Your customers want ultrafast deliveries, and you need an efficient and effective way to meet those demands while staying productive and profitable. Knowing that, many retailers are looking for new ways to expedite deliveries and delight customers.
Crowdsourcing has long been a go-to solution for fast on demand delivery. And with batched and routed crowdsourced delivery, you can take orders headed in the same direction and deliver them on a single route — on demand. This type of streamlined, ready-when-you-need-it fulfillment can help you meet your customers’ same-day delivery requirements without the need for additional vehicles or labor, protecting your bottom line.
Ready to deliver faster while saving time and money? Here’s everything you need to know to get started with Roadie’s batched and routed delivery.
Q: What is batched and routed delivery, and how does it work?
A: With batched and routed delivery, you can group orders headed in the same direction and send them out with a single crowdsourced delivery driver. This approach helps you keep customer service levels high while saving your team time waiting for multiple drivers to pick up urgent orders.
Here’s how it works:
- First, you submit multiple orders via a CSV file or using Roadie’s application programming interface (API).
- Once the orders are in, Roadie’s proprietary algorithm combines multiple orders into a single pickup based on parameters like deadline or direction.
- Your employees group the batched and routed orders for pickup by crowdsourced drivers.
- Roadie’s algorithm gives each driver a unique batch delivery ID to let them know which orders they will take.
- When the driver shows up at your facility and asks for batch ID “XYZ,” you give them the sorted orders.
- You can keep track of the orders individually as they are delivered, ensuring a high level of visibility from your dock to customers’ doorsteps.
Q: How does batched and routed delivery using Roadie compare to the routing of traditional carriers?
A: Roadie’s platform uses real-time tracking to provide status updates for each order within the broader batch, which means you can view delivery progress, be alerted to any last-mile logistics issues (such as a delayed or canceled order) and know when each order has been delivered.
Crowdsourced drivers aren’t just given a batch of orders to deliver; they’re given the exact number of orders that they can deliver on time. They’re also given a suggested route designed to make those deliveries as efficient as possible. Roadie’s algorithm uses factors like delivery deadline, location, order size and potential traffic to optimize the route. Roadie’s routing algorithm runs behind the scenes and requires no additional effort on your part.
Plus, with Roadie, you can deliver on demand, meaning your bottom line gets the benefits of efficient routed delivery while your customers get their orders when and where they want them.
Q: Can distribution centers or warehouses use batched and routed deliveries?
A: Because the ideal batched and routed scenario involves a high volume of same-day orders delivered within a tight radius, this delivery model is the perfect solution for fulfillment centers, distribution centers and warehouses. That’s because these locations are typically moving a high volume of products to their final destinations in the surrounding region.
Retailers promising customers same-day, local next day and on-demand delivery can save time and money by sending batches of these urgent orders directly from their warehouses and other distribution and fulfillment hubs, rather than retail stores.
Because many warehouses and fulfillment centers already use barcodes to keep track of orders, they can further streamline the batched and routed delivery process. Drivers using Roadie can simply scan items on the Roadie Driver app to ensure they’re always picking up the right item for their delivery. This approach works particularly well when crowdsourced drivers are picking up several dozen items for a single route — a common scenario for most warehouses and fulfillment centers.
Q: What kinds of orders are ideal for batched and routed delivery?
A: If your company has multiple deliveries headed in the same direction on the same day, it will benefit from crowdsourced batch delivery. Even better, if you have advanced notice of 90 minutes or more for delivery times, you’ll be able to get the biggest benefit from this fulfillment option. This window of time allows Roadie’s algorithm to effectively batch and route orders going in the same direction and match them with the right vehicle for the job.
Batched and routed delivery is also a great option for retailers and other organizations that:
- Have high order volumes or send most of their same-day orders from a single location and must use different carriers, drivers or vehicles to get the job done. With a network serving 90% of U.S. households, using Roadie eliminates the complexities of using a patchwork network of couriers.
- Specialize in smaller-size orders, because many small orders can fit in a single passenger vehicle.
- Regularly send a high number of orders to customers located in the same densely populated area.
- Struggle with last-mile logistics and same-day delivery challenges like missed shipment deadlines, unhappy customers or allocation of too many internal logistics resources to fulfillment.
Q: How does Roadie’s platform support a smooth, successful batched and routed delivery experience, and how large is its delivery radius?
A: Roadie’s platform builds out routes that balance cost savings with fast delivery from a national network of independent drivers. For example, instead of one van handling a long route that takes several hours to finish, Roadie’s algorithm creates multiple routes that use several drivers to get orders to customers faster. Plus, Roadie enables a delivery radius up to 100 miles.
Roadie’s algorithm receives data from a sender, builds a series of optimized routes and assesses those options, ensuring the most efficient route is selected for on-time delivery.
Q: How is the order prep and pickup process different for batched and routed delivery as compared to point-to-point crowdsourced or traditional delivery pickups?
A: Batched and routed delivery groups deliveries heading in the same direction, not unlike traditional delivery. These orders usually have delivery deadlines within a few hours of each other and are handled by a single delivery driver. This differs from traditional, point-to-point crowdsourced delivery, where one driver typically picks up one customer order and delivers it to a specific destination.
Because batch delivery is not “one order with one driver,” staff members should sort orders for pickup to enable a seamless handoff. Using the Roadie SmartSort® sortation app, your staff can sort orders into groups or bins based on where those shipments are being routed — saving valuable time figuring out which deliveries go where.
When drivers pick up the orders, staff will know that “Bin A” or “Group 1” includes all orders for the driver’s specific batch. This cuts down on confusion and delays, allowing the batched and routed supply chain to continue running smoothly.
Q: What steps can we take to prepare our facility for success with batched and routed delivery?
A: It’s important to keep close tabs on order volumes and deadlines across your fulfillment locations. This information will help you determine whether you have enough outbound orders to warrant a same-day batched and routed last-mile logistics strategy. If you have enough orders, then the next steps are:
- Share the data you gathered — including details like timing requirements for subscription-based products — with your crowdsourced delivery provider.
- Establish your pickup times, knowing that Roadie generally requires a 90-minute window for its algorithm to route deliveries.
- Depending on your business model, you may want to group all deliveries on one day and then route them as a batch for local next-day delivery. Consolidating orders works especially well for locations that receive a high volume of orders overnight.
- Decide whether you want to fully integrate with Roadie’s platform or just use its bulk upload feature. With bulk upload, you can drag and drop a file populated with several hundred deliveries or more, and Roadie’s algorithm can route the orders for same-day batch delivery.
- Stage the packages so drivers can easily find their order batches and get back on the road.
Upgrade your delivery approach with Roadie’s batched and routed delivery solution
If you’re sending multiple deliveries out daily, the cost and time spent scheduling and managing each order adds up quickly. By using Roadie to batch those deliveries together into efficient routes and leveraging the power of the Roadie crowdsourced driver network to get them to your customers quickly, you can spend less time coordinating pickups and more time building your business.
Are you ready to batch, route and go? Check out our playbook to learn how batched and routed delivery can help you keep up with demand year-round.