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Making 600 Deliveries Thanks to Online Route Planning

September 05, 2018
Hospice Buffalo

Lisa Nestico’s busy season as the volunteer coordinator for the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care starts in November and ends in March. During those few months, she organizes hundreds of volunteers for two big events—holiday deliveries for patients and their families in November and December, and the organization’s largest fundraiser in February and March.

The holiday deliveries take place around Thanksgiving and Christmas. About 20 volunteers deliver food and gifts to more than 100 hospice families in the Cheektowaga, New York, area before each holiday. Thanks to online route planning, which also allows multiple stops, each event only takes two days with volunteers working 2-4 hours/day.

But that’s just the beginning. Lisa also coordinates the center’s major fundraiser, which takes place soon after. It’s a huge undertaking. The center sells flower bouquets via 600 local businesses and schools, raising more than $400,000.
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It begins in January, with volunteers delivering sample bouquets and ordering information to the local businesses and schools that participate. After the orders come in, it gets even more complicated.

“We get the orders, then we have 3 to 4 days to figure out how to distribute 3,000 bouquets,” Lisa explained.

Previously Lisa was using a Microsoft product to organize her deliveries, and she had to do much of the work manually.

“It was painful,” Lisa said. “I also manually wrote a manifest for each delivery driver. It took four people to get it done. There’s no way I could have done it by myself.”

Three years ago, a friend who works with geographic information systems (GIS) pointed her towards MyRouteOnline.

Lisa now imports all the addresses and figures out the routes based on how many boxes can fit in each vehicle. She saves the map as a PDF and prints out a manifest and a map for each driver. “You’re not paying multiple people to do it. It’s been a lifesaver,” Lisa said.

Lisa’s army of volunteers use their own vehicles. Vehicle size matters, as some can fit 20 boxes, while others only 10. The deliveries are done within two days, with volunteers working about six hours each day.

With that many deliveries in such a short time, Lisa appreciates the automation MyRouteOnline brings to the process. “The ability to import is huge, and I’m glad I’m not manually typing it anymore,” she said. “I also don’t have to go back and change much manually.”

Lisa plans to continue using MyRouteOnline the next time she needs route planning. “Any time I need to do any mapping, MyRouteOnline is my go-to,” she said. “It means a lot. We had to trust you guys to put these big events in your hands.”