In 2012, when Magenta Technology started on the development of its cloud-based Maxoptra dynamic routing and scheduling solution for distribution and field service companies, the potential benefits to our potential customers seemed obvious. Given the millions of possible combinations involved in routing a fleet of delivery or service vehicles – it is no surprise that computers with fast access to enormous memory and massive processing power can, firstly, find the most cost effective solution in the fastest time where the human mind will probably fail. Secondly, computers can and will do it lot faster – especially when you add real time changes into the equation such as delays, last minute orders, altered delivery windows, breakdowns, cancellations and so on.
Working closely with our first customers, we found that this was in fact the case. By making our multi-agent technologies (previously only used in bespoke solutions for big fleet operators) available to all via ‘the cloud’, our new customers could easily expect to enjoy fleet operating cost savings of 10 – 20%.
When you embark on something new, you don’t always know what you don’t know.
To our surprise, we discovered that cost savings were NOT the driving force for our customers. In fact, it seemed that cost savings were almost an insignificant by-product to something completely different and much bigger. They wanted affordable, easy-to-use solutions providing real-time integration with leading telematics providers, open connectivity API’s, smartphone apps for drivers to report work progress, customer booking apps and portals, and customer delivery status messaging, to name a few. It became clear that our customers could see that the key to business growth (and future survival) was the ability to combine all these elements into a single platform. Such a platform would provide their customers with “the right experience at the right moment*” or rather provide their customers with “the right information at the right moment of need*”. These were steps towards what Maribel Lopez, founder of Lopez Research, predicted as ‘right time experiences’.