As one of the world's biggest ATM service companies, field logistics are a constant challenge for Cash Depot. With dozens of technicians deployed nationwide on any given day, generating efficient, cost-effective routing maps that accounted for both preplanned service calls and unexpected high-priority calls was a recurring problem. After dealing with inefficiencies and cost overruns resulting from technicians making ad hoc routing adjustments the fly, Cash Depot opted for a new solution: MOVR, a cash logistics software platform developed by Morphis Inc. With MOVR, Cash Depot has been able to tackle more daily service calls, while reducing hours spent in transit and overtime pay.
Cash Depot is based out of Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are the world's largest independent, individually-owned full ATM service provider, responsible for selling, leasing, and maintaining ATMs all across the country. On any given day, they have more than 70 technicians in the field, operating in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, servicing the more than 25,000 automated teller machines in their network.
In order to fulfill their obligations to their customers and stay profitable, Cash Depot has to keep their ATMs online, stocked with cash, and functioning properly, to minimize any potential downtime. Maintaining optimally efficient field service logistics is therefore of the highest importance to them.
According to Dave Charles, Sr., owner of Cash Depot, every day would start with a planned route assignment, but as each day would progress, the original plan would begin to break down, as new service calls came in. Some new calls would take priority over existing assignments, and technicians would have to make judgment calls about where to go next and how to modify their routes to handle all of the assignments piling up. "Our field associates were being tasked with deciding where to go next," Charles said. "And this was every day. All hell was breaking loose."
For a company like Cash Depot, where logistics is integral to daily business operations, how do you decide which resource handles what task? The biggest problem with Cash Depot's ad hoc route adjustments was the amount of extra time technicians would spend driving from call to call. Time is an ever-dwindling resource; it's critical to make and implement optimal decisions quickly.
When considering arguments in favor of purchasing new IT systems, the case rests on how well operational improvements translate into a positive return on investment – in other words, how quickly you'll recoup the initial investment. The faster you get it back, the smarter the decision looks. Another factor to consider is improvements in "soft" key performance indicators – things that may affect financial results in subtle or nominal ways only (the timeliness of a field associate's arrival, for instance), but which can have an extraordinary impact on how customers perceive you.
Morphis Inc designed MOVR precisely to address situations like the one Cash Depot was facing. Founded in 1999, Morphis has been a leading supplier of payment system and currency supply chain management software for many years, listing central banks, depository institutions, armored carriers, card issuers, transaction processors, and retail stores among customers. They use state-of-the-art technology to develop proprietary software solutions for enterprise cash management, including modules for CRM, cash forecasting, financial reporting, asset management, service ticketing, and more – like logistics optimization, which is where MOVR comes in.
MOVR works by analyzing and prioritizing all incoming service calls, assigning them to field technicians based on their proximity to the call location, their current workload, their individual skill sets, and other factors. As calls come in throughout the workday, MOVR will constantly revise and update the routing map in real-time, directing technicians to calls as intelligently and efficiently as possible. As a cloud-based software platform, it was easy to scale MOVR to fit an organization the size of Cash Depot.
"MOVR compares every order for service – break-fix, cash, high priority, low priority – to all of the resources Cash Depot has available at that moment and then optimizes the daily routine for each," said Alif Rahman, President of Morphis. "As new orders for service are accepted, MOVR finds the 'best person at the best place' and inserts that new order into a revised route and delivers specific instructions directly to that technician's smartphone."
The concept behind MOVR is fairly simple: if you have 1,000 places to go today and 100 vehicles with which to travel to them, you expect each vehicle to go to about 10 places today. The breakdown occurs when new high-priority orders keep streaming in, and, by mid-morning, your list of places to go has hit 1,050 (and keeps increasing). A new call may come up, and the technician who sees it first may add it to their route, even though it's 45 minutes away and there was a technician much closer who would have been able to claim that call five minutes later.
Cash Depot COO Kevin Shaver likened it to a tail-wagging-the-dog situation. "By the time our workday got rolling, new priority calls changed everything we had planned. Without real-time visibility from our dispatch operations center in Green Bay, techs had to decide where to go next."
With MOVR able to see the entire route map and every technician at once, these sorts of inefficient decisions no longer happen. MOVR can see that the closer technician will be available soon and adjusts that technician's route automatically, and the routing for all technicians stays as close to optimal as can reasonably be expected.
After only one month of operating data was collected, a remarkable image began to take form. During the first 28 days of full operation, MOVR dispatched 3,723 new calls – an increase of 85 calls when compared to the same time last year. At the same time, the amount of overtime hours clocked by Cash Depot technicians went down dramatically: 476 hours with MOVR, versus 942 hours without. That's more than 50% fewer overtime hours, and the resulting savings was more than $65,000.
The benefits have been clear and tangible. With MOVR, not only does Cash Depot fulfill more service calls in a single day, resulting in more satisfied customers and less ATM downtime, but they're also seeing direct and significant improvements to their profit margins, by cutting back dramatically on overtime pay.
Logistical optimization poses a challenge for many organizations. With so many moving parts in play and a wide variety of factors to weigh, it's difficult for even a centralized planning body to make the best possible decisions to route everybody efficiently, especially when new, higher-priority calls can come in at any time. When routing decisions are delegated to associates in the field who have little-to-no visibility into the location and priorities of their colleagues, they can make intelligent revisions to their own routes, but it's impossible to expect them to account for the ways their routes will impact other technicians and affect overall, collective efficiency.
Cash Depot is already seeing the clear, direct benefits of MOVR on their financial statements. While efficiency improvements can yield many diverse, positive impacts that are hard to measure, there's no way to miss the immediate savings of overtime pay dropping by half.
With MOVR, Cash Depot is able to free themselves from inefficient routing adjustments made on the spur of the moment by field technicians (who can now focus on delivering the best possible service to their customers, instead of trying to rework their schedules several times per day to fit in urgent and unexpected new calls). MOVR has taken the pressure off of field technicians, increased the number of service calls completed each day, and boosted profit margins, highlighting just how many positive outcomes can result from making systematic, automated improvements to field logistics.
Don't miss Morphis exhibiting at Anti-Counterfeit & Currency Expo, November 7-8, at booth 414.
Join the conversation