Your customers want the flexibility to choose the best delivery option for their purchase — and they’re less forgiving than ever when it comes to missed delivery windows. Whether they need their order that afternoon or the next day, it’s critical your company can deliver on its ultrafast fulfillment promise.

That’s why it’s so important to know the ins and outs of the service-level agreement (SLA) with your delivery platform. The SLA sets expectations for everyone involved: you, your delivery platform, drivers and your customers. With this type of accountability in writing, you can avoid missed promises and instead delight customers every time by getting deliveries where they’re needed, when they’re needed.

Read on to learn more about the different parts of an SLA and what they mean for your relationship with your delivery network, drivers and customers.

Key elements of a last mile delivery SLA

The Roadie SLA includes several essential elements for ensuring the expectations of all parties are met with each delivery:

  • Summary of agreement: A summary of what options your delivery platform will provide.
  • Goals and requirements of both parties. An explanation of what you hope to achieve by using the delivery network.
  • Definition of when in the delivery process the SLA takes effect. For example, the Roadie SLA starts once a delivery is published to the platform for drivers to see and offer on.
  • Delivery time and mile limits. Your delivery network’s expectation of the time it will take delivery to be completed over an agreed-upon distance. For example, your SLA might say a customer requests two-hour, four-hour or by-end-of-day delivery, with a different price for each option.
  • Price of delivery. The order size, delivery distance, geographic location and SLA can all affect the price of delivery. These are important considerations when deciding just how speedy a delivery to offer your customers. Some customers will willingly pay $10 or more for ultrafast delivery, while others won’t, or will only for certain items. Consider your customers’ needs and cost sensitivity when pricing in your delivery premium – or if you charge a delivery premium at all.
  • Cancellation conditions. Under what circumstances can your company, the delivery network or the driver cancel the order? Generally, you can avoid cancellation fees if a driver hasn’t started pickup. For example, an SLA may not allow (or add a fee for) cancellation after a driver is enroute for a pickup. 
  • Points of contact. Who in your organization will be the main on-site contacts for drivers coming to your facilities? Who is your primary corporate contact person for the overall relationship with the delivery network, and who at the delivery network is the main contact for your team? Knowing who to reach out to when issues arise will help solve problems faster.

Getting the most out of your SLA

Driver wait times can have a major impact on your ability to meet the SLA for ultrafast last-mile delivery. Help deliveries flow smoothly by making important optimizations to your on-site fulfillment processes:

  • Add signage inside and outside your facility to direct drivers to the correct area to pick up deliveries.
  • Add navigation instructions for your facility within the delivery management app. (Roadie’s platform makes these notes easy to template and automatically add to every pickup.)
  • Share your on-site contact person’s phone number in case the driver needs help.
  • Ensure your pickup/loading spot is accessible to passenger vehicles. Crowdsourced drivers in the Roadie national network use vehicles ranging from compact sedans to cargo vans. 
  • Review your corporate security procedures to ensure crowdsourced drivers won’t be blocked from entering your facility or accessing the pickup area.
  • Train your employees to recognize crowdsourced drivers and help them pick up their orders and get back on the road quickly and easily. For example, depending on the size and weight of the order, your employees may have to help load it into the delivery vehicle. Keep that in mind when scheduling a pickup to ensure enough crew members are on hand to help.

By defining clear goals and expectations, a service-level agreement can help you meet your customers’ ultrafast delivery needs and keep them coming back. As your always-on delivery platform, Roadie allows you to easily scale up and optimize your last-mile fulfillment process to solve your toughest delivery problems.

Don’t let your warehouse slow you down. Discover our five fundamental steps to make sure your facility is crowdsourced driver–friendly.

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