A Primo Partner

Crystal Ball and Primo Drinks have worked together to transform the wholesalers’ fleet operation.


When you have a business that stretches over half the country from six depots, making often very last-minute deliveries to companies in need of stock, it’s essential to be able to keep control of your fleet.


That’s an issue Primo Drinks had, a rapidly expanding wholesaler of supplies to bars, restaurants and hotels from across the Midlands to the North of England.


It took the decision to equip its 60-plus fleet of cars and vans with Crystal Ball’s advanced telematics, intelligent camera and workforce management systems, and the results have been stark: there have been improvements in efficiency, safety, vehicle wear and tear and delivery times, alongside reductions in insurance premiums, administration and stock damage thanks to the introduction.


Brian Wright, Primo Drinks’ CEO, explains: “Because Crystal Ball has all these interfaces, we can integrate it into every part of our business, not only making drivers and the roads they travel on safer, but allowing us to see what’s going on out on the road, speeding up claims, reducing premiums, helping us look after stock better, aiding the payroll department, reducing fuel usage and making us more operationally efficient. I don’t know of any other system that offers such a complete set of tools.”


Typically, a company will place an order and Primo Drinks will deliver as soon as possible, and sometimes they can need stock replenishment quickly if there’s been a major event, such as the recent FIFA World Cup.


With Crystal Ball’s systems, Primo Drinks are able to supply their customer with haste, but not speed. Because driving too fast not only puts the vehicles and drivers under stress, and uses more fuel, but endangers the valuable cargo.


"Because Crystal Ball has all these interfaces, we can integrate it into every part of our business"

Brian Wright, Primo Drinks’ CEO

“Because Crystal Ball’s telematics alert us when there are exceptional events, we’re not having to constantly watch our drivers – SmartCam and its array of sensors and tracking does it for us. So for example, if a driver is driving too fast, manoeuvring harshly or steering erratically it alerts us (including generating a video of the driver’s behaviour, sent to us instantly over the mobile network), which in our line of business is incredibly useful: we have vehicles full of glass bottles, and we were always having breakages in the past, but drivers are being more respectful and that’s resulting in fewer breakages too.


“Then there are the advantages of less wear and tear on the vehicles because we are sent alerts for things like harsh braking or hitting kerbs, and the drivers know this will be reported back through the valuable videos and telematics data, so they are driving much more carefully. And it’s slowed everyone down too, which means we are saving fuel as well.”

Primo Drinks is an exceptionally technology-savvy company, and thanks to its own advanced IT department it has developed its own bespoke stock and sales reporting system, rather than buying one in from a supplier, to increase its ability to understand exactly what is going on with the business at any moment of the day or night.


Embedded within SmartCam’s many functions are the abilities to manage employees, their hours and whether they are driving for work, or privately, and this has helped streamline a major administrative headache Primo Drinks had.


“We had run other sales and stock systems before but they didn’t exactly suit what we needed, so we built our own, and because Crystal Ball has an API interface, so we’ve been able to integrate it into our new Salesforce tool,” says Brian.


“So for example, on reps’ cars, they have to record their private mileage, but now they don’t because when they get into the car in the morning, through SmartCam they clock in, so to speak, press whether it’s business or private mileage, and Crystal Ball automatically creates a monthly report for payroll which has saved hours and hours of work a month.”


The next step will be giving customers the ability to be sent ETAs, so they can track where the vehicle is and the warehouse will work out routes based on efficiency and traffic conditions.


Brian adds: “Crystal Ball has really helped us to make our business even more cost effective and operationally efficient. I’d recommend its SmartCam and workforce management tools to anyone.”


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