With many cities across the world going into lockdown due to the global pandemic, finding sources of entertainment can be a challenge for anyone.
Precisely that is what drove Alden Marriott a 17-year-old high school senior to start a service for elementary school kids in his neighborhood. With the help of his mother, an elementary school librarian, and an auto-dealership owner, they created a bookmobile that delivers thousands of books to kids and families in La Crescenta.
We spoke to Lisa Marriott who uses OptimoRoute to create schedules and plan routes for more than a hundred families and kids who signed up for the Monte Vista Bookmobile.
Using OptimoRoute to Create Schedules and Cost-Efficient Routes
“My son spent the summer reaching out to Nick Ghazarian of Hi-Star Auto and pitching the idea to him. He knew it was a big ask – donating a van to a kid, but he persisted and soon enough we found a van suitable for the task”.
Because the Bookmobile is a community-run initiative that depends on donations, keeping costs down to a minimum was key. Lisa has to deliver books twice a week, covering close to 100 homes so reducing miles traveled and scheduling efficient routes is crucial.
Choosing to use a route planner early on was an excellent choice, Lisa remarks. Initially, she had planned to cap the service at 50 families, but people kept signing up and soon enough she had scaled to 100 families.
“We started a signup process where we hoped to start small and learn then potentially scale. My concern was how do I organize my time and make this delivery system cost-efficient. I was worried about making the route. That’s how I found OptimoRoute”.
Easy to Use Interface That Saves Time
With OptimoRoute, Lisa adds, planning became a breeze. She can upload addresses directly from a Google form into the OptimoRoute software and create routes in a matter of minutes.
“Twice a week I do about 15-20 miles of driving roughly 40 families per day. I plan the routes every Tuesday and Friday morning. I am getting pretty fast, so it used to take me almost an hour. Now I’m down to about 15 minutes” Lisa states.
OptimoRoute lets her make each drop off as quick and efficient as possible, by allocating just the right amount of time at each house before moving on to the next one.
“I drive the van and a highschool student is my door dasher. I have a three minute stop at each house. I know this because OptimoRoute tells me how much time I have to spare, which is a feature I love.”
Using Realtime Order Tracking for Contactless Deliveries
One particular benefit when using OptimoRoute is the ability to do contactless deliveries because she sends order tracking information to the kids. As Lisa adds, it also created hype among them as they are continuously checking OptimoRoute’s Realtime Order Tracking several times a day.
“Realtime Order Tracking is seamless for me to use and even for the youngest of kids. It didn’t require any special instruction to explain to them how to use it. Thanks to the tracking option that OptimoRoute provides, if they choose to, and they do, they can follow my location and know exactly when I am arriving almost like the Santa tracker” Lisa remarks.
Excellent Customer Support Makes Bookmobile a Community Success
She credits her success to OptimoRoute’s support team which was always available to guide her through every step of the process.
“The system took a little getting used to, but I was able to import all the information into OptimoRoute. The support team at OptimoRoute was with me the whole time. They walked me through importing the lists and then sending it to my mobile phone” she explains.
Thanks to Bookmobile, more than 2000 books are in circulation in La Crescenta. Their amazing story even made national news. Lisa adds, it brought the community together and has made a difference. Everyone is pitching in by donating their time or even by bringing grocery bags to carry the books. Even the older kids are participating as door dashers and carrying the books from the van to people’s homes.
“The result is happy kids – happy families, anxiously waiting for their books to arrive”.