Customer demand for ultrafast delivery is heating up. A growing number of shoppers want same-day shipping, and they’re willing to pay for it. Retailers that don’t offer the option will lose customers to companies that do.
With more customers willing to pay for ultrafast fulfillment, warehouses need to think beyond one-off deliveries. Batching orders that are headed in the same direction is a win-win. It helps retailers meet customer demand for ultrafast shipping while saving the business time, money and manpower.
Read on to learn how your business can make the most of batched delivery.
Why batched delivery? Getting the biggest bang for your buck
The cost of picking, packing, scheduling and sending multiple deliveries daily adds up quickly. Warehouses can use order batching, coupled with flexible and on-demand crowdsourced delivery, to reduce these costs, speed up fulfillment and optimize their operations. These are important wins in an era when e-commerce order volume is rising, labor is expensive and a growing number of customers want their stuff within hours, not days.
Save on critical delivery time by batching
Sending multiple orders with a single driver saves warehouses time and hassle and improves customer service levels by getting multiple orders out the door and delivered quickly. Here’s how it works:
First, a retailer submits their orders via a CSV file or uses Roadie’s application programming interface (API). Once the orders are in, Roadie’s algorithm combines multiple orders into a single delivery based on specific logic, such as direction or delivery deadlines.
Using automation to batch orders saves warehouse employees valuable time figuring out which delivery goes where — and how many are going to similar destinations. This reduces travel time on the warehouse floor and saves time thanks to fewer pickups required.
When it’s time for pickup, each driver is assigned a special batch ID that identifies which orders they are expected to take. This lessens the chances of the driver picking up the wrong orders or leaving some behind, and it allows them to deliver more orders in less time. Using Roadie’s warehouse app installed on scanners or mobile devices, employees scan outgoing orders to determine which batch/bin to group them in. Then, when the driver shows up and requests batch ID “XYZ,” the warehouse employee gives them a batch of sorted orders.
Although the orders are going out in bulk, they can be tracked individually. Roadie’s platform provides status updates for individual orders within the batch. That way, senders can view delivery progress, be alerted to any issues (such as a canceled order) and know when each order has been delivered.
Optimize batched deliveries with scheduling
To get the most out of the batched delivery process, companies should establish standard pickup times for all of their orders (for example, every day at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) — though a warehouse can have as many pickup waves as its workers can accommodate.
A good best practice is to only submit deliveries once you know that the inventory is in stock and that the order has been picked. You’ll slow down the process if you start to sort orders for a batch only to realize that a couple haven’t been picked yet. Once all your orders are in for the batched delivery window, Roadie will send information about which orders belong in which batches, and your outgoing shipments team can sort the orders for pickup.
While it may not be possible for every order, scheduling delivery helps the fulfillment process run smoothly and ensures your organization makes the most of the capability to group orders. When employees have a heads up on getting orders together and know when to expect the driver to pick them up, they can plan ahead and won’t get overwhelmed by drivers arriving at the same time as they’re trying to prep orders.
Get on the road faster with crowdsourcing
Working with a crowdsourced delivery platform can give your business maximum flexibility when it comes to batching and scheduling orders. The national Roadie network of independent drivers is available on-demand, meaning your ability to batch orders isn’t limited by the schedules of traditional carriers.
There are a few things to pay attention to when working with crowdsourced drivers for warehouse deliveries of any kind — but especially deliveries containing multiple orders.
For one, crowdsourced drivers will be arriving in passenger vehicles, so it’s important to make sure the pickup and loading area is accessible to a vehicle as small as a compact sedan.
Crowdsourced drivers may also not have visited your facility before. Use clearly visible wayfinding signage to guide them into, through and out of your facility. In-app instructions in a platform like Roadie’s can also be helpful, as can including the cell phone number for an on-site contact in case they need help when they arrive for pickup.
Whether you’re new to batched delivery or looking to fulfill more orders more quickly, following a few basic best practices and working with a delivery platform that can respond to your delivery needs and help you sort orders on demand will ensure you’re getting the most out of the option.