The demands on fulfillment operations have never been greater. Online grocery, never more than 3-4% of overall grocery sales up until a few months ago, has grown by 4-5 times. Restaurants are opening dark kitchens to prepare an increasingly large number of off-premise orders. To fulfill this additional volume, businesses can hire more drivers or engage more delivery providers. To fulfill intelligently – taking into consideration jumps in demand, costs to deliver, and driver efficiency – businesses also need to be smarter about how they dispatch and use these fleets.
Intelligent, multi-fleet dispatching is at the heart of our unified delivery and fulfillment platform, and is one of the primary ways that global brands use Bringg to reduce delivery costs and improve performance.
6 Characteristics of an intelligent dispatch solution
1. Planning and dispatching according to customized business and operational logic
2. Route optimization and order batching
3. Real-time multi-fleet integration
4. Automated and manual dispatch options for on-demand, same-day and planned delivery
5. Fulfillment Flexibility and automation
6. Part of a larger ecosystem with visibility and collaboration across the delivery flow
Dispatching according to operational logic and business needs
Different businesses have different KPIs and need dispatching solutions that suit their specific business goals. For instance:
Restaurants may need to prioritize fleets by price. Which fleet offers the lowest price point for a specific delivery?
Retailers, especially those selling big and bulky products, will want to schedule and dispatch based on fleets already delivering to the same area.
Grocers and convenience stores might need to dispatch alcohol deliveries. Who can deliver alcohol?
Intelligent Dispatch is not just about having access to more fleets, but about sending the optimal driver, fleet and vehicle for every order – and defining what is ‘optimal’ based on your unique business considerations.
For businesses quickly ramping up capacity by engaging new fleets, dispatch limitations will hold back their ability to scale.It’s also unrealistic for dispatchers to take every single factor into consideration. You need a ‘smart’ operating system that can make decisions for you.
Bringg’s dispatching algorithms prioritize dispatch around your business goals and intelligently factor in your unique considerations in order to suggest the optimal driver, fleet and vehicle for every delivery.
These considerations can include:
- Vehicle volume, weight capacity and distance restrictions
- Driver costs
- Vehicle and fleet regional suitability (e.g. bike in cities)
- Advanced delivery requirements – Contactless, returns and rejections, age and regulatory restricted deliveries
- Estimated time on site, time to warehouse or dark kitchen and time to deliver to ensure on-time deliveries
For example, a business could choose to set weight capacity for each vehicle, as well as order capacity (the total number of orders that can be taken on a run) and cost for each fleet. Different orders would go to different drivers in your fleet, based on the weight and order capacity of the vehicle assigned to them. Similarly, distant deliveries would be assigned to a 3PD with a flat delivery fee.
Route Optimization and Order Batching
A simple way to fulfill more orders is to deliver more on a single run, increasing drop density. Our dispatch technology does this by applying route optimization and order batching.
Route Optimization – takes multiple variables into account – such as distance, estimated timing for all delivery stages, and custom business considerations – to calculate the optimal route.
Batching – Bringg’s system identifies orders in the same delivery windows which are located near one another, and can be batched to reduce the cost of delivery.
For Restaurants, where customers tend to order food for the same peak times of day, order batching is a particularly good way to optimize delivery resources.
Real-time fleet integration
While many solutions claim to have integrations with lots of delivery vendors, not all of them provide a real-time data sync. The result is that they can dispatch to a third party fleet, but they cannot take the driver/vehicle location into consideration. This makes it nearly impossible for dispatchers to address issues of late deliveries. These solutions also may not provide data on weight capacity and other variables that should be taken into consideration for optimal dispatching.
However, fully integrated, real-time data sync with 3PDs provide dispatchers with the same level of visibility and control as they would have with internal fleets, improving dispatch efficiency and delivery performance.
AutoDispatch and manual dispatch
Your dispatching solution must meet your business goals, even as those goals change according to market needs. For example, a grocery chain may want to fulfill planned deliveries from MFCs, but also offer same-day delivery from urban retail locations. Likewise, a restaurant may want the flexibility to fulfill delivery orders from both dark kitchens and restaurants, or to offer on-demand delivery alongside next-day catering and food kit delivery options.
Bringg’s fully automated dispatch runs practically in real-time, enabling on-demand and same-day deliveries. Some businesses choose to have the fully automated dispatch running, but allow dispatchers to manually intervene as needed, such as to support a customer with an urgent need.
AutoDispatch for Off-Premise Food Fulfillment
On-demand food delivery has a unique dispatching constraint: a limited time in which to prepare the food and get it to the customer before food quality diminishes. If a driver arrives late, then the food can sit out too long, and lose its quality. This is especially true of off-premise restaurant orders, meal kits, and meal prep grocery orders.
Our AutoDispatch solution is synced with a Kitchen Prep App, so that orders are sent to prep only after the optimal driver has been identified and dispatched to the restaurant or dark kitchen. This way, the food is ready just in time for pickup by a driver or customer, and drivers never arrive early or late to pick up an order.
Our manual dispatch is typically used for next-day or later planned dispatch, and gives dispatchers the same visibility and behind-the-scenes data as AutoDispatch. For example, the Dispatch engine may be used to suggest routes, drivers and vehicles. Dispatchers can manually adjust the plan as needed. Once a dispatcher makes a manual change to a driver, order or route, the entire planned run – including ETAs – will automatically update to reflect that change.
Fulfillment flexibility and automation
Bringg’s flexible dispatch allows businesses to create different delivery flows for every use case. This can mean using different fleet models in tandem, with a fleet tethered to a store, or pooled within a region. It also means automatically allocating orders to the optimal fulfillment location (e.g. an MFC, dark kitchen, or one of several local retail locations), and then dispatching deliveries as needed.
Visibility and coordination across the delivery flow
An intelligent dispatch solution works as part of an integrated, intelligent ecosystem, ensuring that every team works in sync. Each team in a delivery flow needs to know when and where they should be in order to hand off a delivery to the next team. This means drivers need to be told which location they should pick up from, which loading bay they should go to, and when they are needed. Similarly, retail staff need to know which orders need to be prepared, where they should be staged and when.
All of this must be fully automated and coordinated, in order to minimize expenses, while meeting the customer’s delivery windows. And in today’s market, all of this must be supported equally for multiple fulfillment models: delivery from store or MFC, curbside pickup, click and collect, reverse logistics, and more.
At Bringg, we believe that no single solution is right for every business or every use case. Our unified delivery and fulfillment solution was designed to give businesses the ultimate flexibility, supporting omnichannel fulfillment, as well as multiple delivery models, fleets, and use cases.