There’s a lot to consider when it comes to construction site logistics: driver availability, truck capacity, route accessibility, building material sourcing, and beyond. Oico is a Brazilian construction material delivery startup looking to streamline finding, buying, and delivering anything from hydraulic systems to electrical wiring, lighting to styrofoam.
Even if a construction company has a go-to supplier, they may only handle a subset of material types, explained Oico co-founder and CTO Pedro Dellagnelo. In particular, construction companies with multiple job sites will encounter compounding complexity when it comes to vendors, invoices, and deliveries as material needs increase. As a result, companies tend to build out large procurement teams to manage all of this.
“The construction material industry is super fragmented in Brazil,” said Dellagnelo. “We’re simplifying the whole supply chain.”
This simplification starts with a customer visiting the Oico website and inputting bills of material. Oico then leverages their database of over 500 stores and 70,000 products to quickly process, review, and confirm the order. Once the order is confirmed, Oico begins the business of planning vehicle routes to transport the goods from various suppliers to the correct customer locations on the desired schedule.
“It’s a really complex, real-world problem to solve — transporting building materials across a huge city like Sao Paulo,” said Dellagano. And they need to do it while accounting for their business rules and logic. This includes matching materials to the appropriate vehicle in a fleet that spans small motorbikes to large trucks, vehicles starting and ending at various locations, and handling multiple pickups that must precede specific dropoffs.
In the early days of the company, the Oico team did route planning manually, but as they grew it became apparent that they’d need to find another approach. After evaluating a few solutions, they determined Nextmv Cloud was the best fit due to its flexibility for handling their business needs with dynamic start and end locations and multi-pickup delivery precedence, while also giving them the confidence to meet future requirements.
Testing and implementing Nextmv was one of the first tasks for VP of Engineering Pedro Pacheo when he joined Oico as the first engineering hire. “I know the complexity behind route optimization,” Pacheco said. In a previous role, he led a team of 70 engineers at a food delivery marketplace. “We created our route optimization tooling internally,” he explained. “It took us six months to create the algorithm and another six weeks to complete the solution.” At Oico, Pacheco had route optimization with Nextmv up and running within one week.
“With Nextmv, I could just configure a JSON file and, magically, the response appears,” said Pacheco. He used the Nextmv Cloud console to visually test and evaluate returned routing solutions. The API is easy to understand and work with — an important factor for Pacheco as builds out his team of engineers. Plus, the JSON output makes it easy to send solutions to other tools to perform exception handling to address special street and parking zoning requirements.
For their workflows, Nextmv makes it easier for Oico to plan out their deliveries ahead of time. "We don't have to make decisions when we're desperate to pay whatever price for materials to show up. We can do it intelligently," said Dellagnelo. As a result, they’re able to increase their operating margins. Said Dellagnelo, “We make our customers’ lives a lot easier, have better prices, and — thanks to Nextmv — deliver more reliably.”