Courtney White (right) Founded Nonprofit Culinary Care After Her Father’s Death
Courtney White founded Culinary Care in 2013 as a tribute to her late father. The mission was to bring cheer to other cancer patients in the form of high-quality meals delivered to Chicago hospitals. In short order, Culinary Care was delivering thousands of meals a year around the city, and she needed a software platform to keep ensure patients were never left hungry on account of a delivery mishap.
“I was manually putting everything into Google spreadsheets,” Ms. White says. “All of the scheduled deliveries were being pushing into Google Calendar invitations and I realized it just wasn’t working. I was at wits end.”
She explored other options, including Uber’s scheduling platform. But Uber required that she use their drivers rather than her own – something that would not work because Culinary Care relies heavily on staff who also add a personal touch to deliveries.
“Finally, I found that GetSwift managed everything I did manually – from scheduling to phone numbers,” Ms. White says. GetSwift’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform allows her to communicate directly with drivers, reducing the chance of late meal deliveries and dramatically increasing the amount of volume Culinary Care can accommodate.
Looking ahead, the next step is to take Culinary Care to more cities. Ms. White says she regularly gets requests from all over the country from people interested in bringing Culinary Care to feed cancer patients in their cities. “We have a map of the requests and our goal over the next five years is to expand and grow Culinary Care nationwide,” she says.
Culinary Care served 2,800 meals across Chicago in 2018. This year, the nonprofit is on track to delivering between 3,000 and 3,500 meals and the goal is to reach 100,000 meals served by 2023, Culinary Care’s 10th anniversary.
“We are excited about the chance to help Culinary Care thrive in Chicago and expand to other cities,” says Joel Macdonald, Founder and President of GetSwift. “It’s a wonderful cause and our platform is perfectly suited to help Culinary Care reach scale.”
One reason Culinary Care has caught so much attention: It focuses purely on cancer patients, who are more challenging to feed than most. The reason is that cancer treatments including chemotherapy tend to stifle appetites and even change the experience of taste. That requires Culinary Care to seek out the most appealing meals from local restaurants that donate food.
“We are the only organization nationwide that serves only cancer patients,” Ms. White says. “They’re a unique client because they’re often not actually hungry and we need to make the experience special.”
She added that there are plenty of organizations delivering to cancer patients, but it’s rarely more than 20% that goes to cancer patients. The pure focus on cancer patients appears to be more challenging, but Ms. White’s personal experience guided her in that direction.
She learned all about the challenge of feeding cancer patients from her father. During the last months of his life, friends and neighbors brought meals that she shared with her father and family that helped bring them to together and give them one less worry.
“We pay close attention to the emotional element of a dish,” Ms. White says. “GetSwift lets me focus on the most important things we do.”
Interested in conquering the chaos of delivery? GetSwift can help you start improving your delivery operation in hours. Get in touch.
If you’ve always thought of starting your own business, now is a better time than ever. With the increase in demand for next-day and even same-day delivery of nearly everything, there’s a very real need for couriers that can deliver these goods. While starting any business can be quite challenging, a courier service can be one of the more simple ones to start, requiring a relatively small amount of capital. There are also several tools available that can help you along the way to optimize your business and improve efficiency. For instance, route planning and delivery management software can make all the difference if you want to have a growing, profitable business.
If you’re thinking of starting your own courier business or have one already, there are many opportunities out there. However, there are also several obstacles you could face along the way. The delivery management experts at GetSwift are here to help you identify some of the common challenges of growing a delivery business and how to overcome them. Read our blog to learn more!
Finding Loyal Customers
It goes without saying that without customers, you would have no business. So what is the best approach for finding, and more importantly, keeping loyal customers? Today’s savvy customers expect on-going communication regarding their order. This includes order confirmation, real-time delivery status, and even follow-up. In addition, they want to be able to communicate with the people they are doing business with. It is important to give them a way to contact you for order changes, questions, and feedback.
But how do you support the customer-business relationship without paying for a small army of customer service representatives? The answer is delivery management software. At GetSwift, we’ve developed easy-to-use software that can make interacting with your customers simple, and with little time requirement. It includes features such as order confirmation, real-time tracking, proof of delivery, and service feedback to ensure your customers are informed and provided information throughout the entire order process. Investing in this kind of technology will surely give your business an advantage over your competition when it comes to establishing a loyal customer base.
