GetSwift’s Last-Mile Software Helps Culinary Care Deliver Free Meals to Chicago Cancer Patients, Prepare for National Rollout

GetSwift’s Last-Mile Software Helps Culinary Care Deliver Free Meals to Chicago Cancer Patients, Prepare for National Rollout

Courtney White (right) Founded Nonprofit Culinary Care After Her Father’s Death

Courtney White founded Culinary Care in 2013 as a tribute to her late father. The mission was to bring cheer to other cancer patients in the form of high-quality meals delivered to Chicago hospitals. In short order, Culinary Care was delivering thousands of meals a year around the city, and she needed a software platform to keep ensure patients were never left hungry on account of a delivery mishap.

“I was manually putting everything into Google spreadsheets,” Ms. White says. “All of the scheduled deliveries were being pushing into Google Calendar invitations and I realized it just wasn’t working. I was at wits end.”

She explored other options, including Uber’s scheduling platform. But Uber required that she use their drivers rather than her own – something that would not work because Culinary Care relies heavily on staff who also add a personal touch to deliveries.

“Finally, I found that GetSwift managed everything I did manually – from scheduling to phone numbers,” Ms. White says. GetSwift’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform allows her to communicate directly with drivers, reducing the chance of late meal deliveries and dramatically increasing the amount of volume Culinary Care can accommodate.

Looking ahead, the next step is to take Culinary Care to more cities. Ms. White says she regularly gets requests from all over the country from people interested in bringing Culinary Care to feed cancer patients in their cities. “We have a map of the requests and our goal over the next five years is to expand and grow Culinary Care nationwide,” she says.

Culinary Care served 2,800 meals across Chicago in 2018. This year, the nonprofit is on track to delivering between 3,000 and 3,500 meals and the goal is to reach 100,000 meals served by 2023, Culinary Care’s 10th anniversary.

“We are excited about the chance to help Culinary Care thrive in Chicago and expand to other cities,” says Joel Macdonald, Founder and President of GetSwift. “It’s a wonderful cause and our platform is perfectly suited to help Culinary Care reach scale.”

One reason Culinary Care has caught so much attention: It focuses purely on cancer patients, who are more challenging to feed than most. The reason is that cancer treatments including chemotherapy tend to stifle appetites and even change the experience of taste. That requires Culinary Care to seek out the most appealing meals from local restaurants that donate food.

“We are the only organization nationwide that serves only cancer patients,” Ms. White says. “They’re a unique client because they’re often not actually hungry and we need to make the experience special.”

She added that there are plenty of organizations delivering to cancer patients, but it’s rarely more than 20% that goes to cancer patients. The pure focus on cancer patients appears to be more challenging, but Ms. White’s personal experience guided her in that direction.

She learned all about the challenge of feeding cancer patients from her father. During the last months of his life, friends and neighbors brought meals that she shared with her father and family that helped bring them to together and give them one less worry.

 “We pay close attention to the emotional element of a dish,” Ms. White says. “GetSwift lets me focus on the most important things we do.”

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

The GetSwift App ‘Changed The Game’ For the Drivers At Billiard Factory

The GetSwift App ‘Changed The Game’ For the Drivers At Billiard Factory

Live tracking and proof of delivery have elevated customer service at the game-room furnishings retail company.

 

Billiard Factory IT Director Ken Santoro says GetSwift was the “final piece” to help them perfect delivery.

About a year ago, Billiard Factory, which delivers game-room furniture from 10 stores across Texas, Nevada, and Florida, was running on manual. Prior to starting a delivery, drivers would have to make phone calls to customers to let them know when their deliveries were scheduled to arrive. After the delivery, drivers would have to jot down any problems (like a scratch on a pool table) on a paper receipt that would sit in a truck all day and not be seen be a dispatcher until the following day.

All this manual work led to all sorts of potential for mistakes—before and after delivery. Some drivers would occasionally forget to call (meaning they could show up unannounced with a pool table in-hand) and others weren’t very comfortable talking on the phone. After a delivery, Billiard Factory had very little immediate visibility of any problems or customer complaints.

But Billiard Factory has now conquered these problems with GetSwift’s driver and customer apps. Before a job, a text message gets automatically sent to customers giving them a live tracking link and an ETA, allowing them to plan their day around the delivery. After the job is complete, drivers are automatically asked to fill out proof of delivery in the GetSwift app—with room for photos, a signature, and notes. This data is immediately seen by dispatch.

“Now, we get instantaneous feedback not only with notes but with pictures,” Ken Santoro, the IT Director at Billiard Factory, said. “We can take action on those issues before the driver gets down the street.”

“We get back to the customer before they even have a chance to call us or write a bad review,”  Santoro said.

The big benefits of the app: Visibility and Automation

 Driver Patrick Disney on the GetSwift app

Driver Patrick Disney on the GetSwift app

For one of Billiard Factory’s most senior installers, Patrick Disney, and his colleagues, the app has been a game-changer. Now, with the click of a button saying he is on his way, the customers he serves get a live ETA. He also clicks when he’s at the job (to let dispatch know) and when it’s completed. If you’re counting, that’s only three times that he interacts with the app during an entire delivery.

“It’s a very simple process. I can’t really complain about the little bit that I have to do,” Disney said.

But the biggest benefit he’s seen is how much the automated alerts and live tracking help customers plan their day.

Disney told the story of a customer with a beach house an hour-and-a-half from Houston, where she was at the time. “By getting her that automatically-sent GetSwift text, she was able to drop a few things, head out to the beach early, and meet us at almost the exact same time that we arrived,” he said.

“They love knowing where the drivers are at,” Santoro added. Since using the app, “customer satisfaction is way up.”

While it doesn’t happen often, something can go awry –like a driver makes a mistake or a foosball table arrives damaged—customers end up happy because the problem is immediately addressed.

“While we can see some customers are disappointed that the product came in damaged or there was a scratch, a driver will still get a 5-star review. A lot of that has to do with the driver’s know-how but a lot has to do with transparency,” Santoro said.

Using GetSwift To Elevate Their Game

Now that they have so much more transparency into their delivery operation, Santoro sees endless possibilities.

First, sales reps—who also have access to the GetSwift data—can manage all their sales cycles more effectively. The day after delivery, they can make follow-up calls armed with the photos and notes from the day before. Second, Billiard Factory can start turning installation data into business intelligence: When they know exactly how long each piece of furniture takes to install, they can plan accordingly.

Most importantly, GetSwift has helped Santoro with his #1 IT initiative: wowing customers.

“GetSwift brings transparency to our deliveries and takes our game to the next level. It’s the final piece when it comes to perfecting delivery and wowing our customers,” Santoro said.

To learn more about how GetSwift’s smart delivery platform can elevate your business, Get in touch with us.