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Case study: route optimization of meal deliveries

Case study: route optimization of meal deliveries

Route management fully integrated into Le Figuier’s value chain


“When you have a simple tool, you use it. The ease of use of Mapotempo Web has been essential to our success.”

– Denis Lacoste, General Director of Le Figuier.

Key data

  • Activity: catering, delivery of meal for companies,
  • 15 daily vehicle routes (vehicles -20m3),
  • 500 meal trays delivered on average / day,
  • Area: Paris and the Paris region,
  • Routes type: delivery,
  • Mapotempo Web‘s user since 2017.
Download the testimonial in pdf format

Benefits of digitising Le Figuier’s route management

Manual route management
Route management with Mapotempo Web
Difficulties in controlling a stressed logistics activity that has a negative impact on other chains in the company’s value chain. Control of the entire value chain through an information system that is transversal to each of the company’s key skills. Improved customer satisfaction.
The change in the context in which the activity is carried out result in the loss of the experience acquired in route management, e.g. moving the departure and arrival points of the routes. Securing the knowledge and know-how of employees on the planning and routes execution.
The routing stage, essential to customer relations, not monitored. Use of a professional mobility tool and standardization of practices within the mobile team.
Reluctance of the logistics division to adopt the technology. Intuitive solution that naturally leads to use and leads to trust in the tool.

The context

For 12 years, Le Figuier has been offering catering solutions for companies. The company manufactures and delivers meal trays, cocktails, buffets and breakfasts to more than 5000 companies in Paris and the Paris region. Therefore, Le Figuier has three key skills to satisfy its customers: the customer relationship management, the quality of manufacturing in the food industry and logistical know-how.

Mobile staff: one of the major players in customer satisfaction

Regarding its logistics, Le Figuier provides a delivery service for companies 7 days a week. The company receives orders for meal trays the day before until 6pm. For buffets, cocktails and breakfasts, it receives its orders until noon. Over a day, the delivery service is provided from 6:30 a.m. in the morning and until 6:00 p.m. in the evening. Le Figuier undertakes to deliver its customers within 30-minute time slots for morning breakfast routes delivery and two hours for lunch and dinner routes delivery. If the delivery is delayed by more than one hour, then its customers can refuse the order.

Mr Denis Lacoste, General Manager of the company, shared the context in which Le Figuier operates:

“Even if it is a job by its own, we have decided that logistics should be managed internally because we want to provide the best service to our customers. Thus, we have our own fleet of vehicles and the drivers are all employees of our company. Also, our mobile staff plays an essential role in ensuring customer satisfaction. Their knowledge of certain areas is important to us, but above all their knowledge of our customers. Indeed, it is their delivery service to the customer that closes the customer’s purchase experience with our company. This final step of distributing the meals we have prepared must therefore go well. “Going well” means for a customer being delivered on time, with the right order, by the right person. And the right person is either the one they are used to meeting, or the person best suited to providing the service requested by the client, for example for a cocktail. The main issues that weigh on our touring activity are therefore the respect of time windows, the allocation of the right customers to the right driver, the management of the maximum load capacity of our vehicles, all this by managing the variability of our routes from one day to the next.”

The management of Le Figuier’s routes before Mapotempo

During our interview, Mr. Lacoste returned to the way Le Figuier managed his tours before Mapotempo:

“We quickly had the ambition to rationalize the management of our routes and we therefore invested in a route optimization tool competing with Mapotempo. The result is that we did not use the tool in question. Looking back, I see a main reason for this, the complexity of the software made it almost impossible to use. Despite this investment, we managed our routes by hand. For touring, each mobile staff members chose his tool on his smartphone. So there was no consistency in the use of solutions and our drivers were using consumer mobile applications. Finally, mainly offered GPS navigation, they did not act as a real mobile delivery solution with features such as signature or geolocation. Finally, for customer relationship management, we were mature, with a CRM solution adapted to our needs, a world leader in its field.”

The challenges

Therefore, Le Figuier had a route optimization tool that was not used and various mobility tools. The company continued to manage the business in this way, based on the experience of its staff until an event disrupted the company’s logistics division. Mr. Lacoste reviewed this event:

The acquisition of a second company doubled the volume of our business. In addition, we had moved our premises from where our trucks were leaving from Fresnes to Clichy. And so, with this move, all the experience accumulated on the management of our routes has vanished. We had to rework all our routes and at the same time manage a volume of orders that had exploded. Our dispatcher was starting to make mistakes and generate dissatisfaction. The habits of our mobile team had also been totally disrupted. It was therefore no longer a question of using our usual methods. As mobile staff are one of the major actors in customer satisfaction, we also encountered an increasingly pressing need for a uniform mobility tool. We needed a real professional solution, used and mastered by everyone. We also wanted it to be able to place geolocation at the level of mobile workforce and not the vehicle. Therefore, our challenges were to maintain and improve our quality of service despite the explosion of our activity and to regain control of our logistics.”

The key to success

The creation of a technological ecosystem transverse to the company’s skills: commercial management, production and logistics

“This context of tension in our logistics activities has led us to rethink them in depth. We wanted to be able to find a tool adapted to our routes management needs and integrate it into the entire chain:

  • online order taking,
  • the quotation generated in our CRM,
  • the validation of the quotation which becomes an order,
  • the order that becomes a production and delivery order,
  • the transmission of the delivery order from our CRM to the route optimization tool,
  • the transmission of optimized routes to a mobile delivery application.

Then, we discovered Mapotempo. The solution was adapted to interface or integrate with other solutions via its APIs. In addition, the fact that Mapotempo‘s solutions are Open Source has given us confidence in this project to integrate the route management solution into our technical environment. But what we particularly appreciated was that Mapotempo also supported us on our mobility project. They were already coupled with several solutions and they did not put us in the hands of a single actor, they carried out a real follow-up of our project. In short, Mapotempo was able to respond well to the IT dimension of the project, beyond the simple deployment of the route optimization solution and this was absolutely crucial.”

To avoid the pitfall of deploying a route optimization tool that is not used, Mr. Lacoste was also looking for an intuitive solution.

“Compared to our bad experience with the first route optimization tool, Mapotempo Web has proven to be a complete and easy-to-use tool. Yet, when you have a simple tool, you use it. The ease of use of Mapotempo Web has been essential to our success. In addition to simplicity, there is also the notion of trust that one can have in a solution. As soon as you have a tool you trust, the whole quality chain improves. The human does not feel overwhelmed, or surpassed by the tool, but on the contrary works with it.”

What about tomorrow? Dealing with the revolution in urban logistics

We are facing a disruption in delivery methods. In this context, we are aware that mobility is a real challenge. At the same time, we continue to develop our activity, the increase in our delivery points is continuous. Therefore, we have clearly integrated these two elements into our future innovation efforts to remain aligned with or even anticipate our customers’ requirements.”