Here’s One Way to Deliver Fresh Produce Without Refrigeration
White Picket Produce uses Ram ProMaster City vans to delivery its fresh produce packages. Photo courtesy of Sharyn Vross.
As a single mom of three kids, it was difficult for Sharyn Vross to find time to pick up her weekly package of organic produce. She decided to start her own produce company that would deliver a weekly package to each customer’s doorstep.
“In 2015, I started White Picket Produce with eight boxes and just me doing the deliveries,” says Vross, owner of the Sarasota, Fla.-based company.
Two years later, the company now has 140 to 150 deliveries per week and five to six drivers. Because the deliveries consist of fresh produce, they need to get to the person’s house quickly after they leave the warehouse.
“We don’t have refrigerated vehicles,” says Vross. “I would rather have more drivers and get the produce delivered quicker rather than having one driver delivering all day.”
Two full-time drivers complete the majority of the deliveries in the company’s two ProMaster City fleet vans. Delivering twice a week, the two drivers put approximately 75 miles per week on each fleet van. Vross then hires other drivers (who use their own vehicles) to deliver to the outlining areas — more than an hour away.
So far, the ProMaster City vans have been a good fit for the company. Vross was initially drawn to them because they were in her price range and had the appropriate square footage for making deliveries. Additionally, they are easy to drive and can maneuver in and out of neighborhood streets easily, according to Vross.
With several drivers each having their own route, it can be time-consuming to route each driver manually.
Vross uses a home delivery software program to manage the boxes in her business (Kiva Logic). The software includes a routing app, but it has to be done manually and doesn’t suggest a route.
Vross tried a few different routing systems, including RouteSavvy. She became a beta tester and used the software for a few months.
“RouteSavvy has worked so well for my business,” she says. “I can draw territory lines for each driver. Any stops put in that territory will be assigned to that specific driver. It automatically optimizes the route for the driver.”
For Vross, it has also been easy to integrate RouteSavvy with the Kiva Logic software.
Designed for small to mid-sized fleets, RouteSavvy offers route planning software that doesn’t involve a lot of tech time or maintenance. When inputting multiple addresses, RouteSavvy organizes locations and creates more efficient routes for deliveries, pick-ups, or sales calls, according to the company. It then provides directions and exports the optimized route to mobile devices for each driver.
“Route planning software that’s specifically designed for small to mid-sized fleets has been proven to consistently generate savings on fuel costs, overtime labor costs, and office staff time,” says Steve Milroy, president of OnTerra Systems, the makers of RouteSavvy.
“RouteSavvy has saved our routing coordinator time from having to manually put in each driver’s route,” says Vross. “And the price is affordable, starting at $25 per month, especially for a small business.”