“With OptimoRoute we have a tool for the long term, it’s stable and will scale and grow with us.”
CLEAResult is the largest provider of energy efficiency solutions in North America. It works with over 250 energy providers and other partners to change the way people use energy – designing and implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, education, technical assistance, and financial guidance to reduce energy costs. CLEAResult is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has over 2,500 employees in more than 70 cities across the U.S. and Canada.
One of the initiatives it runs is the Appliance Recycling Program in Michigan. CLEAResult manages the pickup of thousands of old appliances each month from residential customers. These appliances are then taken to a depot in Ohio where they are dismantled and 95% of the parts get recycled.
Inadequate Route Planning Software Was Creating More Work
The Appliance Recycling Program has a unique workflow that is made up of several stages. In order to plan 100+ short orders for each day, automation is crucial. However, Christine Nelson – Operations Specialist at CLEAResult – discovered that not all route optimization tools are created equally:
“We learned through the school of hard knocks…Our first scheduling tool became so difficult to use that we were basically running everything off paper because it didn’t provide us with what we needed as the Appliance Recycling Program expanded”
An unexpected upgrade made the tool harder to use. Some features which Nelson had come to rely on and which were well-suited to CLEAResult’s workflow – such as bulk editing of orders – were no longer available:
“The changes meant that it completely did not suit our workflow anymore. We have over 100 orders a day and I don’t want to manually click on every one of those. For me that was a deal breaker”
OptimoRoute Seamlessly Integrates, and Perfectly Suits a Unique Workflow
Nelson is impressed with how smoothly OptimoRoute integrates into the Appliance Recycling Program workflow. From taking customer orders, to generating the unique barcodes for every appliance that is collected – each stage uses a particular software.
Using OptimoRoute for automated routing and scheduling gives Nelson a hassle-free and stable step within the broader management of the entire workflow: She does all route scheduling 2 days in advance. Overall, the entire process (including automated route planning with OptimoRoute) takes no more than 2 hours. It’s a process that will scale with ease as the program expands:
“Orders and all related information seamlessly transfers to and from OptimoRoute, minimizing the time and effort that needs to go into planning 100+ pick-ups every day.”
Automated Scheduling Puts CLEAResult in the Position to Commit to Its Appliance Recycling Program Partners
Every day there are at least 100 pickups to schedule, and each one lasts a maximum of 10 minutes. It’s a workload that would be impossible to plan by hand, or with inferior planning tools. Thanks to OptimoRoute, CLEAResult comfortably commits to long-term contracts with its commercial and government partners. It’s the advanced route optimization software needed to meet all predefined targets while making the Appliance Recycling Program efficient and cost-effective for CLEAResult to run.
Given that each vehicle can comfortably fit a certain number of appliances, OptimoRoute makes it easy for Nelson to set the load or order limit per vehicle – avoiding costly overscheduling.
As well as quickly planning optimized routes and managing load capacity, OptimoRoute has live features that let CLEAResult oversee everything that is happening out on the field. Customer service representatives rely on this insight to answer customer inquiries about when their driver will be arriving. This also gives customers a better experience:
“A few clicks, and customizable colored routes (I love them!) make it so simple for reps to let customers know where their drivers are and when they will be arriving, and customers are really happy with this.”