The rise of crowdsourcing has made it easy for regular people to earn money on their own terms. That’s what we love about the gig economy — you can build your dog walking business on Monday, deliver a couch on Tuesday, and make it to your kid’s soccer game on Wednesday. Whether it’s full-time, part-time or just some-of-the-time, people are designing work that fits with their lifestyle.

At Roadie, our crowdsourced network of 150,000 drivers use their personal vehicles to deliver everything from cupcakes for your kid’s birthday party to a new couch you to the air coils your local HVAC tech needs for an urgent repair. We’ve built a scalable, same-day delivery service that’s more efficient, more scalable and more flexible than traditional couriers or carriers like UPS or the Post Office. And just like other the well-known ridesharing companies that came before us, our success relies on the trust and safety we establish between our customers and drivers.

Solve Your Toughest Delivery Problems

We work hard to build trust and ensure safety. We’ve built playbooks that outline the right processes, protocols, and technology components to ensure our platform offers the right controls and transparency on one side and the right flexibility and ease-of-use on the other.

As Roadie’s User Relations Manager, I’ve  learned a lot about what it takes to keep both sides in balance:

  • Strong recruitment and vetting to ensure we can match the right drivers to the right deliveries
  • Maximum transparency for both senders and drivers, including real-time tracking and a photographic chain of custody
  • Easy, convenient communication channels, including in-app and SMS communications between drivers and senders, and both email and phone communication with our support team
  • Continually communicating with, monitoring, measuring, rating, coaching and keeping drivers accountable

Strong Verification and Qualification for Drivers

We’ve found that an upfront, thorough vetting process makes sure driver candidates understand the high expectations and requirements that Roadie and our customers expect. Most drivers appreciate the detail and effort that goes into this process. It assures them that they’re choosing a platform that not only emphasizes but insists on safety and high standards. In the end, it builds a stronger community and a better delivery experience for everyone involved.

And when we say thorough, we mean it. Before becoming eligible for deliveries, our drivers first complete a rigorous, eight-point upfront driver verification and qualification process.

These criteria include:

  • Clean background check (zero tolerance for felonies or violent crimes)
  • 18+ years old (and at least one year of history as a licensed driver)
  • No pending criminal charges
  • No major moving violations (No DUIs or reckless driving citations in the past 5 years)
  • No drug-related convictions in the past 5 years
  • No more than 3 minor moving violations (no speeding or failure to obey traffic law citations in the past 3 years)
  • No cell phone or distracted driving violations
  • Not more than two accidents in the past 3 years.

Clear, Reliable, Complete Chain of Custody Visibility

Having reliable, consistent and accurate visibility across the entire shipment is critical – again, trust and confidence are key to Roadie’s model. Just think of a delivery for a medical prescription, for example. Both the pharmacy and end customer need to be able to rely on the driver for an important and often time-sensitive product.

Whether its pharmacy delivery or an urgent part a service tech needs to finish a job, we make it easy for senders and recipients to monitor the progress of a shipment from pickup to delivery with real-time tracking. There’s never a question of where a driver may be – everyone can check the delivery’s location – anytime, anywhere, from any device. We also capture a time and location-stamped photographic chain of custody with every delivery, so you can be sure items are picked up and dropped off at the right time and place. Finally, for additional security, senders can opt-in to signature verification at no extra cost. Everything in the platform works together to create a system that can validate accuracy across all touchpoints.

Performance Monitoring, Rating and Training

Once drivers are screened and qualified to join our network, we work hard to ensure they are trained and coached to avoid anomalies. It’s crucial to prepare drivers for success, and we have a three-step process to do so:

  • In-app driver onboarding, step-by-step tutorials, how-to videos and examples of best practices
  • 24/7 live customer support (for drivers and senders)
  • Specialized training for sensitive deliveries (custom training for shipper products with unique needs)

We make our training regimen easily accessible in-app to drivers as soon as they sign-up.. And for specialized deliveries, we require additional training – and even testing for some certifications — before the system will assign them a delivery.

We also use a 5-point rating system to continually measure and monitor driver performance – and keep both drivers and senders accountable for success. This includes:

  • Integrated driver rating features, customer comments and history within the matching algorithms.
  • A requirement that drivers must maintain a minimum 4-star rating.
  • Live coaching interventions for drivers who receive poor ratings.
  • Suspension of drivers who don’t comply with performance standards.

After each delivery is completed, the driver rating is really where the rubber meets the road. We communicate with drivers up-front about the expectations for delivery – including pickup time, expected drive time, the driver’s delivery fee, and other special requirements, including whether a return delivery is likely. Because drivers know ratings affect their eligibility for future delivery, they take note of all these details and opt-in to the deliveries they are most confident they can do well.

Senders know that the rating system gives them the power to easily evaluate a driver and provide feedback on what went well or not-so-well. Low ratings by senders are flagged immediately for us to follow-up with drivers for education, coaching and counseling.

To add additional accountability, drivers get to rate senders after a delivery is completed, too. Maintaining positive working relationships goes both ways, and drivers’ feedback allows customer support and account management teams to educate senders on creating reasonable expectations for drivers.

On top of all this, the Roadie system also has fraud monitoring tools built-in. These tools alert our team when there may be suspicious activity on the platform, or when driver behavior is out of the norm.

What This All Means for You

At Roadie, we’re not building an infrastructure. We’re revealing one that already exists. Today, 250 million passenger vehicles will hit the road with four billion cubic feet of unused space, creating corridors of deliverability that can solve today’s modern retail challenges. The result is an “on-the-way” logistics utility — one that’s faster, cheaper and greener than anything in the last century.

And that system all relies on our ability to build a real community of drivers, senders, and end customers that trust each other to deliver more efficiently and faster than ever before. With more than 150,000 drivers, we’re proud to do just that in more than 11,000 cities across the U.S.