“You can’t use typewriters forever.”
We get it. You’ve always done business this way. You have great drivers and dispatchers. You make all of your deliveries, and your drivers seldom make mistakes. Your customers are happy. Margins are good, and you’re making money.
But how long will it last when your competitors are moving to mobile apps to increase driver efficiency and reduce contamination risks?
The reality is several factors are driving your competitors to change.
- Industry consolidation
- Driver shortages
- More exotic products
Private equity is fueling industry consolidation. Companies facing acquisition opportunities don’t get the best deal if they are still using a paper-based workflows and manual routing. When rolling up smaller distributors, private equity firms have specific objectives to drive their ROI, which drives acquisition price:
- Get efficiencies of scale
- Operate as one company – not 25 small companies
To get efficiencies of scale, successful companies implement technology to drive efficiencies. Specifically, they invest in route optimization, mobile delivery apps, tank forecasting, and data analytics to drive their business. While it used to be “okay” to use paper or static routes, or dispatch from each office, rollups are centralizing dispatch and using technology to get efficiencies of scale.
Where you used to have competitors that did business the same way with paper and static routes, you now have ones who optimize routes, email customers when their delivery is scheduled, provide an immediate email receipt on delivery and a customer portal to view order history. They know how much it costs to serve a customer, and they grow without adding more trucks and trailers.
Routing technology enables centralized dispatch and knowing “planned times and distance.” Mobile technology provides real-time updates and captures “actual delivery metrics.” Routing and mobile together provide the foundation to understand the cost to serve and to drive efficiency by managing “plan vs actual”. The paper-based alternative is to pass driver management responsibilities to your customers.
All distributors are dealing with driver shortages. You have to adopt technology to make the drivers as productive as possible, but there is a secondary reason that is just as important. With the current shortage of drivers, you’re forced to choose among less experienced drivers, so you are rolling the dice without the right technology. Mobile apps enforce workflows and ensure drivers follow the correct steps.
Even with experienced drivers, a mobile app that performs specific workflow checks is crucial and improves efficiency. For bulk product delivery, a mobile app that scans tank and compartment barcodes will confirm the product and prevent a contamination incident. If a driver puts 15W40 in a 0W20 tank, or 8% sodium hypochlorite in a 12% tank, they won’t know until the customer uses the product.
The worst scenario is not the cross-fills you find, but the ones you miss.
A mobile delivery app is the basis for driver efficiency. It provides real-time status updates to dispatchers and workflow efficiencies for drivers. Instead of handwriting meter values and using a calculator to determine what is delivered, the mobile app can read the meter directly. Data that you used to write on paper like stick readings now becomes actionable data to forecast tanks. With the goRoam mobile app, there is no paperwork as the data is captured on an Android or iOS device and transmitted electronically for billing – no more waiting on paperwork and no more re-keying. And the mobile app can enforce route compliance by requiring a PIN code for drivers to make deliveries out of sequence.
More exotic products = greater contamination risks
With more exotic products such as super low viscosity oils, the cost of making a delivery mistake is much higher. Distributors such as ExxonMobil and Shell have a heightened focus on their Quality Assurance programs.
If you don’t have a mobile app like goRoam to help drive workflow, it is simply a matter of time before you have a serious contamination issue.
Industry consolidation, driver shortages, and more exotic products are three reasons why you need to invest in technology right now. We understand you have always done business the same way, and you’re making money, but these factors are going to force you to adopt or lose business.
If you are a rollup operating as a independent companies, you have to adopt technology to get efficiencies of scale and operate as one.
The good news is, now it’s easier than ever to get started with our cloud server and fully managed mobile solutions. Contact us to get started!