As your business grows, it can become more and more difficult to manage all of the moving parts. If you hire additional drivers, you’ll need to make sure you have a reliable and effective method of communicating orders and expectations. Managing a fleet versus one or two drivers requires the necessary tools to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently. The driver dispatcher features of GetSwift’s delivery management software can help by providing a user-friendly interface to schedule drivers, a way to optimize driving routes and interact with your team via an app that they download on their cell phone. It’s never been easier to manage and communicate with a remote team.
When you start a business, probably one of the last things on your mind is how you are going to keep track of all the paperwork. When you think about it, you’ll need to keep records for materials purchased, orders placed, employee and customer interactions, regulatory and legal requirements, and so forth. There’s an incredible amount of information that needs to be kept and filed away, and without a system to manage it all, it can quickly get out of control. The best plan of action is to establish a good process from the get-go, utilizing technology to help make it easier and take up less space. Doing so can make your business run smoother and save you dozens of headaches in the future.
Let’s say you’ve started your courier business, you’ve found more than enough loyal customers, and communication with your team is satisfactory. If you aren’t operating efficiently, you could actually be losing money, or at the very least, be leaving money on the table. What sets successful businesses apart from those that struggle and eventually fail is the dedication to optimizing all areas of the business. You might not think it’s that critical if you go two miles out of the way to make a special delivery, but if each driver does that a few times a day, over the course of a year it could add up to thousands of extra dollars that your business loses.
As a business owner, it’s your job to evaluate all areas of your business, analyze the data, and make smart choices that will contribute to your profitability. One tool for doing just such is — you guessed it — Get Swift’s delivery management software. With features that will help you optimize route plans and reduce fuel consumption, you’ll be able to ensure on-time deliveries, possibly reduce the number of delivery vehicles needed, and even provide faster delivery options than your competitors. This not only gives you the advantage of providing better customer service but allows you to do it in a way that is most profitable for your bottom line.
Technology: Your Biggest Ally
Starting a business is hard work and you need all the help you can get to make it succeed. If you’re planning to use basic spreadsheets, emails and phone calls for your tracking and communication, prepare for a difficult road ahead. Investing in GetSwift’s delivery management software can make all the difference between the success and failure of your business. By providing solutions for order tracking, driver dispatching, route optimization, and customer interaction, this technology is what you need to effectively support a growing business. It also includes comprehensive business analytics to identify and resolve problems, improve efficiency, and ultimately exceed your customer’s expectations.
Take the next step toward building your courier business by finding out more about the delivery management software from GetSwift. Keep in mind that there are no contracts, no upfront costs, and no hidden fees. We also offer a free 30-day trial. Give us a call today — we would love to hear from you and help answer any questions you may have!
If you own a food delivery business, you know how important it is to get it to your customers as quickly as possible. Going a few blocks out of the way and arriving a few minutes late can make the difference between a satisfied customer and an unhappy one. If your business is growing and you have just a few drivers to cover a delivery area, you need to make sure that each and every trip is perfectly planned. Sending a driver out of his way or across town just won’t cut it when you have a growing list of orders to fill and each of them is time-sensitive.
Get an edge on your competition and make your life easier by investing in the dispatching software from GetSwift. With multiple features and a user-friendly interface, it’s the perfect tool for any business — big or small. Keep reading to learn why you should be taking advantage of dynamic driver scheduling.
Save Time and Money
Being able to change orders, rearrange deliveries, and ensure your drivers are taking the best routes are all key in providing the best customer service while staying conscious of your bottom line. While being flexible can earn customer loyalty, it can often create added costs if it makes the order fulfillment process less efficient. Create a win-win situation for your customers and your business by using GetSwifts routing software. It will give you a leg up on fulfilling orders efficiently — including those last-minute order changes — without going miles out of the way.
Assign Priority on an As-Needed Basis
Wouldn’t it make life easier if once you received an order, you could schedule it for delivery in the order it was received, and without fear of it changing or being canceled? Unfortunately, we do not live in a world of absolutes. Orders change and priorities change. Customers have to come to expect that they can change their order within a reasonable amount of time and can ask for a “rush order” with the expectation that they will get it sooner than everyone else.
