have an effective routing software before OptimoRoute. They were still relying heavily on manual calculations, and it hurt their revenue. “It doesn’t matter how great your people are,” Molek said. “You’re looking at like a 3% margin of error [doing manual calculations]. Those errors, when you’re a small business like us, are really expensive.”
Molek was determined to find a more efficient solution. “OptimoRoute opened up this whole world of possibilities around how we could be more efficient, both in our planning and in our execution.”
How Tomato Mountain Is Scaling Operations Using OptimoRoute
Using OptimoRoute, Tomato Mountain Farm increased their delivery efficiency by as much as 300% in a single month.
This significant increase in optimization allowed them to reduce expenses and reinvest in new delivery vehicles.
“When COVID-19 happened, our business grew exponentially,” Molek said, “and if I had not instated OptimoRoute, I would not have been able to accommodate all of that business… we would not have been able to take new customers.”
But when Tomato Mountain Farm’s membership suddenly increased to 4x their normal volume, the number of stops along their routes weren’t the only thing that increased. “It’s also our engagement with our customers,” Molek said. “People are buying more from our add-on program. We have so much more business that we had to completely change all of our systems. The one system we really didn’t have to do anything with, that was just completely helpful, was OptimoRoute.”
Using OptimoRoute, Tomato Mountain Farm was able to scale their profits while their order volume increased. The additional revenue allowed them to reinvest in their fleet of drivers and grow by 50% while maintaining profitability.
Increasing Efficiency for Their Entire Team
Tomato Mountain Farm used OptimoRoute to optimize routes without the need for an additional technical expert. “All OptimoRoute asked me for was an Excel sheet,” Molek said.
Once new orders are uploaded, optimized deliveries are routed for all of Tomato Mountain Farm’s scheduled drivers in a matter of seconds. They can easily reassign driver territories based on where order clusters are for the day and look out for drivers’ well-being using live tracking.
“The scheduling feature and the optimization of the scheduling is really useful because it makes the driver’s day better.” Tomato Mountain Farm uses schedule optimization to make sure drivers aren’t constantly working overtime and ensure they have a pleasant experience.
Live tracking also helps Tomato Mountain Farm provide better service to their customers. Because OptimoRoute keeps a precise record of when each order is dropped off, Tomato Mountain Farm is able to provide specific, detailed order information if a customer calls in with a question.
Using Analytics to Achieve Sustainable Growth
Tomato Mountain Farm has completely revamped their delivery system. Molek said, “Once I saw how easy it was to use OptimoRoute, it really inspired me to make a new system for our routing that worked with how OptimoRoute works.”
Molek said one of her favorite OptimoRoute features is the delivery analytics on her dashboard. “I am constantly looking at our analytics because if I have a driver that can do under 10 stops in an hour, then I know how much I need on that day. And that’s really important for me to be able to track.”
Tomato Mountain Farm reorganized their territories and set consistent weekly delivery days for customers based on each geographical cluster. Customers in the Northwest receive deliveries on Saturdays. The Southwest is serviced on Sundays, and the remaining territories get deliveries on Thursdays or Fridays. “Not only is that very effective, it’s very easy to communicate that to somebody.”
Tomato Mountain Farm has reduced unnecessary back and forth for drivers by sending them to a more defined cluster of drop-offs. This new system also helps reduce their carbon footprint.
Seeking Guidance From OptimoRoute Customer Service
Tomato Mountain Farm used OptimoRoute customer service to streamline the software adoption process and get up and running quickly. “Every time I was confused or needed help,” Molek said, “I never had an issue with getting in touch with the people at OptimoRoute.
“I felt like OptimoRoute was the most transparent, informative, helpful service. Because when something goes wrong around here, it’s really on my shoulders. It was comforting that I had a whole support team [at OptimoRoute] that could help. From the very first moment, everybody was just so helpful.”
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We’re proud to be partnering with Tomato Mountain Farm and excited to see what new achievements lie ahead for them. We’d love to help your business maximize delivery efficiency, too. Join the OptimoRoute family with zero upfront costs. We offer a 30-day free trial — no credit card required.
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