Accenture and Avanade are using cloud and data analytics to help The Felix Project, London’s largest food redistribution charity, digitally transform its business and help achieve its ambitious goal of redistributing the equivalent of 100 million meals each year by 2024 – a fivefold increase over its current delivery capability.
Founded in 2016, The Felix Project works with businesses to rescue surplus food and deliver it to local charities and schools serving people in need. But inefficient processes – such as manually catalogued locations, routes and driver allocations, as well as using paper manifests to track delivery activities that had to be entered into a siloed data management system by hand – were holding the organization back. Creating reports took several days each month, and it was difficult to ensure accuracy or visibility of day-to-day operations.
“We wanted to get out of start-up mode and become a growing, sustainable, mature non-profit by harnessing technology to increase our capabilities and the impact we can make,” said Mark Curtin, CEO, The Felix Project.
“We needed a platform that would enable us to scale our operations by leveraging data to inform and improve our decision-making processes.”
The pandemic has simultaneously increased demand for The Felix Project’s services while limiting the availability of volunteer drivers. To quickly identify key challenges and solutions, Accenture led design-thinking workshops, and, in less than six weeks, Avanade developed a solution and moved it into pilot testing. It was fully adopted and in use across the organization just four weeks later.
Avanade and Accenture’s solution manages delivery routes, volunteer scheduling and the coordination of both food donors and beneficiaries. It also provides a reporting and analytics platform which harnesses the scalability and agility of cloud.
A new mobile app, “RouteMe”, enables drivers to access routes, maps and pickup information, and complete forms online. This eliminates the need for paperwork and spreadsheets, freeing up hundreds of hours of manual administration time each month and saving thousands of sheets of paper annually. Real-time dashboards give The Felix Project full visibility into its operations and the ability to generate reports in minutes.
Curtin added, “Route optimization is key for us. The phrase that we use is that we want our vans to shift around as little air as possible. Sometimes, they’re only full of food 70% of the time and are empty the other 30%. With new insights, we can better understand route options, how much time is spent traveling and how much food is being delivered to and from each location. We can identify patterns and find efficiencies that help us cut costs and scale up our operations immediately.”
Simon Baumber, digital sales and service lead, Avanade UKI, said, “Improving operational efficiency is high on the agenda for many organisations, not least, non-profit organisations like The Felix Project. Irradicating cumbersome and costly processes means that valuable donations can make a bigger human impact as The Felix Project continues to provide their life-changing services. Microsoft provides the perfect scalable infrastructure to underpin all the applications and technology being implemented and will long support The Felix Project’s ongoing growth.”