Podfather is the right choice for ePOD and route planning – don’t just take our word for it!

16 Jan 2024
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When selecting a software solution for your business, looking at what other companies are using is a good indicator of whether it’s the right solution for you.  We can wax lyrical about our prowess, our software success and our broad functionality capability but we thought you might like to hear from a few of the customers who signed up to be part of the Podfather family in 2023. 

Here we look at successes in two market sectors, Food & Drink and Building Materials.  Forest Product, Lilley’s Cider, 3Line Electrical and Browns Builders Merchants are just four of the many new customers who joined us in 2023. Here is what they have to say.

Forest Produce

Forest Produce was established in 2003 and now employees 45 members of staff and operates 16 delivery vehicles making an average of 2,000 deliveries a week. With a focus on reliability, quality and integrity, together with an understanding and appreciation of innovation and value, Tony also cites a naked man in white wellies and a bad-ass Spaniard as helping to shape the Forest journey!

“I started looking for a system to help reduce the time it took to train new drivers as before they were partnered with an existing driver for 3 or 4 days in order to learn the ropes. While this worked, it wasn’t efficient and it also meant that potentially bad habits were simply being propagated,” commented Forest Produce’s founder and Managing Director, Tony Quick. “However, from my first conversation with Podfather I was astonished; not only did they have a solution for my original requirement they immediately started offering resolutions for problems I thought were unsolvable.” 

Since implementing the Podfather system, Forest Produce has seen a 75 per cent reduction in the time take to train new delivery drivers. What used to take days, learning processes and individual routes, now takes just a few hours getting to know the business and learning how to use Podfather. Back-office admin and support teams are also realising efficiency gains through the use of the system resulting in a saving of around 40 hours a week.

“The hospitality sector is facing unprecedented skills shortages and, as we are constantly expanding, we are constantly trying to recruit,” Quick added. “Using Podfather we are able to be more efficient with the resource we have which allows us to respond to this challenge.”

Lilley's Cider

Based in Somerset, Lilley’s Cider is a family-run business which was established by father and son Chris and Marc Lilley in 2007. From humble beginnings, Lilley’s now crafts a range of nearly 40 different flavoured ciders and perries, all of which are distinct, gluten-free and made on-site at the family farm in Frome. Lilley’s is the holder of 3 Great Taste Awards, including one prestigious Gold 3-Star Award, as well as many CAMRA Awards and its Mango Cider is the top-rated fruit cider on UNTAPPD. Operating its own national distribution network, Lilley’s supplies pubs, shops and other outlets across the UK and is a holder of a SALSA food safety certificate.

“Prior to Podfather we manually planned our deliveries using a paper map and a spreadsheet,” commented Mia Brixey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Lilley’s Cider. “This worked when we had a handful of trade customers but, as we now make thousands of deliveries each week/month, it was taking more and more time and impacting on the customer experience.

“Having reviewed a few routing systems, we selected Podfather as it was the most user-friendly,” Brixey continued. “It was visually appealing, with an easy to navigate interface, and the functionality, although advanced, was easy to use. Podfather also integrated with our existing business tools.”

3Line Electrical

3Line Electrical is a rapidly expanding, independent electrical wholesaler company supplying contractors, installers, facilities managers, commercial/industrial users, and the general public, with a wide range of supplies. With branches in Norwich, Newmarket, Nottingham, Derby, Poole, Bracknell, Swindon, Ipswich, Peterborough, Northampton, and most recently Basingstoke, Clapham and Raynes Park 3Line Electrical prioritises customer service. Experienced, local teams offer a comprehensive stock range, welcoming trade counters and a free delivery service.

“Before Podfather we obviously knew what vans we had but we didn’t know what they doing,” commented Dave Kenny, Operations Manager at 3Line Electrical. “Each van has a monthly cost, so, for example, if we had one that was doing one delivery a day then that van isn’t viable, however, if another is doing 60 deliveries a day that’s not viable either.

“Having used Podfather in a previous role I knew what the software could do,” he continued. “In the first month of using Podfather, we already have processes in place and more business intelligence than ever before, which is reducing the number of queries we get on a day-to-day basis and allowing us to benchmark our operation to inform future decision making.”  

Browns Builders Merchants

Browns is a family run business based in Derby that has been in existence for more than 100 years and its Nottingham Road depot is located on the site of the old Browns Foundry. In its current form Browns Builders Merchants has been supplying building materials to the trade and public since 1990. Browns delivers across the midlands, from Birmingham to Nottingham and Leicester to Stoke, making the most of the central motorway network. Its mixed fleet of trucks and vans makes around 50 drops a day ranging from single load bulk deliveries to multi-drop runs.

“When COVID hit it impacted our business in a number of ways,” commented Edward Parlato, Branch Manager at Browns and Podfather champion. “The number and nature of our deliveries changed, with more orders from members of the public, and the type of service that they wanted changed, with a more ‘Amazon’ experience expected as the norm. We also realised that the transport operation was heavily reliant on our transport co-ordinator; so, if they were absent things has the potential to fall apart. I had been on the receiving end of the Podfather solution, as suppliers such as Rexel, Tarmac and Breedon use it, and knew that it could be a great fit for the business.”

Prior to implementing Podfather, Browns was totally reliant on manual processes and paper documents. An experienced transport co-ordinator planned each day’s deliveries and drivers were issued with the relevant paperwork. As drivers returned to the depot, they were then issued the details and documents for the next run.

“We are already seeing the positive impact of Podfather on the business,” Parlato continued. “Our fleet utilisation is much higher, with less downtime and fewer trips back to depot, and our customer interactions are more informed. We have fewer calls from customers with queries and those we do have can be answered at first point of contact. Ideally, we’d like to get to the point where every call we take is a sales call and complaints are a thing of the past.”

Who else uses Podfather’s route planning and electronic proof of delivery solution?

Our customers span a wide range of industry sectors and operation types.  We have big construction giants like Tarmac, Breedon and Aggregate Industry, sizeable operators such as Bidfresh, Rexel, and ODDBOX and a whole host of medium and small fleet operators delivering a mind boggling array of products.

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You can find more customer case studies on our website:

Could we be helping you?

If you’d like to find out more about our route planning, optimization and electronic proof of delivery solution then get in touch with us today.  Simply call us on tel: +44 (0) 131 553 0400 or drop an email to and a member of our friendly and experienced team will get in touch as soon as they can.