How To Turn Your Worst Day Leading a Delivery Business Into Much Easier Days Ahead

By Joel MacDonald, GetSwift co-founder

When I led Liquorun, a delivery startup I co-founded in Melbourne in 2013, my team and I started out every day with a series of questions: “What was the weather going to be like? Any sporting events? How many drivers do we have? What did business look like on this day last year?” Using this data, we planned our day.

But it didn’t always work out as planned—a common problem in this line of business. Some days we got slammed by unexpected problems, causing all of us who would normally work the phones to hit the road ourselves in cars, bikes, and scooters. Here’s the story of one of those days, how we got through it, why we added another question to our daily repertoire, and the steps we took to make our delivery operation much more efficient and effective—steps that you and your team can take too.

Here’s what happened…

One day, most of our drivers called in sick. It was bizarre, we had no idea why it was happening, and we were scrambling. Only later did we figure that India was playing in a big cricket match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and many of our drivers at the time were of Indian descent. Not only did we have to deal with the traffic that comes with a major sports event, but we didn’t have enough handlers to work a busy day of deliveries (some of which were probably fans ordering a beer to watch the match).

It was chaos. I was on the road and our staff that normally handles calls was too. It was painful.

The first lesson: include more data in your model 

The cricket match taught us lots of lessons. First, we had been excluding some small yet critical data: sporting events. We started entering that into our models we used to determine how large of a fleet we’d need that day, and when and where to deploy drivers.

Second, we developed a crucial strategy: let’s keep a contingency fleet—a group of drivers who would get a bonus if they were ever called up—at the ready. These days, we see this model in the form of the more sophisticated surge pricing from companies like Uber and other urban logistics platforms.

How’d we determine if the backup fleet was needed? We took a look at the historical data, asking how often orders were placed in our different delivery zones (this was very manual still). If the demand was much higher than the supply of drivers, we knew we needed to have the reinforcements in that zone. That evolved into a program running in the background that would advise drivers to stay in a certain area because deliveries would be coming and dramatically helped planning the roster each shift (a program that, with others, would eventually evolve into Version 1 of GetSwift).

The next step: make a list of your challenges 

A shortage of drivers is just one issue your delivery operation may face. Your next step is to break them all down, one by one. Some examples could be:

  • driver supply

  • long trip times

  • long trip distances

  • traffic

  • high peaks and low troughs of demand

  • unreliable drivers

  • dispatching decision-making

  • customers not knowing where their delivery is

Let’s take a look at the average time of the trip. If you export all your trip times into an excel sheet with some other basic information like destination, starting zone, time of day, distance, the number of drivers in your fleet, you can start to learn a few things. Look for outliers—any trips that took a really long time—and eliminate them. See how much it affects the average. If the result is a much lower average delivery time, you might consider doing what we did at Liquorun, consolidate your delivery zones.

Although eliminating one or two zones means losing some potential customers, you will likely gain something much more important, the customers who are delighted regulars and buy more, which outweighs the cost of a lost customer that you might have originally wanted to service. A similar analysis could remove one low-performance driver from your data. If that significantly improves your delivery time, maybe it’s time to have a hard conversation with that driver.

In sum, think of your operation as an organism and look at it from a macro standpoint. Every single data point impacts every other data point within the organism. To keep the organism healthy, sometimes you need to pull out or add a couple of data points. And folks, this optimization never ever ends! You have to keep testing and refining to keep getting better.

Test, test, test. Then test. 

Finally, real-world testing, aka trial-and-error, is the key to improvement. That’s the only way you can learn if your theory, based on data, helps your business. You can test literally anything—from what might happen if you eliminated two delivery zones to what if you doubled your fleet size.

Your tests can go beyond driver management into marketing and e-commerce. For Liquorun, it was as simple as changing the button color on the home landing page from green to blue. Once we did, we were surprised at the outcome. We started getting 30% more visitor entries to our menu page. Be curious. What else can you improve? It’s really fun and you can find profound results. Test against your bias and let the data tell you the story.

Where to go from here

Being a delivery operator is a day-to-day grind. But there are concrete steps you can take—even beyond calling platforms like GetSwift and  Delivery BIZ Pro, a platform we recently acquired—to solve a lot of your pain. Starting today, you can dig into the data and test it out on the road. In doing so, you’ll not only be making immediate improvements but also laying the roadmap for your future success, so you can conquer the chaos of delivery and start loving your last mile.

Interested in conquering the chaos? GetSwift can help you start improving your delivery operation in hours. Get in touch

Delivery Biz Pro Adds Another International Partner with New Zealand’s Ooooby

A GetSwift company Delivery Biz Pro (DBP), which provides software to facilitate delivery between farms and providers of fresh produce to homes and businesses, is pleased to announce its partnership with Ooooby, a digital farmers market headquartered in New Zealand.

Ooooby specializes in delivery of local organic food from small-scale farmers and will utilize the latest technology from DBP to help put sustainable farming at the heart of the food system in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. The partnership is the latest in a series of international relationships DBP has developed recently, underscoring its flexibility to help companies in every corner of the globe.

“We’ve been deeply impressed by the fantastic improvements DBP has brought to our customer experience as well as the operational efficiencies the software brings,” said Pete Russell, Founder and CEO of Ooooby. “Our customers have been raving about the new shopping interface and we saw an instant increase in average transaction values by over 10%. The DBP team has been an absolute delight to work with and we’re very excited about applying more of the powerful features that DBP offers!”

