Since adopting the Mandata TMS in January 2014, the Manchester-based company has expanded its customer base, thanks to key new business wins with national and internationally recognised organisations. In fact, the company’s client base is growing thanks to its niche cradle-to-grave philosophy in managing cooking oil.
Founded in 1973, the family-run business now employs over 30 members of staff and is carving out a niche for itself. Handling the full product life cycle of new and used edible oil products, by managing every aspect of the supply chain, i.e. the delivery of fresh oil and the collection of used oil barrels and then the purification of the reclaimed oil; and finally, the redistribution of the recycled product as a valuable green fuel.
Philip Yates, Managing Director at Vegetable Oil Management is delighted with his firm’s progress and the systems in place which are helping the company to grow.
More precise information has also been a boon for VOM’s customers,
We’d be a victim of our own success without Mandata in place. Because of the tight integration between Mandata’s systems and Sage accounts we’re able to manage the increase in work with better admin procedures and working smarter.
Being able to report on volumes of used oil we collect and the recycled oil we deliver has taken the guess-work out of what we do. We also give customers access to live data. We can provide a high level of detail which differentiates us as a business and fuelling the growth in new business for us.
Because of the complex nature of Vegetable Oil Management’s supply chain, the company commissioned bespoke work to be carried out to the Mandata TMS, so the system could be assimilated more closely with VOM’s unique requirements. New, custom functionality enables VOM’s traffic planners to manage multi-drop routes defined by the weights of the products being collected and redistributed.
"As we’re handling waste products we need to provide a waste trail and closely monitor how much waste oil we’re handling to avoid incurring penalties," Phil said.
“With the Mandata system in place, we’re managing our workload better, planning routes around scheduled jobs, and incorporating any ad-hoc work we receive easily, all the while monitoring the weights of products being collected and delivered.”
As a job is completed, customers are provided with weight tickets, which are scanned and attached to the corresponding jobs in the TMS. So if a driver hasn’t delivered the right volume of product, it comes to light immediately. By capturing precise information from the drivers, details are transferred to the TMS quickly enabling accurate invoices for jobs and address queries.
In addition to the Mandata TMS, VOM has recently adopted Mandata’s vehicle tracking solution to manage the company’s mixed fleet of road tankers and delivery vehicles, increasing the visibility across the business.
“We needed to manage our fuel costs and workloads more carefully as well as our time. The Mandata system is helping us to manage our fleet efficiently,” Phil said.
VOM has seen other benefits and improvements right across the business since adopting its new transport management system. In addition to greater visibility and more efficient planning, the TMS integration with Sage has dramatically reduced the amount of manual data input required for invoicing, reducing the risk of human error and saving hours of work-time each day.
Despite initial reservations, now the system is fully bedded-in, the office staff at VOM are real advocates of the TMS. Accounts Assistant at Vegetable Oil Management, Keeley Thompson explains:
“The Mandata TMS is great. We can now do 200 invoices in 10 minutes that used to take us half a day. ”
“We email all of our invoices out on the same day as jobs are completed, along with a copy of the delivery note. Everything is kept totally up to date, day-by-day so we know where we’re up to. It’s making financial reporting easier and we’re able to address queries immediately.”
“I think that the way the system interacts with Sage has been a huge benefit,” Phil added.
“Just by generating our invoices automatically, the system has saved us manpower enabling us to focus on other tasks.”
Looking to the future, Vegetable Oil Management is keen to expand the areas it serves and staff are using the valuable time they have recouped since adopting the TMS to help drive lead generation and improve customer service.
“Mandata has transformed our business processes. We used to have a very reactive approach to new business development, but now we’re finding more time to contact our customers, we’re being proactive, so we can continue to drive the business forwards,” Phil said.