If customer satisfaction is a priority for you (and so it should be, because without it, you won’t have a business,) then you need to be able to make order changes on the fly and assign importance as needed. If you’re still using a simple spreadsheet and phone conversations with your drivers every time you want to communicate, you’re probably working harder than you need to and you aren’t being as effective as you could be. The dispatcher software from GetSwift has features that will allow you to assign order priority and automatically schedule a driver based on location, service record or another metric of your choosing. It will even rearrange a driver’s route sequence and then notify your driver via text message.
Improve Your Customer Service Rating
If you have an antiquated system of tracking and scheduling orders, then you’re going to be limited on how many changes can be made, how far in advance they can be made and being able to accept last-minute orders. With our dispatching software, you can easily reassign drivers, communicate changes, and give real-time ETA information to your customers. All of these features help your business run smoothly and will ultimately be reflected in the growth of your business and the satisfaction of your customers.
If you want to grow a successful, thriving business, it’s important to take advantage of dynamic scheduling. You need to be able to make real-time changes and adjustments if you expect to win the loyalty of customers. There are plenty of competitors out there waiting to take your place if you can’t provide the best experience, in the most efficient way. Learn more about all of the many features included in GetSwift’s dispatching software and how they can help your business. Contact GetSwift today!
Conventional wisdom tells us not to trust strangers, but in practice, we do it all the time. In fact, their opinion matters a lot—on Yelp, Google, OpenTable, and beyond. A recent survey showed that nearly 90 percent of consumers read reviews of local businesses, 57 percent will only buy from businesses with four or more stars, and consumers read an average of 10 reviews before trusting a business.
While one negative review can put a dent in your small delivery business, lots of positive reviews do wonders: a one-star increase in a restaurant’s average rating on Yelp leads to roughly a 9 percent increase in revenue.
There are lots of strategies to increase the quality and number of your online reviews (such as responding to complaints directly by commenting) but one of the best ways is to get the fundamentals right: provide a great customer experience.
If that sounds daunting, here’s the good news: If you’re using the right delivery management software, great customer experience is built in. Here are four ways that GetSwift’s delivery software feeds right into customer experience and will have your business getting positive review after positive review. We’ve seen this happen for small businesses across industries—from restaurants to cannabis to furniture. Here you go:
1. Transparency. One of the most frequent calls or complaints a delivery business gets is, “Where’s my delivery?” You can solve that by giving your customers a live tracking map live ETA, and SMS alerts, all automatically provided with GetSwift’s delivery software. The benefits to customers are enormous: they won’t need to call you anymore, they can plan their schedule around the delivery, and they get notified of any delay in advance. This clear, crisp delivery experience is so refreshing to customers—especially compared to the all-day delivery windows they get from some providers—that it leads to glowing reviews.
2. Fast Response Times. With the right delivery tracking software, your operations team can spot potential hiccups before they arrive—right from one easy dashboard. If a delivery is going to be late, you have that pop on right on your dashboard, meaning you can alert the customer before it happens. Why would a customer give you a bad review if you reached out to solve the problem before it affected them? If anything, they’ll go on Yelp or Google to write about how you turned a negative to a positive.
3. Fast Delivery. For most deliveries, especially in online food delivery, speed is a big part of what’s going to make customers happy. But you can’t get faster relying on the same old technology, where you are calling and texting your drivers to find out where they are before giving them an assignment. Once you adopt delivery software, your fleet won’t magically drive faster. But, you will save time at every stage—dispatching times go down, routes are cleaner, drivers waste less time—and all of a sudden you have the opportunity to cut delivery times by 35 percent. The result is customer happiness.
4. Happy Drivers. Speaking of drivers, happier drivers mean happier customers. One human interaction can, of course, make someone’s day. If your drivers are stressed out and don’t know where in the city they’re headed to next, or who will be complaining to them because they’re late, the quality of those interactions goes down. On the other hand, drivers on the GetSwift app for courier drivers have a simple interface to view their upcoming routes and all their drop-offs, the system automatically sends SMS notifications to customers so drivers don’t have to, and safety features like proof of delivery mean drivers always have transparency if something goes wrong. It all adds up to more relaxed drivers and customers more likely to leave great reviews.
In sum, if you’re looking to boost your online reviews, it’s a good time to take a look at the delivery experience you’re providing. If you really nail it—something that we’re here to help you do—you’ve just satisfied customers before they’ve even experienced your product, and the reviews may just come pouring in.
