Customer Review: Seven Valleys Health Coalition, Healthcare | OptimoRoute

December 15, 2023

Kate D. from Seven Valleys Health Coalition reviews OptimoRoute's route planning and route optimization capabilities.

Video Transcript

Speaker: Kate D., Project Coordinator, Seven Valleys Health Coalition

Why did you choose OptimoRoute?

Kate D.: Hi, my name is Kate Downes and I work for Seven Valleys Health Coalition. We're the Rural Health Network in Cortland County, New York which is in central New York just south of Syracuse. And we provide support for folks in our community and in particular we used OptimoRoute this year to support our produce prescription program. And that is a CSA delivery where we buy produce boxes or fresh vegetables and fruit from local farms and then deliver them to participants in our program's homes directly because transportation in our rural area is a barrier to accessing fresh food. And we use OptimoRoute to help us plan the route that our delivery driver will take. We supported a 125 families this year which equates to serving over 440 people fresh food every single week during the growing season, which ends up being 22 weeks here in New York. And that made a huge difference on the impacts of our local community in people who identify as food insecure, where they don't have enough money to support feeding everybody in their household or they have chronic health challenges or they just need a little extra, extra food to help get by. So we were able to provide this fresh food and we're able to use OptimoRoute to help us really streamline and become much more efficient and realize we have a lot more capacity than we thought we did. So we're so grateful to the work that OptimoRoute has put into place. And you know, the fact that a small nonprofit can use it for something like delivering fresh fruit and vegetables to people in the community, I think speaks loudly. So, thank you so much.

How did you manage route planning before?

Kate D.: Before we used OptimoRoute at Seven Valleys Health Coalition to support our Produce prescription program, we were referencing an Excel spreadsheet and then dropping pins on a Google Map. So everything was done by hand and it was a really, really tedious process. Now when we use OptimoRoute to plan our CSA delivery route to our participants, it takes me, the CSA Coordinator about 20 minutes to make sure all the addresses are correct and up to date. And you know, it doesn't take me any time at all. Whereas before it was taking over an hour or more each week of staff time, which, you know, when, as a small nonprofit, that's a really, really inefficient use of our time and our funding. So this really helped us streamline our program.

How has OptimoRoute helped you?

Kate D.: OptimoRoute has really helped Seven Valleys Health Coalition streamline the produce prescription program that we offer by allowing us to change the route when we need to, allowing us to split up the route in geographic regions. So it really made it really, really easy and it cut the planning time each week for the program manager to like a half hour each week for planning the route. And it also allowed us to figure out better ways of organizing our deliveries because we were delivering 125 CSAs each week to individual homes. It really helped our delivery driver figure out what works for her and then they would relay that back to us and we could quickly incorporate that those changes into the next week of planning. It allowed us to schedule routes in advance. So if we knew someone was going to be out of office, we could plan ahead and it really just made our CSA delivery season and supporting folks who are food insecure in our community. It just saved a lot of time and energy on the staff, which as a small nonprofit is really, really huge. So it was a great tool for us.

How easy is OptimoRoute to use?

Kate D.: Once I got the hang of OptimoRoute, it took me about a half hour each week. I was able to really quickly copy and paste and move things around. It had very little learning curve to it, which some programs can be really tricky to learn and really hard to learn. But this allowed me to upload an Excel spreadsheet that I already had and was already using and I could move things around as I needed. So it really, it was so, so easy and I can't recommend it enough for planning delivery routes and things like that.

How important are speed and flexibility for your business?

Kate D.: Speed is not necessarily something that Seven Valleys health Coalition really needed to prioritize when using OptimoRoute, but being really flexible was very important. We needed to be able to shift each week because addresses of delivery points change from week to week. And it really made it easy. We were able to upload a new spreadsheet each week to, you know, align it with the delivery routes and plan from there. So it was really helpful. It had a lot more tools than we actually needed, but for what we were doing, it really, really fit the bill. So it allowed us to be flexible - or not - all at the same time. And that was a really great resource for us to have.

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