We’ve all laid awake at night and heard a milk float drive past. While we’re tucked up in bed milkmen are out in the cold and dark delivering milk and other dairy products. But delivering in the dark, especially in rural areas, is not always easy. If it’s dark and the driveway is long, how can you be sure it’s number 27?
House numbers are not always sequential and in dense housing areas you can’t always drive to the front of every house. Moreover, the average postcode contains 15 properties, but some postcodes can contain up to 100! So even if you have the correct address, a level of ambiguity can exist.
So McQueens Dairies got in contact with OS partner CACI in 2017 with the aim of optimising their routing and reducing that ambiguity.
To optimise their vehicle routing McQueens Dairies have been using a bespoke solution from CACI called StreetServicer. Underpinned by OS AddressBase, StreetServicer is ideal for micro level routing like meter-reading, milk deliveries or refuse collection.
OS AddressBase matches 29 million Royal Mail postal addresses to unique property reference numbers (UPRNs). Because every addressable location in Great Britain has a UPRN, UPRNs remove ambiguity and ensures everyone refers to the correct location. So instead of knowing where the road, house number and postcode is, McQueens Dairies drivers using StreetServicer know exactly where the house is.
Not only that, but the micro level routing from StreetServicer also provides the delivery drivers with information on what side of the road to walk on and when to cross the road. This provides the most optimised journey possible, whether they are in their milk float or they have to park it to carry out the rest of the journey on foot.
Since adopting CACI and OS data McQueens Dairies have reduced their fuel consumption by approximately 100,000 miles per year and saved 30 minutes each shift thanks to their routes being mapped out in micro-level detail. It’s also reduced the burden on administrative staff as it would have taken two full time members of staff to manually route all rounds every single day. These savings, combined with UPRN level address information, has allowed McQueens Dairies to expand in their market and take on new business.