AccuRoute™ Distribution System
As part of our ongoing commitment to providing excellent customer service, NuCO2 has implemented an integrated delivery system called AccuRoute. AccuRoute was designed to optimize our delivery routes, anticipate and deliver product to our customers when they need it, and ensure constant communication with our operations team should unforeseen emergencies arise at our customer site. Our AccuRoute system comprises four core components:
- Mobile Fleet Communication
- Scheduling System
- Portable Account Link (PAL)
- Route Optimization
Mobile Fleet Communication
We have implemented Verizon® to Verizon voice communication and text messaging using the Verizon wireless communication system. This system allows for real-time voice communication or two-way text messaging with delivery and service personnel, regardless of their location, virtually anywhere in the country. This capability has greatly increased our ability to maximize the utilization of our resources and to provide the highest level of customer service.
To ensure reliability and consistent service levels to our customers, deliveries are made at fixed intervals. Information from the scheduling system is used to determine the proper frequency. Accounts are closely monitored by our field and corporate personnel. Each account is placed in the correct frequency grouping based on delivery history, seasonality and promotions reported to us by the customer. The scheduling system analyzes a customer's carbon dioxide usage and determines the next optimal delivery date, considering both maximum payload delivery and safety stock held in the customer's tank. The foundation of the scheduling system is the delivery information gathered by the PAL system. The scheduling system utilizes sophisticated computer algorithms that consider:
- Tank size
- Delivery history
- Seasonal factors
- Safety margins
Based on delivered quantities over time, the scheduling system determines a daily usage rate. Usage, combined with tank size and last delivery date, is used to determine how often a customer's tank must be filled.
Portable Account Link (PAL)
PAL is the mobile information system used in our delivery operation. The system utilizes a handheld device to provide field personnel with up-to-date delivery route and customer account information and also serves as an input source to record all delivery transaction information.
The route optimization system will produce efficient delivery routes to minimize time and distance traveled between deliveries. We expect this will significantly improve the levels of service to our customers by enabling our drivers to deliver more stops in less time. Testing of a potential third-party solution has taken place and we expect additional solutions to be evaluated in the near future.