Through the integration of DBP’s technology, Ooooby plans to scale its operations into other regions, reduce costs, create more efficiencies, and make use of several new produce box-building methodologies.

“We’re excited to be a part of the growing local food movement in new markets with Ooooby,” said Judd Payne, Vice President of Delivery Biz Pro. “Ooooby is poised to be a leader in the space and their model was a natural fit for our technology.”

Ooooby launched its first prototype hub in the fall of 2010 in Auckland, from a converted shipping container with 50 customers. Today, Ooooby operates in several regions including, Christchurch, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia, and Fresno, California – delivering over 345,000 boxes of produce to more than 17,000 homes.

Ooooby Ltd is a for-profit company with over 150 shareholders including staff, suppliers, customers, and professional investors.

About Delivery Biz Pro

Delivery Biz Pro (“DBP”) is a SaaS company offering global partners a subscription-based cloud service for businesses with recurring product orders particularly within the produce, meal kit, dairy, farm-to-table, water, home and commercial delivery sectors. DBP’s platform brings together four key components that allow recurring delivery industry sectors to employ the best methodology for their logistics fulfillment. DBP’s system helps deliver over 2.5 million products including local, organic food, to over 600,000 families on a monthly basis. For more information, please visit DBP here.

GetSwift Appoints Marc Naidoo to Board as Non-Executive Director

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GetSwift Limited (ASX: GSW) (‘GetSwift’ or the ‘Company’), a leading provider of SaaS logistics technology, today announced the appointment of Marc Naidoo to the GetSwift Board of Directors. Mr. Naidoo brings over 20 years of technology and governance experience to GetSwift.

Marc Naidoo joins the Board as a seasoned senior technology executive with global experience in managing IT systems and infrastructures in large geographically diverse companies. He also has significant experience in governance across large technology groups in senior management positions in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America.

Mr. Naidoo is currently GM of Technology for Global Finance Transformation at Toll Group, which operates a vast global logistics network across 50 countries with over 40,000 employees that provides diverse freight transport services including road, rail, sea, air, and warehousing.

“I am thrilled to join GetSwift’s Board of Directors during such an exciting period of hyper growth for the Company. GetSwift’s position as leading global SaaS provider is well-known as it accelerates its penetration into international markets particularly North America,” Mr. Naidoo said. “I look forward to leveraging my deep experience in growing technology organizations and in governance to help GetSwift achieve its goals.”

Michael Fricklas, Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors said, “Marc brings significant technology experience particularly around optimizing and growing organizations.” Mr. Fricklas said, “On behalf of the Board, we look forward to working with Marc and to the contributions he will make to the Company as it grows organically and inorganically in the coming years.”

Bane Hunter, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director said, “Marc is a world class executive with tremendous technology and governance experience. We are excited to add such a valuable person with core technology and logistics strengths to the Board and to the Company. I am excited to welcome him and look forward to leveraging his experiences as the Company continues its global expansion and for creating long-term shareholder value.”

Mr. Naidoo’s previous technology experience also includes senior roles at NBN Australia’s Broadband Network, BHP Billiton, Foxtel, and General Motors including CIO of General Motors Australia and New Zealand. Over his career, he has successfully delivered several digital transformations, Big Data initiatives and organizational transformations with a strong focus on the customer and operational stability.

Annexure: Proposed equity grant

Subject to receiving shareholder approval, GetSwift proposes to issue an aggregate 300,000 options to subscribe for one fully paid ordinary share each in the capital of the Company (Options).

These Options are intended to be offered to Mr. Naidoo or his associates, consistent with US market practice for emerging growth companies and consistent with the previous options awards made to Belinda Gibson, David Ryan and Michael Fricklas.

In accordance with commentary in the ASX Corporate Governance Council Principles and Recommendations, these securities issued to non-executive directors will not have performance hurdles. Further, they will not vest if the recipient ceases to be a director of the Company.

The Options will be granted no later than 1 month following shareholder approval, with an exercise price for each Option being the 30-day VWAP for shares in the Company immediately prior to the grant date.

Over 3 years, the Options will vest in equal quarterly installments, but they may only vest if at the time of the applicable vesting the recipient is still a director of the Company. The Options expire 10 years after their issue date.

Adjustments to numbers of options and exercise price are only as permitted under ASX Listing Rules. If the shares resulting from the exercise of the options are issued and not transferred, the Company will immediately apply for quotation of the shares. The Option terms will include acceleration of vesting for change of control or liquidity events. Options are not transferable prior to vesting, other than to estate planning vehicles. At the request of the Option holder and subject to all applicable law, options may be net exercised.

About GetSwift Limited

Technology to Optimise Global Delivery Logistics

GetSwift is a worldwide leader in delivery management automation. From enterprise to hyper-local, businesses across dozens of industries around the globe depend on our SaaS platform to bring visibility, accountability, efficiency and savings to their supply chain and “Last Mile” operations. GetSwift is headquartered in New York City and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:GSW). For further background, please visit GetSwift.co.

Contacts

Media enquiries: John Jannarone: jjannarone@getswift.co
Investor enquiries: investors@getswift.co
Company Secretary: Sophie Karzis: skarzis@getswift.co +61 3 8622 3351