During Covid-19, with food banks overwhelmed by high demand and seniors and those with underlying conditions told to stay home to protect themselves, there’s a huge need to deliver warm meals across the country. A pilot program in Florida called Meals of Love–of restaurants, government agencies and nonprofits–is stepping to the plate, literally.
Coordinated by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) and Feed The Need Florida, local restaurants will deliver up to 1,000 meals every day to those in need across four Central Florida counties: Orange, Seminole, Brevard and Osceola. GetSwift’s delivery technology is there to help them all organize, track, and route the meals.
Anyone over 60 and disabled adults between 18-59, can apply to get warm meals from a group of local restaurants right to their doors. Restaurants can apply to help, too, right here.
It’s no small effort to coordinate on the fly.
“This ambitious endeavor would not be possible without the technology GetSwift will provide to organize orders, schedule drivers, and provide logistics to ensure timely, accurate deliveries,” said Skip Kimpel, Chief Information Officer at 4R Restaurant Group, whose restaurants–4 Rivers Smokehouse–will be providing meals seven days a week.
As drivers come onboard, GetSwift’s delivery phone app gives them an easy way to see all their upcoming orders and saves them time with optimized routes. Restaurants can track all their orders, give ETAs and live-tracking to seniors waiting on their meals, and make sure the meals are on track to be delivered on time before any problems arise.
The initiative is also important for the restaurants industry, which has taken a big hit as most restaurants have had to close on-premise dining and figure out how to survive with only delivery and pick-up.
“The local restaurants are preparing meals and, by that way, there are dollars that are being infused into that restaurant industry, one that has been hit so hard,” Karla Radka of the Senior Resource Alliance, one of the nonprofits involved, told the local ABC station.
The initiatives don’t stop there. Radka is also calling seniors to see if they have enough medication and food for 30 days, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
All these groups, including us here at GetSwift, coming together–both the public and private sector–is the only way to start to meet the tremendous needs of Floridians and people across the country in the coming weeks and months.
“Now is the time to stand united as we meet one of the greatest challenges we face as a nation,” said GetSwift’s CEO Bane Hunter.
Hammel of 4 Rivers Smokehouse shared a similar sentiment. “Now, more than ever, we need to take care of each other,” he said.
Last mile delivery is one of the most discussed topics in shipping and logistics. In a relatively short period of time, it has become a key factor in being able to deliver the experience that customers have come to expect, and it has also become a pain point for those trying to keep down product costs.
But what exactly is last mile delivery and what should you know about it? Today, the experts in delivery management software at GetSwift are here to explain the booming business of last mile delivery. Read our post and then contact someone from the GetSwift team to learn more about how we can help.
What Is Last Mile Delivery?
Last mile delivery refers to the final step in the delivery of a product to the consumer. Think of it as the last leg in a long journey that includes multiple layovers. In the logistics world, people have learned how to master shipping products in bulk from one destination to another and they do it efficiently on a daily basis. But delivering individual items to a customer’s doorstep within 24 hours or less of ordering can pose quite a challenge.
The world hasn’t always had to deal with the challenges of last mile delivery, so why are we all of a sudden hearing about it? The answer lies within the explosion of e-commerce and increasing consumer demand for speedy delivery. The expectation of two-day, overnight, or in some areas even same-day delivery, can be attributed to e-comm giant Amazon. This, combined with local companies now trying to compete, have made last mile delivery a very real expectation for just about any business.
Why Is Last Mile Delivery Such A Challenge Compared To Traditional Delivery?
Last mile delivery poses many challenges that come with needing to get a product from point A to point B in an incredibly short period of time. Think about the last time you had to make multiple stops across town and how long that took. Now imagine that you have to deliver hundreds of individual orders, covering dozens of neighborhoods and all areas of town. In urban areas the challenge is navigating busy streets, traffic lights and, well…traffic. In rural areas, the challenge is how to make the long trek from house to house in the most efficient manner.
