Key Result

  • 87%

    Time savings in route planning inspection visits

  • 20%

    Increase in property inspections

  • 200+

    Properties covered in less than 3 days

The Challenge

Station 31 Partners, a tax lien investor in South Carolina, faced a unique challenge in their line of work. They manage over $5 billion in property and assets. With a limited in-house team and properties scattered across remote regions, they rely on contract drivers for property inspections.

“We had to pull in a bunch of contract drivers and then figure out how to manage them and how to get them to go to each of these locations and take a picture and leave a comment,” said Anneliese Holland, Operations Administrator at Station 31 Partners.

This task was not only time-consuming but also logistically complex due to the size of the state and the remote locations of some properties. Additionally, the software that they were previously using only allowed them to use their in-built navigation system.

As a result of these challenges, Station 31 Partners struggled with the following issues:

  • The manual process of planning routes for property inspections became labor-intensive and time-consuming, often taking hours to complete.

  • Coordinating with contract drivers, managing their schedules, and ensuring timely property inspections were all complex tasks that needed frequent allocation of routes as needed.

  • If a route is only partially complete, they have to re-route the whole route because of the remote location of these properties. To re-route the whole route without disrupting other schedules is a tedious and time-consuming task.

Due to the size of the state of South Carolina, and we’re located on the very east coast of it, we don’t have people across the state. The software that we had been using was just not good because it tried to navigate using its own navigation system.

Anneliese holland
Anneliese Holland

Station 31 Partners

The Solution

The breakthrough came when Station 31 Partners discovered Upper, a versatile route optimization tool. Unlike their previous software, Upper integrated seamlessly with Google Maps, making it easier for the team to work with the most up-to-date information.

To test the waters, Anneliese tried Upper with a friend. She said, “So I tried it out with a friend of mine who was doing a few drives nearby. She said that this was so much better.“ She found Upper to be straightforward and very easy to use.

Even though Station 31 Partners is not into the delivery business, Upper’s advanced feature set came to the rescue to improve business operations. She described it, saying, “It felt a little silly at first, it’s a delivery app, and you’re not actually delivering anything and only taking pictures. But fine, it works.”

Blazing fast planning property inspection with automated route optimization

Station 31 Partners brought newfound efficiency with Upper’s route planning and optimization features. They could now upload property data and simply click “optimize,” automating the route planning process.

Earlier, they struggled with driver management. While discussing their operations, Anneliese told us, “We have this person who can go in an hour and drive to properties in the middle of nowhere. So I don’t know when I’m gonna have another shot at someone to go out there because it’s two hours away from every large city. How do I get them out immediately?”

This allowed them to make the most out of contract drivers’ time to ensure properties were inspected promptly. This had helped them immensely.

I just had to upload the route into Upper Route Planner and send them a log-in. So it’s really convenient for that.

Anneliese holland
Anneliese Holland

Station 31 Partners

Unimagined use of proof-of-delivery to store and access property pictures

Station 31 Partners often need their drivers to take photographs of properties to upload into their internal system. Upper provided an innovative solution by offering a proof-of-delivery feature to store pictures.

It is also helpful when your internal systems are down, and you don’t want to lose your data. According to Anneliese, “They could just save it as a delivery photo in the Upper, and they could go in later and pull it right out. Put it into the system.”

Upper streamlined their documentation process, increasing the accuracy and completeness of their property records.

Staying ahead of the schedule without missing stops with unlimited re-routing and scheduling

Another pivotal feature of Upper was its ability to re-route efficiently. This was particularly valuable for Station 31 Partners when dealing with last-minute changes, such as new property inspections or alterations in the schedule.

While addressing the half-completed routes, Anneliese explained, “I had a couple of times when people would do half of their route, and then the next day they would be like – should I just go out and pick up where I left off? I’m like, no, because you’re going to have to drive way out there to start in the middle of it. “

With Upper, they could re-run and optimize new routes in minutes without having to worry about planning routes again. Whether it was accommodating new inspections or optimizing routes that were only partially completed, Upper allowed them to make real-time adjustments and ensure that schedules were adhered to without missing a beat.

The Impact

Upper brought about significant changes in Station 31 Partners’ operations. What once used to be dreadful tasks turned into a seamless workflow since the integration of Upper.

Previously, manual route planning consumed significant hours, often stretching to several hours for a single route. With Upper Route Planner, this tedious task was reduced to an average of just 30 minutes per route. This represented an impressive 85% reduction in time spent on route planning.

Prior to using Upper, there were often delays between scheduling and inspection. The ability to schedule and optimize routes efficiently translated into quicker property inspections. However, with Upper, they could achieve their target of inspecting over 200 properties in 3 less than days.

Performance Metrics

Metrics Before Upper After Upper
Route Planning Time 4-5 hours per route Approximately 30 minutes per route (85% reduction)
Time to visit 200 properties 3 days or more Less than 3 days
Re-run Routing Time 2+ hours Less than 5 minutes
Automation in Route Planning 40% 97%
Property Data Storage & Maintenance 75% 1005

While the use of Upper may have seemed unconventional for Station 31 Partners’ type of work, it streamlined their property visits remarkably well.

Well, the fact that I haven’t really needed customer service is a good sign, right? As far as I have you checking in and being like “All good?” So yes, you can have 5 stars from me

Anneliese holland
Anneliese Holland

Station 31 Partners