When its fast-growing, app-enabled plastic-free milk and produce delivery service required a provider to fund and source its fleet, The Modern Milkman turned to ARI.

Reliant on technology and flexibility for its ultra-modern reinvention of a traditional service, and keen to move to a sustainable fleet as soon as possible, The Modern Milkman has opted for ARI’s FlexLease product to fund its vehicles because it allows it to adapt quickly as the business grows and its offering develops.

Inspired by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, The Modern Milkman was founded with a mission to reduce plastic waste. As a purpose-driven business, it is committed to making a positive impact on the environment and the communities it serves. The service goes beyond dairy rounds and delivers an extensive range of groceries in return and reuse, all plastic-free.

The rapid growth allowed the company to achieve a 1400% increase in revenue in 2020 alone as its delivery service spread across the North and Midlands, and by the end of 2022, the company is aiming to cover the whole of the UK. ARI has already sourced and funded 55 vans, manages the conversion process, and looks after all in-life services too.

Unlike traditional milk rounds, The Modern Milkman doesn’t have set delivery routes as its users can order locally-sourced milk and produce on the app as late as 8pm the night before for delivery first thing the next day. Combined with the large number of new customers it is gaining, the usage and mileage profile of its fleet is both unpredictable and constantly evolving.

ARI’s FlexLease product has no mileage restrictions, has transparency on all in-life costs and gives customers the ability to defleet when they choose, so they are not locked into unnecessarily long leasing contracts that are no longer fit for purpose.

“The Modern Milkman is the epitome of a modern disruptor business: taking a traditional product – the reusable glass milk bottle – and giving it a brilliant new spin using technology. And using FlexLease, a disruptive new way of leasing, means it can grow quickly without fear of incurring unnecessary fleet costs,” said ARI’s Sales Director, Rory Mackinnon.

Since the beginning of 2020, The Modern Milkman customer numbers have increased eight fold, and helped to keep an equivalent of 26,000 wheelie bins’ worth of plastic waste out of landfill. It recently secured funding of £5 million from environmentally-focused investment fund ETF Partners too, which means it needed flexible funding to allow it to move to electric vehicles when it suits.

“It is a business that understands and champions sustainability and so it was essential that its fleet runs as efficiently as possible. That’s where ARI comes in. Through FlexLease, The Modern Milkman will be able move to electric as soon as the operational conditions are right. We will help them to make that decision through insight and data from our transparent fleet management system,” added Mackinnon.

Simon Mellin, CEO and one of the founders of The Modern Milkman, said: “Our business is very agile, so we needed a funding and fleet management partner who was able to work in the same way. ARI fits the bill perfectly. Because we are growing so quickly, we are always learning, and ARI’s FlexLease product helps us in this way because it is entirely transparent: we can see all costs and work which means we have a clear understanding of what is going on with our vehicles at all times.

“Then, when we want move to electric, the flexibility of ARIs proposition means we can transition when it suits us, rather than having to wait for leasing contracts to end. Our business is predicated on sustainability, and ARI’s FlexLease will help us to deliver this.”