If the physical challenge of delivering to specific locations wasn’t enough of a problem, consider all of the drivers that are needed to make it happen. Virtually overnight, commerce has dictated the need for an army of delivery drivers ready to fulfill every order. Trying to keep up with this expectation is tough enough to spell doom for some businesses.
Why Is Last Mile Delivery a Challenge For Many Businesses?
If you own a business, you know that shipping costs can make or break you. The amount you have to pay to get your product to its destination is often one of the biggest contributors in determining the cost of your product. How many times have you had to raise the cost of goods because of an increase in gas prices? The smallest shift in shipping costs can eat into your profit margin if you don’t take action and make adjustments.
Last mile delivery is a challenge for many businesses because it usually requires you to build inefficiencies into your system — in other words, ship small quantities and make multiple stops. This type of model can increase your shipping costs exponentially. So why do it?
You do it because if you don’t, you’ll lose customers.
What Can You Do To Drive Down Cost?
Amazon has attempted to tackle the problem by installing lockers in set locations where customers can come to pick up their goods. This might be a good option for a giant like Amazon, but it probably won’t work for everyone else. The answer that will work for many businesses lies in the very thing that created this challenge in the first place — technology.
Your biggest ally for competing in the world of last mile delivery is delivery management software. Enlisting help from this kind of tool can optimize your dispatching, routing, and delivery processes. The only way to become more competitive when you are building inefficiency into your process is to find other ways to reduce costs. You can do this by relying on software to plan the shortest routes, dispatch drivers that are closest to the next delivery and providing a great customer experience overall.
If you’re ready to learn more about how your business can compete when it comes to last mile delivery, contact GetSwift. Our delivery management software will give you the edge you need to support a thriving business. Give us a call or visit our website to learn about our 30-day free trial!
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.
If you’ve always thought of starting your own business, now is a better time than ever. With the increase in demand for next-day and even same-day delivery of nearly everything, there’s a very real need for couriers that can deliver these goods. While starting any business can be quite challenging, a courier service can be one of the more simple ones to start, requiring a relatively small amount of capital. There are also several tools available that can help you along the way to optimize your business and improve efficiency. For instance, route planning and delivery management software can make all the difference if you want to have a growing, profitable business.
If you’re thinking of starting your own courier business or have one already, there are many opportunities out there. However, there are also several obstacles you could face along the way. The delivery management experts at GetSwift are here to help you identify some of the common challenges of growing a delivery business and how to overcome them. Read our blog to learn more!
Finding Loyal Customers
It goes without saying that without customers, you would have no business. So what is the best approach for finding, and more importantly, keeping loyal customers? Today’s savvy customers expect on-going communication regarding their order. This includes order confirmation, real-time delivery status, and even follow-up. In addition, they want to be able to communicate with the people they are doing business with. It is important to give them a way to contact you for order changes, questions, and feedback.
But how do you support the customer-business relationship without paying for a small army of customer service representatives? The answer is delivery management software. At GetSwift, we’ve developed easy-to-use software that can make interacting with your customers simple, and with little time requirement. It includes features such as order confirmation, real-time tracking, proof of delivery, and service feedback to ensure your customers are informed and provided information throughout the entire order process. Investing in this kind of technology will surely give your business an advantage over your competition when it comes to establishing a loyal customer base.
As your business grows, it can become more and more difficult to manage all of the moving parts. If you hire additional drivers, you’ll need to make sure you have a reliable and effective method of communicating orders and expectations. Managing a fleet versus one or two drivers requires the necessary tools to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently. The driver dispatcher features of GetSwift’s delivery management software can help by providing a user-friendly interface to schedule drivers, a way to optimize driving routes and interact with your team via an app that they download on their cell phone. It’s never been easier to manage and communicate with a remote team.
When you start a business, probably one of the last things on your mind is how you are going to keep track of all the paperwork. When you think about it, you’ll need to keep records for materials purchased, orders placed, employee and customer interactions, regulatory and legal requirements, and so forth. There’s an incredible amount of information that needs to be kept and filed away, and without a system to manage it all, it can quickly get out of control. The best plan of action is to establish a good process from the get-go, utilizing technology to help make it easier and take up less space. Doing so can make your business run smoother and save you dozens of headaches in the future.
