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In grocery delivery, perfect pooling is essential

  •   2 min read

The same technology that makes a delivery business can also break it. We tell you why that is, and how to avoid it.

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Welcome to our Grocery Delivery Lessons series, where we give you key insights into how best to build a grocery delivery service that works for customers, drivers, and grocers. Let’s get started:

When a person orders groceries to their doorstep, they usually find themselves sacrificing both speed and quality in favor of convenience. This is because, as e-commerce leader Brittain Ladd writes in Forbes, “instead of applying the science of supply chain management to [grocery delivery], retailers are embracing increased volume.” 

For grocers who can afford it, this means spending more money on additional sales associates and drivers in an attempt to meet ever-growing demand for delivery — and seeing shrinking margins as a result. And those who can’t invest in an endless supply of staff simply have to watch their business falter as customers turn to other options. In both cases, the grocer loses out on valuable revenue. 

In order to break out of this cycle, grocery delivery must optimize for fleet efficiency: Maximizing deliveries per day, regardless of vehicle and driver supply. Traditional routing fits a standard and constant order flow, but today’s on-demand economy is anything but predictable. That’s why many delivery companies invest in a technology provider that can group orders together depending on a range of variables. 

But grouping orders together — or ‘pooling,’ as the practice is more commonly known — incorrectly is even worse than not doing it at all. A lot can go wrong when using tech that’s untested in the marketplace. 

The most common impact of bad pooling is delays to the customer, which can be difficult to predict. On top of that, the lengthy, meandering routes that result from poor order pooling can be frustrating to drivers and customers alike. 

Instead of taking these unnecessary risks, grocers should invest in a high-end dispatch solution that uses state-of-the-art mapping, live traffic, and machine learning algorithms to make decisions that increase fleet efficiency without compromising driver or customer satisfaction. In short: Work smarter, not harder.  

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