Keytree creates the Brakes Driver Delivery App

Brakes Group is one of the leading foodservice companies in the UK supplying food, drinks and catering products to a wide variety of out-of-home food providers including contract caterers, pubs, restaurants, hotels, schools and hospitals. The logistics that support the delivery of goods to over 100,000 customer sites across the UK are a vital ingredient to the success of Brakes, but existing delivery systems needed upgrading to help increase efficiency and driver safety.

Brakes wanted a solution that would improve driver delivery performance and also replace paper-based processes. Keytree met the challenge and addressed these pain points with the development of the Brakes Driver Delivery App. The new solution now ensures that drivers at Brakes no longer need to carry forms, delivery documents or wait for delivery routes to be issued; everything is now located in the Driver Delivery App.

The reinvention of driver delivery processes at Brakes

To support logistical requirements at Brakes, it employs drivers on a full time or contractual basis but prior to Keytree developing the Driver Deliver App, all drivers would have to carry an individual set of documents for each and every delivery. Having everything on paper also creates a training need, as contracted drivers who may only work one week a month need to refresh themselves with the process each time they returned to work for Brakes.

But like most paper-based processes, it has pitfalls as paperwork can be easily damaged or misplaced. At the start of each day, drivers arrive at the depot to start work but would have to wait for their route to be confirmed and issued, as these were also on paper. Drivers would also need to locate their assigned vehicle and at times the entire process could take 30 – 60 minutes, which sometimes delayed the start time, and as a consequence, deliveries would run slightly late.

Keytree improves the delivery experience for drivers

Experts in mobile technology and agile working, Keytree worked closely with Brakes and used agile methodologies to understand its needs and requirements, and more importantly how to improve the working day for its fleet of drivers. Drivers at Brakes now start their day by entering their employee number into the Driver Delivery App on a mobile device provided by Brakes. The app instantly displays a Route Summary screen, the location of the vehicle, planned start time and the number of deliveries and collections listed for the day. A more detailed delivery plan is available via the Drop Sequence screen but the app also allows drivers to query any route and request changes before they leave the depot.

To meet health and safety requirements and ensure vehicles are roadworthy and ready for the day ahead, the app prompts drivers to run through a checklist to review items such as windscreen wipers, camera systems and also for drivers to undertake a ‘walk around check’ to evaluate tyres, lighting and the number of cages on board – as these can be increased or removed accordingly. The app will not let drivers leave the depot until they complete all vehicle checks. All vehicle data is recorded and stored in the app, so if at any stage a driver needed to review this information, it can be presented using the app – not a set of paper forms.

On the road

On arrival at each destination, the app displays all relevant details about the current drop and at this stage, the driver selects ‘Start Delivery’ – the app records the delivery as “in progress” and once finished, the driver then selects ‘Delivery Completed’. When the delivery is over, drivers have the ability to report any problems or issues directly via the app, which is sent directly to the depot. If the delivery was unchecked by the recipient, the driver can take a photo and record in the app as proof of delivery. It was essential to Brakes that driver welfare was supported by the app as previously it was difficult to determine if a driver had taken the requisite breaks during their working day. It is a legal requirement for drivers to take a specific amount of breaks and the Driver Delivery App supports this requirement.

Drivers can select the ‘Break’ icon at any point between deliveries and this will ensure they are not contacted and also initiates a stopwatch to monitor the time taken, which helps the planning and monitoring of breaks throughout the day. The Driver Delivery App has helped to make the delivery process much faster and also greatly improve the time taken to set up in the mornings – as drivers know exactly which vehicle is theirs with all routes and directions preloaded into the app. The depot is also provided regular real-time updates on drivers’ locations which was previously an unknown.