Let’s say you’ve started your courier business, you’ve found more than enough loyal customers, and communication with your team is satisfactory. If you aren’t operating efficiently, you could actually be losing money, or at the very least, be leaving money on the table. What sets successful businesses apart from those that struggle and eventually fail is the dedication to optimizing all areas of the business. You might not think it’s that critical if you go two miles out of the way to make a special delivery, but if each driver does that a few times a day, over the course of a year it could add up to thousands of extra dollars that your business loses.
As a business owner, it’s your job to evaluate all areas of your business, analyze the data, and make smart choices that will contribute to your profitability. One tool for doing just such is — you guessed it — Get Swift’s delivery management software. With features that will help you optimize route plans and reduce fuel consumption, you’ll be able to ensure on-time deliveries, possibly reduce the number of delivery vehicles needed, and even provide faster delivery options than your competitors. This not only gives you the advantage of providing better customer service but allows you to do it in a way that is most profitable for your bottom line.
Technology: Your Biggest Ally
Starting a business is hard work and you need all the help you can get to make it succeed. If you’re planning to use basic spreadsheets, emails and phone calls for your tracking and communication, prepare for a difficult road ahead. Investing in GetSwift’s delivery management software can make all the difference between the success and failure of your business. By providing solutions for order tracking, driver dispatching, route optimization, and customer interaction, this technology is what you need to effectively support a growing business. It also includes comprehensive business analytics to identify and resolve problems, improve efficiency, and ultimately exceed your customer’s expectations.
Take the next step toward building your courier business by finding out more about the delivery management software from GetSwift. Keep in mind that there are no contracts, no upfront costs, and no hidden fees. We also offer a free 30-day trial. Give us a call today — we would love to hear from you and help answer any questions you may have!
If you own a food delivery business, you know how important it is to get it to your customers as quickly as possible. Going a few blocks out of the way and arriving a few minutes late can make the difference between a satisfied customer and an unhappy one. If your business is growing and you have just a few drivers to cover a delivery area, you need to make sure that each and every trip is perfectly planned. Sending a driver out of his way or across town just won’t cut it when you have a growing list of orders to fill and each of them is time-sensitive.
Get an edge on your competition and make your life easier by investing in the dispatching software from GetSwift. With multiple features and a user-friendly interface, it’s the perfect tool for any business — big or small. Keep reading to learn why you should be taking advantage of dynamic driver scheduling.
Save Time and Money
Being able to change orders, rearrange deliveries, and ensure your drivers are taking the best routes are all key in providing the best customer service while staying conscious of your bottom line. While being flexible can earn customer loyalty, it can often create added costs if it makes the order fulfillment process less efficient. Create a win-win situation for your customers and your business by using GetSwifts routing software. It will give you a leg up on fulfilling orders efficiently — including those last-minute order changes — without going miles out of the way.
Assign Priority on an As-Needed Basis
Wouldn’t it make life easier if once you received an order, you could schedule it for delivery in the order it was received, and without fear of it changing or being canceled? Unfortunately, we do not live in a world of absolutes. Orders change and priorities change. Customers have to come to expect that they can change their order within a reasonable amount of time and can ask for a “rush order” with the expectation that they will get it sooner than everyone else.
If customer satisfaction is a priority for you (and so it should be, because without it, you won’t have a business,) then you need to be able to make order changes on the fly and assign importance as needed. If you’re still using a simple spreadsheet and phone conversations with your drivers every time you want to communicate, you’re probably working harder than you need to and you aren’t being as effective as you could be. The dispatcher software from GetSwift has features that will allow you to assign order priority and automatically schedule a driver based on location, service record or another metric of your choosing. It will even rearrange a driver’s route sequence and then notify your driver via text message.
