Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Thornbridge brewery says cheers for Maxoptra route-planning software

Steve Rogerson
October 25, 2016

UK independent brewer Thornbridge is improving delivery costs, increasing driver efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of its mobile operation following the implementation of a dynamic delivery route planning system.
The Maxoptra cloud based software is helping the award-winning brewery ensure customers receive their beer in a timely and cost effective manner. Since introducing the online delivery route optimisation system, Thornbridge has also seen an improvement in customer service and is planning, with the continued support of Maxoptra, further expansion of the business.
“We discussed in detail what we required from a route planner, including all possible factors that needed to be taken into consideration when scheduling,” said James Walker, logistics manager at Thornbridge Brewery. “We then trialled a number of solutions before concluding that Maxoptra was the most user friendly and fitted all of our needs perfectly.”
Before the implementation of Maxoptra, Thornbridge’s drivers were manually planning their own deliveries. This required returning to site at the end of every day to collect delivery manifests to prepare the next day’s schedule. Using Maxoptra, this process has been entirely automated. Routes are prepared in advanced and in accordance with customer specific requirements, such as opening times, weight of deliveries and time required onsite.
“Since we started using Maxoptra, we have seen a noticeable reduction in mileage, and therefore costs and emissions, and driver time is better utilised,” said Walker. “We have also improved customer service with better communications and are confident that, as our business continues to expand, Maxoptra will support us along the way.”
Thornbridge Brewery was founded in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall, Ashford-in-the-Water in Derbyshire. The first craft beers were produced in 2005, and Thornbridge rapidly expanded opening a new state-of-the art 30 barrel brewery in 2009.
Thornbridge has won more than 350 awards since opening, is considered by many to be the UK’s first craft brewery and distributes beer to more than 38 countries. It also operates six public houses in the Sheffield area and, in a new venture, its first pub outside of the UK in s-Hertogenbosh in the Netherlands.
“It is very exciting to be supporting Thornbridge at such a critical time in the company’s development,” said Stuart Brunger, head of business development at London-based Maxoptra. “The use of Maxoptra is already delivering tangible benefits and returns on investment, and will help underpin the brewery’s ambitious growth plans. It has to be said, site visits to Thornbridge are also a pleasure.”