If you’d like to learn more about how to get started with GetSwift’s delivery software for small businesses , give us a shout.
The food industry is changing. Gone are the days when everyone desired a one-stop-shop where they could get their perishable food, dry goods, health and beauty supplies, and automotive parts all under one roof. While the convenience of a mega-mart still has its appeal for time-starved workers and busy families who aren’t able to drive from store to store, there is an ever-growing demand for ways to get food that is produced close to home, fresh, and supports local farmers and economy.
To meet this need, fresh food delivery services have been popping up all over the country. But exactly how do you manage the logistics of a fresh produce or dairy delivery business that requires precise and efficient routing to ensure such finicky products are delivered in the shortest time possible? There’s a new generation of delivery management tools that are helping businesses not only plan the best routes for their deliveries but include customer-service features that today’s savvy consumers have come to expect.
South Mountain Creamery: A Success Story
Almost 20 years ago, South Mountain Creamery, based in Middletown, Maryland, decided to implement home-delivery. With nothing but crude spreadsheets for route planning and delivery management, the business was limited on how many products they could offer and how many customers they could service. In 2008, they partnered with GetSwift to implement their delivery management software, and the rest is history.
Flash forward 18 years and South Mountain Creamery is now delivering products from other local farms in addition to their own. Customers can place orders for meat and eggs to be delivered along with their milk and butter. The success of one business has now spilled over and is helping several others grow and succeed. If this kind of story inspires you, you can read the full article here: South Mountain Creamery Rises to e-commerce challenge with GetSwift’s Delivery Biz Pro.
Delivery Management Solutions
When you’re transporting perishable goods such as dairy products, meat or fresh produce, you know that time is of the essence when it comes to routing and delivery. Investing in a good delivery management software is a must to ensure effective planning and communication. Automatic dispatching can assign drivers to new delivery points based on their current location. Routing software can optimize daily routes to save time and fuel. Software that includes business analytics can help you identify pain points and areas for improvement. Unless you just want to make a few extra dollars delivering to a handful of people that live in your neighborhood, you need the right tools to support and grow a real, thriving business.
Customer Service Solutions
Managing “your side” of the business is only half of the equation. Delivery management software is there to help with customer service needs as well. Today, customers expect to get instant notifications, to be able to place and change orders up until the last minute and to track the location of their deliveries. These features are in the best interest of both the customer and the business. For instance, a customer feels engaged and part of the process when they can track the exact whereabouts of their delivery. A business can use the information gained from the tracking software to troubleshoot problems and use it as a tool to improve overall delivery performance.
Learn How GetSwift Can Help You!
GetSwift is in the business of supporting enterprises across the country through the use of their delivery management software. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with delivery tracking, routing, and customer service. We’ll be happy to provide an overview of our services and answer any questions you may have. Give us a call today!
GetSwift’s head of tech answers why he got into logistics, the future of the industry, and how to build a game-changing company culture.
Before joining GetSwift, Dennis Noto’s career had spanned nearly every facet of the technology industry. Most recently, as the Executive Architect/CTO of IBM’s Watson for Business, he advised Fortune 500 companies on how to harness AI for their business. Before that, Noto spent much of his career as a financial services CIO helping financial institutions accomplish big tasks such as clearing billions of Wall Street trades instantly. And, in 2012, he won the CTO 100 Award for his work as CIO of Trust Company of America, where he developed a trading application that financial advisors could use across any browser or device.
Last year, he became the CTO of GetSwift, with the task to improve, evolve and build the most advanced logistics technology platform in the industry. We asked him about his vision to improve logistics and delivery management, how to spark innovation, and what it takes to build a strong company culture.
Why did you want to get into delivery management?
I’ve spent most of my career in fintech and was looking to apply everything I’ve learned—high-transaction volumes, real-time systems, innovative product, great UX, solving problems with simplicity, and more—to a brand new industry. I looked at delivery management and did my research. Everything today is delivery, competition in the field was open, and the technology in logistics was, frankly, old. It begged for software as a service. I saw a green field, so I said to myself, “It’s time to take a proven methodology from fintech to build game-changing logistics industry technology.”
What is the big opportunity to make a difference in delivery management?
