A Popular Fast Food Chain Re-Invents Their Delivery Operations In India To Improve Order Visibility & Customer Engagement

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A Popular Fast Food Chain Re-Invents Their Delivery Operations In India To Improve Order Visibility & Customer Engagement

This story is cross-posted at www.mediaagility.com

The customer is a popular American fast food chain of restaurants with franchisee in India. This chain of restaurants provides dine-in, delivery and pick-up services for Italian-American dishes worldwide. The customer was facing scalability challenges owing to manual and out-dated delivery systems. The growing demand was also pushing their operational limits and they were seeing frequent lapses in order delivery SLAs.

Dependency on legacy delivery processes posed challenges in scaling operations, meeting quality standards

The business serves out of multiple outlets across India and they sensed that their operations were unorganized, even with fair storefront digitization across all outlets. The operations were reactionary and not based on data and insights.

They had outdated delivery areas chalked out for each outlet and the zones were identified by a manual process of demarcating the serviceable territories. Furthermore, delivery orders were accepted based on an inaccurate list of physical addresses (‘ also called ‘Alpha Listings’) rather than serviceable areas.  Inaccuracy in serviceable areas led to false refusals of orders, and also missed SLAs as a result of accepting orders that were outside the serviceable areas. This led to a lower quality of end-customer experience.

The business also identified an ‘under-10 minute’ SLA, starting from the time the order is fully prepared, to deliver the order to the customers. This SLA is time-critical given the quality and taste of the food remains intact when delivered within this timeframe. But due to the haphazard and static manual delivery zones, this SLA was most often not met.

The operations team realized that the delivery planning and process was manual and time ineffective. Re-organization of the resources was essential as a part of the time spent on deliveries could have been used to actually prepare the orders and take new orders. Moreover, the idle time of the delivery agents were not utilized and the status of the in-flight orders could not be ascertained.

Amidst all these operational challenges, the business was determined to deliver delightful customer experiences – more interaction and communication between the two sides of the  transaction, and work on its current strategies and systems to create a foolproof design to help them scale without compromising on the quality of food as well as their customer delight.

They decided to re-invent their delivery operations, increase efficiency and automate all manual processes.

The Solution : Increasing Operational Efficiency With Google Cloud & MediaAgility

The business realized their operations needed a complete revamp and they partnered with MediaAgility, a premier Google Cloud & Maps partner, to orchestrate their delivery operations and service more customers without missing their SLAs.

Their problems could be divided into two broad categories:

  1. Time Based – to meet the ‘under 10 minute’ drive time SLA, faster order deliveries, scalable technology and systems to ensure quality of order is not compromised.
  2. Distance Based – Delivery areas, mapping of delivery agents to accurate customer addresses, assigning customers orders to the nearest outlet and more.

The root-cause was identified to be the sole reliance of delivery teams on manual customer data collected over time and over-burdened operations with no view into the delivery operations in the field.

With a narrowed down focus on these challenges, MediaAgility designed and developed a solution on Dista, their own location intelligence platform that runs on Google Cloud & Google Maps APIs, to orchestrate the end-customer orders in a seamless manner. The solution uses Distance Matrix, Directions API, Roads API (Snap To Roads), Maps Javascript API, and Google Cloud components like App Engine, Compute, Datastore, Firebase, Cloud Storage and BigQuery to holistically solve the following challenges:

  1. Trade Zone Definitions & Location Intelligence: The traditional method of physically mapping an ‘Alpha Listing’ has been replaced by creation of ‘Dynamic Trade Zones’. The solution “draws” the serviceable zones automatically and the operations teams can update these zones manually to fine-tune the maps-based dashboard. This has resulted in the increase in sales coverage and the stores have more visibility into their end-customer’s accurate location.
  2. Dynamic Order Mapping & Achieved SLA: The ‘under 10-minute’ delivery SLA is being met by correctly mapping the order to a store that can ensure 10 minutes drive time from the store to the customer address.
  3. Order Allocation, Operations Dashboard & Live Tracking: Orders are allocated to the delivery agents, based on their availability, via the tracking App on their mobiles. When the agent starts his delivery job on the app, point by point tracking of the order is relayed to the end consumer and the store manager. The solution helps the delivery operations team to create a real time monitor and control dashboard along with notifications and warnings to both the end consumer and the store manager. The process needs minimum human intervention and frees up resources to take up other work in the store.
  4. Delightful End-Customer Experiences: Their end customers’ experience is enhanced as they can now see live map based status of their orders and get an accurate ETA. The reduced delivery time and personal interaction add to the customer loyalty to the brand.
  5. Decisioning System Through Map Based BI: With this solution, the operations team is now able to run advanced analytics in terms of store performance, real-time delivery status and delays, which is the next best location to open a new store and so on. Such insights, from real time and historical data, are helping them to drive productivity, expand business effectively and consciously, and manage multiple franchises in a streamlined manner.

“The solution has revamped the way they run their delivery operations and significantly increased order acceptance and customer engagement.”, claims Shishir Gokhale, Partner at MediaAgility

The next phase of innovation involves ML based solutions for image based ordering, vision-based quality audits, and enhanced end-user interactions.