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5 Key Features Your App for Delivery Drivers Should Offer

Planning is one thing—execution is another. What is it they say about the best-laid plans in logistics? That’s right: they require (among other things) an effective mobile app to empower your delivery drivers. app for delivery drivers

In all seriousness, the choice of mobile app for your delivery drivers can have a huge impact on your ability to keep customers happy and manage delivery costs in the last mile. The right one can offer increased connectivity, improved efficiency, and happier, more empowered drivers and technicians across the board. But what does the right one look like? 

That’s exactly the question we’re going to help answer in this post. 

1. Total Connectivity with the Rest of Your Platform

The first thing you should look for in a driver mobile app isn’t a feature—it’s how it fits into the rest of your ecosystem. Sure, there are standalone mobile apps out there, and some businesses even use proprietary apps that they’ve custom-built, but what you really want is an app that’s part of the same platform as your delivery management system.

Why does this matter? First of all, it helps ensure connectivity and visibility. When you have multiple different software solutions for routing and scheduling vs. driver management, there’s always the risk of data-silos or a lack of visibility. When these are housed within the same solution, visibility is baked in. 

Ultimately, the processes that touch your route planners, customer support staff, sales reps, drivers, dispatchers, and managers are all connected—so their tools and capabilities need to be connected as well. Your routing can use real-time delivery data from the mobile app to update ETAs. Sales reps can gain visibility into their orders across routes. Drivers can easily communicate with dispatchers. The result is more seamless driver management, which leads to more effective delivery execution.   

2. Digital Proof of Delivery—Instantly Accessible

Now, onto the app itself. The first and most obvious thing it needs to offer is digital proof of delivery. There’s no sense in rolling out a driver mobile app and then expecting your drivers to pull out paperwork for customers to sign at the end of the delivery. Instead, they need to be able to quickly and easily capture proof of delivery (or proof of service) from their mobile phones. 

Specifically, they should be able to capture pictures, signatures, and notes. And all of that data should be time stamped and geo-stamped to ensure a complete audit trail for each and every delivery. 

This is the first area where the kind of connectivity we discussed in the last section is crucial. When your systems are connected, your drivers can collect proof of delivery via their mobile app and then other team members can access it instantly via the software. This enables real-time visibility and smarter exception management. 

The benefit here is also a matter of customer experience: the driver can get in and out that much more quickly if they don’t have to mess around with paperwork. And it can help you get paid more quickly (e.g. if you’re sending out delivery receipts that contain proof of delivery). 

It’s hard to overstate how valuable pictures can be in this context. If there’s any damage to a product you delivered after the job is complete, photographic evidence of the immediate results of the delivery or installation can be the difference between getting paid and not getting paid. 

3. A Companion App for Sales, Merchandising, Etc.

Okay, you’re trying to decide on a mobile app for your drivers, and here we are suggesting that you need another mobile app entirely for sales reps and merchandisers. What gives? 

But hear us out: one of the most important things your mobile app can offer is visibility to roles beyond drivers and technicians. You absolutely want live updates from your drivers to be instantly available on a single dashboard for team members back at the office. So how do you extend that level of visibility to roles who aren’t sitting in front of a computer all day? 

That’s right, you offer a separate mobile app for sales reps. The app should give them the ability to see what’s happening with each of the orders that they’re responsible for, regardless of which route they’re on. That way, salespeople can provide stellar customer service in real time. If they see that a delivery is going to be late, they can meet the truck and smooth things over in person. If a customer calls to ask when their order will arrive, the sales rep doesn’t have to call in to ask a dispatcher—they can just check the ETA from the comfort of their own device. 

The same goes for merchandisers, who might have multiple routes that they’re following up on. Giving them a separate app to ensure visibility and connectivity can go a long way towards keeping the entire spectrum of service you provide is coordinated and efficient.  

4. Flexible Pallet Scanning

For most businesses, the app for delivery drivers needs to prove its value before the delivery even starts. Specifically, it needs to enable drivers to scan items onto the truck before they start on their routes. 

Plenty of apps provide some kind of functionality for this—and it’s always better than doing it manually—but scanning individual items isn’t always fast or efficient enough. 

That’s precisely why your app for delivery drivers should provide pallet scanning, so your drivers can scan entire pallets on and off trucks based on a single barcode. Here, the items should all appear individually within the app and be associated with the correct orders as if they had been scanned one at a time. 

For industries like building supplies this can be especially pivotal, but nearly everyone can benefit from the increased speed of both loading and unloading that this can power.  

5. Configurable Forms

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise at this point that a lot of the most important ways that a driver mobile app can provide value mostly involve replacing or eliminating paperwork. But each delivery business is different, and the forms and other paperwork that drivers fill out has the potential to vary a lot from one organization to the next. 

That’s why it’s so valuable to have a last mile solution that enables you to configure your own forms and fields to customize the driver experience to your specific use case. This might mean creating specific forms for specific installation types, so that the driver has to confirm that they air-gapped the dishwasher before finishing the installation or that they took the empty keg away after delivering the new one. 

In essence, this enables you to capture the data that is most important to you at the right moment—at the time of delivery. This gives you an audit trail that you can rely on for gaining visibility into past deliveries.

DispatchTrack’s App for Delivery Drivers

At DispatchTrack, our goal is to create last mile software solutions that delivery organizations around the world can benefit from. That’s why our platform comes with a robust, highly-connected driver mobile app. Our app for delivery drivers offers:

  • Pictures, signatures, and notes for proof of delivery 
  • Pallet scanning (including via bluetooth)
  • Custom fields and forms
  • Two-way messaging with dispatchers
  • Live delivery updates
  • Data caching for areas with poor cell service
  • Total connectivity and integration with the rest of the platform

We also offer companion apps for sales reps and merchandisers—all of which creates a connected last mile ecosystem that promotes efficient deliveries and best-in-class customer experiences. The best part is that the app is easy to use, so drivers need minimal training and adoption is never a hurdle. The result is that delivery organizations can improve their delivery execution—and boost their profitability in the process. 

DispatchTrack offers the most powerful end-to-end suite of tools for last mile logistics operators. Dispatchers, drivers, customers and clients can access our app on any device to schedule, track, modify and verify your deliveries.

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