Verso – La Poste’s Choice for Optimizing the Last Mile

The service, mail, and package delivery branch of France’s postal system has chosen Verso to help optimize routing, and it is now an integral part of La Poste’s infrastructure. We are very proud to have been recognized for our know-how in route optimization, for both the quality of the solutions we provide and the speed of our algorithmic computations.

Parcel delivery using an electric cargo bike. Photo by La Poste.

Verso Put to the Test During Lockdown

La Poste is well known for its high level of expertise in service routing, which lies at the very heart of its operations. But the first period of confinement during the pandemic in France saw an unprecedented rise in demand for services that its standard logistical tools were not equipped to deal with. To respond to the needs of the people working in the field, effective solutions had to be found, and fast. Verso was able to do just that.

“During lockdown, Verso’s tools for route optimization very quickly provided us with the innovative solutions we needed to carry out our work.”

Christophe Pellerin, Supply Chain Manager, La Poste.

When La Poste did further testing on the infrastructure driven by Verso, its adaptability quickly became apparent. The speed with which algorithmic computations were performed allowed for the concurrent resolution of a considerable number of large-scale problems, thus allaying fears that infrastructure scaling would prove impossible.

Beyond the Prototype – Optimiss

Buoyed by the success of these practical trials, La Poste began developing Optimiss in 2021, a management tool focused on specific aspects of its operations – urban logistics, pick-ups and drop-offs, meal deliveries, and so on – that uses Verso’s algorithms to assign and order tasks based on the resources available and the totality of varying constraints.

Thanks to Verso, Optimiss has proven capable of determining efficient delivery routes that take specific needs into account while offering users an interface for its more than 2,300 sites. Overall, this means managing the routes of nearly 10,000 vehicles that perform some 170,000 services daily.

A Winning Partnership

The choice to use Verso has afforded La Poste more than just access to its tools for optimization, for working in partnership with us also includes our expertise and technical support, thus assuring excellent, customized results. The configuration and tuning of the software stack are optimized to meet each and every specific need.

Evolving situations require an ability to adapt, which Verso has demonstrated time and again. For example, Verso now handles heterogeneous vehicle profiles and vehicle autonomy, which aligns perfectly with La Poste’s commitment to carbon neutrality and its decision to include electric vehicles in its fleet.

Contact us if, like La Poste, you would like to do test runs to see how our tools for route optimization can be applied to your business.

Socleo Optimizes Local Food Distribution Networks

Thanks to the incorporation of our API for route optimization, Socleo, the specialist in local food distribution networks, can now offer its clients this added feature while they continue to use the software they are familiar with.

socleo + verso

A Specialist in Local Food Distribution Networks

Designed for growers, processors, and distributors, Socleo’s multi-faceted software can be adapted to individuals, communities, or regions. It can be used for sales, by offering an on-line store and a showcase website, for logistics, by overseeing inventory and deliveries, and for administrative matters, by generating invoices. It is a complete management platform, wholly adapted to the needs of local food distribution networks.

A Collaboration that Benefits the People Directly Involved

With the incorporation of our API, Socleo has given its clients access to optimized routing. And it has done so without requiring them to move on from the software they are accustomed to, which already includes most of the specifics needed to configure problems in view of route optimization.

This new addition gives those involved in local food distribution greater logistical control in two ways: first, by handling a large part of their scheduling automatically; second, by reducing delivery times and thereby reducing the impact on the environment, in harmony with the spirit of local food distribution networks.

Contact us if you, too, would like to incorporate route optimization into your management software.

DeliverMe.City’s Innovative Approach to Last Mile Delivery

DeliverMe.City allows users to determine exactly when and where they want their packages delivered directly to them. The company, which Challenges listed as one of the most innovative and promising of 2021, is highly attuned to social and environmental issues. The flexibility it has added to the final minutes of deliveries draws heavily on our API for route optimization.

The Uniqueness of DeliverMe.City

As opposed to many platforms, DeliverMe.City has chosen to work with salaried deliverymen. Beyond its social dimension, this approach effectively makes its deliverymen representatives of the service they provide, thereby ensuring its quality.

To reduce its impact on the environment, and noise levels as well, deliveries are made on power-assisted bicycles, and electric-powered vehicles are used exclusively throughout the process of procuring supplies. The concern for technical reliability and quality led the company to work with a French designer of cargo bikes.

Above all, DeliverMe.City has placed its clients at the heart of its service by allowing them to determine the place and time of deliveries, and even the possibility of altering time and/or place while goods are already on their way. This flexibility means that clients are dictating scheduling rather than being dictated to by logistics. It is an approach that represented a major challenge in terms of optimization.

Organization and Modelization

Increasing the number of factors to be taken into account and allowing for possible adjustments can naturally lead to added operational costs. For such an approach to be sustainable requires an ad hoc organizational system. To this end, DeliverMe.City conceived a multi-layered delivery process made responsive and flexible by synchronizing the work of its various participants.

Turning DeliverMe.City’s vision into reality was a challenge for our expertise in optimization that proved a highly enriching experience. The modelization of the problem that we worked together to construct allowed us to structure successfully the in-the-field organization.

Thanks to our API for route optimization, the company’s scheduling can be continually updated from the time orders are accepted through the period when they are on the way. We sincerely hope that DeliverMe.City will meet with the success its innovative spirit deserves.

