About COOK Trading Ltd.
COOK Trading Ltd. was founded in 1997 as a small shop selling homemade frozen meals. Through a dedication to quality ingredients and great taste and a commitment to doing business in a way that benefits people, COOK has since grown to include over 90 shops throughout the United Kingdom, two kitchens in Kent, a puddings kitchen in Somerset, and a home delivery business bringing both frozen meals and meal kits directly to customers’ homes. In addition, COOK’s quality meals are available at branded freezers in hundreds of like-minded independent retailers.
As a founding member of B Corp UK, COOK is committed to using business as a tool to promote positive societal change. The company is certified by the Living Wage Foundation, and their company culture is built on profit sharing, teambuilding, workshops, and paid leave to promote charitable volunteer work. COOK recently placed 14th on the Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work For listing, making them the top rated manufacturer and second-highest retailer
As COOK continued to expand and add locations, Head of Technology James Walker was eager to explore new opportunities to promote growth, particularly within their home delivery services. He began actively seeking a solution that could enable COOK’s shop managers to create efficiencies, streamline the delivery process, and gain better visibility into the delivery process across COOK’s growing number of locations.
At that time, many shop managers were still manually mapping out their delivery routes using pins and maps. Some shop managers had even noted that, as the delivery business gained more traction, the routing process was taking up nearly their entire workday. Walker knew that this approach wasn’t sustainable and concluded he would have to find a solution that could streamline the route optimization and delivery process for all of COOK’s shops.
Route Manager has given us the visibility to see what is more profitable and helps make the service more profitable.
After exploring a number of routing software options, Walker came across Route Manager 360 and knew he had found a solution that would work with COOK’s business use case. COOK began using Route Manager 360 with GPS Tracking at one of their retail locations as a test run, using their own proprietary interface to integrate Route Manager 360’s route optimization with COOK’s own order management system.
As COOK continued to use Route Manager 360, they were able to gain fresh insight into their delivery operations and gain a better understanding of where they could find opportunities to increase efficiency and profitability. In 2019, Walker began planning to roll out Route Manager 360 to all 90 of COOK’s locations, starting by onboarding the software at five additional locations over the next six months. With the onset of COVID-19, though, demand for COOK’s services skyrocketed. As a result, the company elected to accelerate the process and roll Route Manager 360 out to all of its locations over just a few months.
In the span of 90 days, Route Manager 360 was in use at COOK’s retail locations; this included over 50 shops. The roll out was paused for the busy holiday season, but even so the software has been rolled out to COOK’s franchise locations, as well, by January 2021. This smooth onboarding experience was essential for COOK during an unprecedented growth period. With increased demand, Route Manager 360 helped COOK to sail smoothly through not only their typical busy season, but what they’ve described as a “constant peak” in demand for an 18-month period.
This trial by fire has shown COOK just how crucial a quality route optimization software is, and has also proven that Route Manager 360 is a perfect fit for a growing business looking to capitalize on high demand. Walker praises Route Manager 360’s ability to work within their proven processes, citing the software’s automation, quality, and breadth of API functionality as key factors in their decision to roll the software out across the entire business. Of that process, he notes that Route Manager 360 made it easy to expand quickly, saving COOK time by requiring less training for both online retail employees and direct-to-consumer staff.
in orders processed, on average
for time spent planning routes