Smith Brothers Farms Sees 5.7% Efficiency Gain and Saves $200,000

Family-owned Smith Brothers Farms recognized the need for a better route optimization and planning system, leading the company to partner with RouteSmart to accurately model and optimize more than 200 weekly routes.

Family-owned Smith Brothers Farms recognized the need for a better route optimization and planning system, leading the company to partner with RouteSmart to accurately model and optimize more than 200 weekly routes.


Smith Brothers Farms knows the importance of customer service and depends on their team of drivers—still known as milkmen and women—to provide the best experience. Maintaining excellent service for customers demanded accurate, efficient new routes.

RouteSmart offered the only solution robust enough to tackle their routing challenges while flexible enough to achieve very specific objectives:

Limit the number of trucks without eliminating drivers

Reduce or eliminate overtime pay while maintaining customer service

Decrease total travel time and distance despite complex street network


When they began their rerouting project, Smith Brothers Farms attempted to use other routing systems, but none could meet all the complex geographic and business requirements like RouteSmart.

Every week, milkmen and women make 40,000 deliveries, and the company had to create territories that were compact and balanced, while accounting for fluctuations on a daily, weekly and seasonal basis. A typical daily route averages 175 deliveries, and the ultimate solution had to account for numerous delivery factors. Solving a problem this large and complex proved an insurmountable task for competing route optimization products.

Focusing on a single region, the company began by collecting and evaluating service time for each customer. The analysis of travel speeds and the flexibility of the RouteSmart street network attributes led to the modeling of highly accurate routes. 

Once Smith Brothers created this accurate baseline, the optimization process began. The company started modeling routes based on four-day work weeks instead of five-day, allowing for the elimination of one truck for every five routes because milkmen and women could rotate among trucks. This fulfilled the requirement of reducing the number of vehicles without eliminating jobs.

The company then used RouteSmart for ArcGIS to create geographically compact areas for each day, generating and then sequencing new routes for each area. RouteSmart solvers quickly modeled many different scenarios. After the best were selected, Kostoroski used RouteSmart’s route editing tools
to account for local knowledge and polish the results.

Smith Brothers’ success using RouteSmart to optimize routes and deliver savings convinced the company to move forward with plans to address the rest of their service area.


Smith Brothers Farms began with one region representing 16,000 customers who were served throughout the week on 71 routes.

In the first optimized region, RouteSmart helped Smith Brothers Farms achieve:

  • 5.7% efficiency gain
  • $200,000 estimated annual savings
  • 32 overtime hours eliminated per week

Smith Brothers intends to use RouteSmart to optimize its remaining routes, which it expects to achieve:

  • 5 additional trucks eliminated while maintaining driver
  • 90 additional overtime hours eliminated
  • More than 5% route efficiency gain

“We plan to take what we learned from the first area and apply that knowledge to the remaining 38,000 customers.”

James Kostoroski

Smith Brothers Farms is a local family-owned dairy serving the greater Seattle area for more than 100 years. The company delivers to 54,000 homes every week, bringing the freshest milk and select products from the Northwest to customers’ doorsteps. 

RouteSmart focuses on delivering powerful and scalable solutions to help reduce distribution costs and optimize efficiency across the postal & local delivery industry. To share or save this case study, select one of the options below. To learn more about route optimization available through RouteSmart Online, connect with Jason Fry, Senior Business Development Manager or Brion Chmura, Client Success Manager.

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