Improve Your Customer Service Rating
If you have an antiquated system of tracking and scheduling orders, then you’re going to be limited on how many changes can be made, how far in advance they can be made and being able to accept last-minute orders. With our dispatching software, you can easily reassign drivers, communicate changes, and give real-time ETA information to your customers. All of these features help your business run smoothly and will ultimately be reflected in the growth of your business and the satisfaction of your customers.
If you want to grow a successful, thriving business, it’s important to take advantage of dynamic scheduling. You need to be able to make real-time changes and adjustments if you expect to win the loyalty of customers. There are plenty of competitors out there waiting to take your place if you can’t provide the best experience, in the most efficient way. Learn more about all of the many features included in GetSwift’s dispatching software and how they can help your business. Contact GetSwift today!
Conventional wisdom tells us not to trust strangers, but in practice, we do it all the time. In fact, their opinion matters a lot—on Yelp, Google, OpenTable, and beyond. A recent survey showed that nearly 90 percent of consumers read reviews of local businesses, 57 percent will only buy from businesses with four or more stars, and consumers read an average of 10 reviews before trusting a business.
While one negative review can put a dent in your small delivery business, lots of positive reviews do wonders: a one-star increase in a restaurant’s average rating on Yelp leads to roughly a 9 percent increase in revenue.
There are lots of strategies to increase the quality and number of your online reviews (such as responding to complaints directly by commenting) but one of the best ways is to get the fundamentals right: provide a great customer experience.
If that sounds daunting, here’s the good news: If you’re using the right delivery management software, great customer experience is built in. Here are four ways that GetSwift’s delivery software feeds right into customer experience and will have your business getting positive review after positive review. We’ve seen this happen for small businesses across industries—from restaurants to cannabis to furniture. Here you go:
1. Transparency. One of the most frequent calls or complaints a delivery business gets is, “Where’s my delivery?” You can solve that by giving your customers a live tracking map live ETA, and SMS alerts, all automatically provided with GetSwift’s delivery software. The benefits to customers are enormous: they won’t need to call you anymore, they can plan their schedule around the delivery, and they get notified of any delay in advance. This clear, crisp delivery experience is so refreshing to customers—especially compared to the all-day delivery windows they get from some providers—that it leads to glowing reviews.
2. Fast Response Times. With the right delivery tracking software, your operations team can spot potential hiccups before they arrive—right from one easy dashboard. If a delivery is going to be late, you have that pop on right on your dashboard, meaning you can alert the customer before it happens. Why would a customer give you a bad review if you reached out to solve the problem before it affected them? If anything, they’ll go on Yelp or Google to write about how you turned a negative to a positive.
3. Fast Delivery. For most deliveries, especially in online food delivery, speed is a big part of what’s going to make customers happy. But you can’t get faster relying on the same old technology, where you are calling and texting your drivers to find out where they are before giving them an assignment. Once you adopt delivery software, your fleet won’t magically drive faster. But, you will save time at every stage—dispatching times go down, routes are cleaner, drivers waste less time—and all of a sudden you have the opportunity to cut delivery times by 35 percent. The result is customer happiness.
4. Happy Drivers. Speaking of drivers, happier drivers mean happier customers. One human interaction can, of course, make someone’s day. If your drivers are stressed out and don’t know where in the city they’re headed to next, or who will be complaining to them because they’re late, the quality of those interactions goes down. On the other hand, drivers on the GetSwift app for courier drivers have a simple interface to view their upcoming routes and all their drop-offs, the system automatically sends SMS notifications to customers so drivers don’t have to, and safety features like proof of delivery mean drivers always have transparency if something goes wrong. It all adds up to more relaxed drivers and customers more likely to leave great reviews.
In sum, if you’re looking to boost your online reviews, it’s a good time to take a look at the delivery experience you’re providing. If you really nail it—something that we’re here to help you do—you’ve just satisfied customers before they’ve even experienced your product, and the reviews may just come pouring in.
If you’d like to learn more about how to get started with GetSwift’s delivery software for small businesses , give us a shout.