Don’t hesitate to contact us should you, too, have a challenging problem in optimization.

Teliae integrates Verso’s API into its Software

Teliae specializes in developing business software for logistics management and the transport industry. Its Transport Management Systems (TMS) are used by more than 450 carriers of all sizes: Ciblex, XPO, Kuehne Nagel Road, Michelin, Groupe Mazet, GFS, Office Depot, DGS, Normatrans, Noyon, and others. To increase the advantages of the solutions it provides, Teliae has integrated Verso’s API for route optimization into its software, which will save its clients time spent scheduling and reduce operational costs.

Teliway in action – Map data © OpenStreetMap contributor

The Keys to a Successfully Integrated Tool

Users of the Teliway TMS will now be able to access functionalities for the optimization of fleet operations with just one click. No need for additional tools or to reconfigure data; users of the software will continue to work within familiar confines. Access to these functionalities is immediate, just one simple step in the ergonomic operational process that the Teliway software provides.

The success of an integrated tool for route optimization depends largely on its ability to consider each and every one of a client’s needs so as to generate pertinent solutions in the field. To reap the greatest benefits from VERSO’s API, Teliae has inputted its clients’ specific constraints: routes based on predetermined but adaptable sectoring, constraints imposed by loading dock workflow, task priorities, schedules and working hours, and so on.

“I’m just blown away by the speed of these calculations”

Jérôme Petit, Teliae’s Director of Operation

Thanks to the speed with which calculations are performed the optimization module can be used in real time and help generate more enlightened business decisions. The user, obviously, given his expertise, still has the final word and can make adjustments through either the software’s presentation of the fleet schedule or a cartographic view of it.

The Key Word is Complementarity

“I’m just blown away by the speed of these calculations,” Jérôme Petit, Teliae’s Director of Operations, said after watching VERSO perform. That is precisely what we seek to do: focus on a “software building block” that can solve specific problems with blinding efficiency. We are delighted that Teliae has placed its trust in our highly specialized expertise in optimization, and we know that Teliae’s long and rich experience in the field will make our collaboration a success sure to benefit its clients.

Contact us if, like Teliae, you would like to optimize your clients’ route planning and further enhance the performance of your software.

Place du local Makes it Easier to Have Access to Locally Grown Foods

We have become increasingly aware of the consequences of our choices as consumers. Place du local gives us the means to do what is best for the economy and the environment.

Josselin Pradier, Place du local founder – © Lionel Vadam, Est Républicain

Eating Healthier Foods Made Easier

Many of us would like to make the purchase of healthy foods more meaningful by supporting local growers and reducing the potentially harmful impact our purchases have on the environment, but few of us have either the time or the means to make the rounds of local growers to fill our shopping carts, as it were, with everything we need. Through its large network of growers, Place du local has created an e-market that gives us all easy access to a wide range of local products along with the advantages modern technology has wrought: online ordering, deliveries to homes or pick-up locations, and a choice of delivery times.

A Real, Quantifiable Impact

Place du local uses our API for route optimization to draw up cost-effective delivery routes that take into account factors such as the days and delivery times their customers require. In addition to the time saved creating schedules and the reduced delivery costs that make this service more affordable for everyone, our API has become an essential part of the logistical planning. And the results have been very impressive. Today, the average distance covered for the delivery of the whole of an individual’s purchases is just 3.7 miles (6km), which includes both pick-ups from growers and delivery to customers. By comparison, the average per person car-time for daily shopping is 15 minutes1, and that figure does not include the time it takes to supply stores with the food they sell.

We are delighted to be collaborating with a local partner who is providing consumers with an approach to food purchases that makes for a more sustainable economy and environment.

[1] Figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INSEE)

Keolis optimizes service routes in Besançon

Every year, the upkeep of Besançon’s urban transport system requires Keolis to intervene some 18,000 times. The expertise gained from long experience and familiarity with the network has allowed the company to service quickly and efficiently whatever needs attention in the day-to-day maintenance of the system.

A bus shelter in need of a schedule update. – Photo by Samuel Foste

An Increase in Scale

Keolis is also responsible for updating the bus and trolley schedules posted for riders. This requires them to visit all of the system’s bus shelters and schedule posts several times a year, in each instance in a very short span of time. The geographical area Keolis has to cover was recently expanded to include all of greater Besançon, which added 400 stops to the 500 already in place, with most of the new ones located in areas previously unserviced. The increased workload, with its rural setting and significantly longer travel times, had to be worked into the scheduling process. But how was Keolis to do that without the deep knowledge of the terrain that comes from years of experience, such as the knowledge they had of the transport system within the city limits?

Optimizing Service Routes

A sample optimized route plan. – Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

By working in close collaboration with Keolis, we were able to frame the problem in a way that allowed us to take all factors into account and generate a solution optimizing service routes. Reduced travel times made it easier to manage the increased workload. The maintenance teams were able to negotiate the new sectors smoothly by following on smartphones the routes that had been devised. After a successful full-scale trial run, the new approach to devising routes was adopted. It will continue to be used for the scheduling changes to come as well as for the routine inspections carried out at regular intervals throughout the year.

We are proud to have been able to help a key player in the Besançon community open to innovation in both the way the business operates and the tools used to improve its organization. Contact us if you, too, would like to reexamine how best to optimize service routes.