Case Study


Olleco provides a range of waste recycling and renewable energy services to food manufacturers, caterers, distributors and retailers.

The core business is the collection and processing of organic waste. Used cooking oil is then collected and refined into a range of products such as industrial oils or renewable fuels. Many catering customers choose to buy their fresh cooking oil from Olleco, as well as recycling, as part of a complete cooking oil service. 

Olleco also introduced the first anaerobic composting centres in the country. Like giant stomachs, they contain particular bacteria that digest food waste, producing methane which in turn is used to operate small generators and power stations.

The Challenge

Olleco had no existing routing systems in place, so they needed to introduce a route optimisation solution from scratch.

With 50,000 customers and ten depots across the UK, this was going to be a big challenge.

They organised their routing manually but, as the national business grew, they saw the need to implement better processes and systems to improve the reliability of routes, as well as the speed and accuracy of the process.

The business is growing fast due to acquisitions, additionally, some depots were run more efficiently than others, depending on the level of experience and skills of the employees at each depot.

Vast amounts of information about customers and routes were held in someone’s head with the old manual system, with some excellent drivers getting outstanding results.
However, when this kind of information was not recorded, structured, or planned, it can very easily be lost if staff leave or are not able to work. Olleco recognised this problem and sought a suitable route planning tool to address their needs.

  • Too much information to handle
  • Manual route plan creation
  • Reducing its previous heavy reliance on certain key members of staff
  • Reduce mileage and costs
  • Overall slow transportation processes
  • Difficult to add new depot and coverage areas

The Solution

Olleco assessed the route planning tools on the market and chose the solutions from TRU, not least because of its ease of integration with the daily planning module as well as Pulse Mobile.

They felt that 121 Systems offered an all-around package which they could grow into, using more services as the company developed.

Olleco has adopted the solution at five depots, initially to help them re-route and re-organise their territories.

As the company grew and acquired new depots and sites, 121 Systems solutions enabled Olleco to allocate customers to the most suitable depot, and understand which vehicles were best for each route.

In calculating capacity requirements, two smaller vehicles doing two routes may be better than one large vehicle trying to service the same customers.

Results for some depots, particularly those tested in London, showed that Territory Planner significantly improved accuracy, efficiency and results.

At other depots, which had previously been run very efficiently and which operated their routes very well, savings and improvements were also made, but on a smaller scale.

Overall, the new system means that the company has achieved the objective of reducing its previous heavy reliance on certain key members of staff.
Now that routes are programmed into the system, it can ensure that high standards are now maintained. Overall the increased efficiency has meant time and mileage savings.

Drivers have been able to service one extra customer per day. As most customers are expecting both a delivery and a collection, each stop can take some time.

The new system now enables Olleco to build new routes very quickly, integrating new procedures and functionality as the business grows.

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