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The Dispatcher: Issue 6

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How Location Intelligence Enhances The Customer Experience

Location intelligence, when combined with the vast amounts of operational and customer data owned by most retailers, delivers greater efficiencies and levels of customer experience that were previously unattainable.

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Amazon Is Now Texting Arrival Times For Package Deliveries — Here's How It Works

Amazon has started texting customers to let them know what time their packages will arrive.

The text notifications are still in testing phase, so they aren't available to all customers, an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider.

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Chains Start Charging More For Delivery Orders

Restaurants raise prices for delivery as providers ease requirements and say they've had little pushback from customers. 

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4/20 Broke Marijuana Delivery Websites Everywhere

April 20 - or 4/20 as it's commonly referred to - is undoubtedly the marijuana industry's biggest day. So it's no surprise that a lot of weed was bought, sold and smoked last Saturday. But even though licensed retailers and couriers knew there would be a huge spike in cannabis purchases last weekend, many couldn't supply enough weed to meet consumer demand. 

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Domino's Leaning On Fortressing To Improve Delivery, Not Third-Party Aggregators

"What happens when you have a service failure?" he said. "Who is to blame?"

With 62% of diners blaming both restaurants and delivery companies for bad business, it makes sense that third-party delivery is just a risk Domino's isn't willing to take. 

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

By Joel MacDonald, GetSwift co-founder

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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. 

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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

The Dispatcher: Issue 5

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Wary of Third-Party Delivery, Some Restaurateurs Say, 'It's a Parasitic Relationship.' 

Unlike an increasing number of casual restaurant owners in Pittsburgh, Sonja Finn is fending off food-delivery companies because they undercut the very reason she opened Dinette.

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Tips to Crafting a Winning Delivery Strategy


L.E.K Consulting recently released a report predicting delivery sales would grow at more than three times the rate of on-premises revenue through 2023.

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The Last Mile


In the world of e-commerce, customers want two things: faster shipping times and cheaper prices. As companies compete along these two metrics, squeezed margins force new innovations in efficiency. 

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Autonomous Food Deliveries (And Robots) Put To The Test

The last mile can be vexing for firms aiming to get their products in the hands of consumers. For food companies, the logistics of the last 10 feet can prove a challenge as well.

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Swift Tip: Add Custom Proof of Delivery Fields

Do you need additional information from your customers or drivers as the order is being completed?

 We can help you add these custom fields, such as "# of Boxes" or "POD Name".  

The Dispatcher: Issue 4

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Logistics Market Expansion Dominated By Manufacturing, Retail  

The nightmare of 2013, and the roughly two million packages that were delivered late, still looms large in the minds of retailers, carriers, and customers. So let’s check in to see how some of the largest logistics providers and retailers are preparing for this 

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The World’s Most Valuable Resource is No Longer Oil, but Data

A NEW commodity spawns a lucrative, fast-growing industry, prompting antitrust regulators to step in to restrain those who control its flow. A century ago, the resource in question was oil. Now similar concerns are being raised by the giants that deal in data, the oil of the digital era.

 

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These are the Transportation & Logistics Predictions Business Insider Intelligence got right for 2018

At the end of 2017, we outlined five predictions for the transportation and logistics industries for the year ahead. We're now revisiting those predictions to see how they stood the test of time.  Here's what we got right about 2018.

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Amazon To Expand Whole Foods: Is AmazonFresh Strategic? Will Amazon Acquire A Grocery Distributor?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is planning to build and expand Whole Foods stores across the U.S. to put more customers within range of the e-commerce giant’s two-hour delivery service. 

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Skip the Bag Lunch: Students Opt for Delivery Over Food From Home and Cafeterias

Gone are the days of bag lunches and bologna sandwiches. With a tap on a smartphone, students are getting burgers, paninis and sushi delivered right into their hungry hands at school.

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Swift Tip
: Want $250? Refer a Friend to GetSwift 

       How it works:

  1. Refer someone new to GetSwift

  2. Someone new uses GetSwift for 90 days

  3. You get $250 in your account!

  4. Pat yourself on the back

  5. Refer another friend

The Dispatcher: Issue 2

Mercedes’ AI research could mean faster package delivery

Using a combination of computer vision and AI, Mercedes believes it can help reduce the time needed to load packages onto vehicles and make sure these boxes are in the optimal spot for an AI-created delivery route. More importantly to delivery companies, the system is cost effective.

To reduce traffic, pollution, delivery services hop on the bike

“UPS is very focused on urban logistics, and our ‘cycle logistics’ solutions, which the cargo e-bike is part of, are all designed to address congestion and pollution,” UPS spokesperson Glenn Zaccara said in an email.  


How smart logistics can help a retailer win the same-day delivery game

Retailers can remain competitive if they can determine how to offer same-day shipping at low prices. Same-day delivery is no longer just a plus but an expectation

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The last mile: Logistics’ final frontier meets gig culture
The so-called "last mile" conundrum has stumped otherwise perfectly tuned systems, confronting them with routes and infrastructure that simply aren’t designed to handle the demands of frequent shipments.

The cost of a failed delivery continues to rise, survey shows

"Today, simply tracking a package isn't enough. Retailers and brands that want to thrive need to invest in people, processes and tools that positively impact last mile delivery and customer loyalty."

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Swift Tip
: Use Automated Alerts to prevent failed delivery  

  • Maintain, retain and build customer loyalty through proactive outreach

  • Let your customers know when to expect their delivery with a customized SMS or Email

  • Send a Tracking Link and customers can follow their delivery on our White Labeled Map...they will even see a live ETA!

  • Solicit feedback with an automatic survey to identify strengths and weaknesses of your business