Today, customers expect hot biriyanis on their table in 30 minutes and sundry items within 24 hours. This makes last mile delivery a crucial factor affecting the market share and brand loyalty of a company. According to a whitepaper, delivery efficiency is now the biggest challenge for last mile delivery service providers. This is especially challenging in an environment of rising consumer expectations. For example, the above-mentioned whitepaper reports that 56% consumers expect next day delivery and 35% demand same day delivery. Clearly, in terms of customer experience, the stakes are quite high with last mile delivery. And, despite technological intervention, the human factor, or the final mile, last mile service has a significant impact on the overall customer experience.
The Final Mile of Deliveries
Did you know that most companies don’t consider their delivery partners as permanent employees but contractual workers, which means they might not receive any proper training and essential employee benefits such as insurance? There’s also the pressure of earning more by taking up more deliveries, that leads to stress and mental tension for delivery partners.
Recently, a lot of recent news articles have brought to light the grim realities of the shared economy. These include high-pressure work conditions, lack of proper training, the absence of regulations, etc. Indeed, many of us fail to recognize the contribution of the humble delivery partners who criss-cross the city under extreme pressure to make timely deliveries.
When we started Shadowfax, we were aware of the high attrition rate in the sector and the issues faced by delivery partners across the board. To overcome this, we adopted a technology-based training model for our delivery crews and ensured fair working conditions to keep them happy and excited about their work.
“In a span of a little under three years, Shadowfax has sourced more than 45 thousand delivery partners on the ground. We have achieved this by constant engagement and transparent operational metrics that help the delivery partners grow both in terms of earnings and professional profile. That has resulted in the lowest attrition rate of 7% in the last quarter, which is the lowest in the industry.” — Praharsh Chandra COO, Shadowfax.
Using a proprietary delivery technology, Shadowfax has enabled seamless shift management for its delivery partners, giving them the option of flexible work times without hurting their payout.
Delivery partners can see their expected roster, which is maintained by Shadowfax based on a demand prediction engine. They can see their reporting locations and timings on a user-friendly app and can apply for leave, a day in advance, without affecting the overall delivery schedules.
To make sure that their delivery partners get trained as “efficient delivery partners”, Shadowfax has developed an app based training platform — Gurukul. This technology-based training model helps new partners learn about delivery processes, order flows, client specific guidelines, grooming rules, and much more. It also works as a refresher for existing partners to get better at their work.
The result — A happy fleet, and satisfied end-customers!
Shadowfax also pays its partners on a weekly basis, while enabling them to check what they can make on the next day. At 8 AM every day, the partners can see the amount of money they earned the previous day to start their day on a cheerful note. Partners can also use the app to schedule their payout as they like. On days when a partner does not get enough deliveries, there is still a minimum payment disbursed into their account — a method that has proven very effective in reducing the pressure on delivery partners.
In case there is an issue or mistake in the payout, the delivery partners can raise an instant complaint on the Shadowfax app, which is promptly solved within 24 hours. There is also a referral system wherein delivery partners can track their incentives on the app and earn extra money on the side.
Hear it from Harish, a Shadowfax delivery partner:
“My choice here at Shadowfax matters, my choice of work hours, payment mode and the area preference. There is a sense of satisfaction in what I am doing now.”
In short, here’s what Shadowfax does differently to create an equitable work environment for their delivery partners:
- Manage the ground fleet through technology solutions which cover a wide range of aspects in delivery partners’ day-to-day activities.
- Introduce an intensive onboard training that helps their partners to understand the delivery technology and policies so that they can manage their delivery schedules and payments seamlessly.
- Provide on-the-go training via Gurukul — an app-based training system for continuous learning.
- Give partners flexibility through Shadowfax Slot System — where partners can choose when they want to work, how long they want to work and what they want to deliver!