The big opportunity is that logistics is so much more than dispatch, routing, and tracking your deliveries, and we’re building a holistic platform that not only helps you deliver efficiently but fuels your whole business. We offer business intelligence that you can feed back into your delivery system and overall business, seamless cash management, scheduling your drivers, an online customer marketplace to sell your products, and beyond. We are already offering more of these pie slices—thanks to our acquisition Delivery Biz Pro and Scheduling+—but many more features are coming down the pike.
You’ve written before about your goal of wowing customers. What do you mean by this?
When you’re bringing a product to market, it’s so important that it helps your customer increase revenue, cut expenses, automate, upsell or cross-sell. What is also really critical is that it wows a customer with UX and UI Experience that knocks them off their seat.
How do you wow customers in delivery management?
You wow the dispatcher on how easy it is to automate tens of thousands of deliveries at once to your fleet of drivers; you wow your drivers with the seamless mobile app experience to accept and manage orders; you wow the CEO because they’re optimizing time-to-deliver and meeting the revenue metrics to run their business; and you’re wowing the end customer because they’re getting a better product, sooner, and they’re well-informed before, during, and after the delivery.
When I asked you about wowing I thought maybe you’d talk about product, and it’s interesting that most of your answer was about user experience.
Product and UX go together. As a user, you need both. Let me tell a story. At Trust Company of America (where Noto was CIO for four years) our customers were large financial advisory firms, and we decided to do something new: allow CPAs to run their trading applications right form their tablets. At first there was pushback, with our client wondering how they’d train CPAs. So I put the iPad app in the hands of the COO and told him, “Give it to all your people. If they can’t run this app without a user’s manual, I failed at my job.” They all loved it. The point was: we combined complicated features with awesome customer experience. If you can’t be intuitive about what you do, you shouldn’t be bringing it to your customers.
Let’s talk about innovation and company culture. You’ve said that technology innovation is not strictly about technology anymore. Can you explain that?
We all can be on a level playing field with technology. The question is not about technology—it’s about the people that make the decisions that use the technology, who build the product to solve a problem and give the experience. You can have the best technology in the world, but if you are not solving the right problem and don’t have people to create that awesome experience, you won’t succeed. If the culture and objective isn’t right, you’re done.
How much of your time do you spend thinking about culture?
A group teach-back at the Denver office, with our Denver and New York teams together.
A lot. It’s not that it chews up my time. But it’s a matter of how engaged you are with your people. Here’s another story. When we opened the Denver office (GetSwift’s global tech team HQ), we set up mobile sit-and-stand desks for the team. But here’s the key: I told everybody, “Let me know what you think.” Some people actually didn’t like it and wanted to be back in cubicles, so we built out that option for them. It’s about listening to people, engaging with them, and empowering them to be their best.
By the way, most of the time our team does the setting-up and building as a team because we’ve fostered that collaborative culture. When new bar stools arrive in the kitchen, our team is already setting them up. Everybody pitches in and grabs a screwdriver.
People also need to know what their purpose is in the greater good of the organization, because people are motivated by a sense of belonging—it’s actually one of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which I’m a strong believer in. That’s why we hold monthly town halls, where our leaders talk about what we’re working on and where the organization is headed. It doesn’t stop there: We also hold department “campfires” so we can discuss what’s going well and what isn’t, and group teach-backs so we can learn from each other. And then sometimes we’ll have some drinks together or, recently, we actually went out to play old arcade games. I had no idea the team wanted to do that, but it was fun!
Time for a teach-back. Business Analyst Eiden Hughes presents a heat map to help the team understand GetSwift’s trajectory this year.
So, how’s it going at GetSwift? Are you proud of what you’re accomplishing?
We’re releasing code to production every three weeks. We probably did 1,000 stories in the first quarter. We’re producing functionality that causes our business team in New York to say “Wow! We’ve been waiting for this!”
With our customers, they are seeing a recurring steady stream of new product features, sub-system improvements, and most importantly service availability enhancements. Every three weeks, we deliver for our customers new enhancements based on unique business intelligence, and then we do it again. That kind of productive environment fuels a great culture, and then we have a virtuous cycle: people engaged in a great culture leads to even more productivity.
Is your enterprise looking to work with Dennis and his team to optimize delivery and logistics? Send us a quick note.