5 things to keep in mind if you want to disrupt deliveries with time windows

Your drivers have to be de-brainwashed. For most of their life being fast, to the point of foul play or rudeness, has been their religion. The hardest part will be having them understand that, when arriving early on a Client’s doorstep, it is paramount to wait. If someone asks for a delivery between 7.15 pm and 8.15 pm, and pays for it, it’s unlikely he’ll like to hear the doorbell ring at 7.00. A good route planner, with real-time vehicles geolocalization, will come extremely handy: you can see if they idle or if they register at 10.00 am a delivery they handled at 9.45 am.

Clients will change their mind, a lot. Choices are a good thing, but they can lead to choice-paralysis. So: be sure to have the most reactive software and infrastructure, both back-end and front-end, and let them change their mind and reschedule up to the last minute. It’s better to turn back and proceed to another delivery than to lose five minutes searching for someone who isn’t there.

They’ll want same-day too. You offer time-windows and exact date of delivery? That’s super-cool but it won’t stop the same-day craze. As we previously wrote here: “Spar cutoff with planning. Optimize before hitting the road. It is sufficient to tune the saturation level of your planned fleets and reserve some for on-the-fly orders that are innate to the on-demand endeavor, pretty much like outsourced peaks at an otherwise steady and efficient production line”.

Be ready to deliver some heavy stuff. If you empower time-windows Clients will use them to be sure not to miss those items that are a true pain to recover if delivery goes amiss: parcels too big for their car or too heavy for their arms alone. Example: in the last month two of our App users decided to buy smaller items (a TV and and a table) just to be sure we could deliver them at the time they wanted. That’s the amount of power we have.

Work hard on your pricing engine. We won’t disclose our own recipe, of course. Remember: every time window, broad or narrow, has to have its own flexible price, considering average traffic, fleet allocation, quantity of deliveries expected for said hour — location and many more factors. Everyone has to find the right price for the right need.


Originally published at www.milkman.it.