Accurate location information is essential to delivering the goods on time
What does it really mean to crowdsource a fleet solution?
Before diving into how small businesses can pair TomTom’s location data with their fleet, let’s take a look at what the crowdsourced model is and how it can offer some of the best flexibility for getting started in the space.
Crowdsourced delivery creates ad-hoc jobs for drivers to fulfill based on availability. It’s a flexible approach that allows companies to gain access to a large pool of people to complete deliveries without acquiring or partnering with an existing fleet company’s talent and assets.
Many people are familiar with the model behind same-day on-demand grocery and restaurant delivery applications. This system has proven its benefit for growing businesses because it addresses several key challenges and growing pains:
- While it could seem like larger companies would take up most or all of the available driver pool, most drivers provide services to multiple companies at a time. This increases their chances of acquiring more rides, deliveries or orders and maximizes their available time on the job, meaning there is always room for new players.
- Small businesses often struggle with the ability to onboard sufficient full-time employees to cover all desired delivery windows, incurring additional costs for benefits required for standard employment agreements. Because crowdsourced drivers are numerous – and part-time – this creates extra potential for driver availability outside the standard nine-to-five.
- Drivers who can work as independent contractors remove a company burden of acquiring and maintaining company vehicles by using their own.
- Companies benefit from the local geographic knowledge of this talent pool, which can sometimes help with finding pickup points or delivery spots in that last mile. TomTom’s Points of Interest Search within the Search API readily provides detailed info, such as building entry points, to make things even easier.
Lastly, some drivers may also find benefit with this work model. Students, other small business owners looking for extra income and full-time employees looking to earn from work commutes are all examples of potential drivers who are able and willing to select their own hours without 40-hour week commitments.
Removing the unexpected with accurate ETAs
When a small business doesn’t have as much investment tied up in a full-time team of drivers and owned or leased vehicles, they can focus their efforts on the technical side of their application – which is where their customers will interact with them the most and start to build their trust in the company via the user experience.
Acquiring or working with an existing fleet company often comes with the struggle of integrating third party location software into an existing application – yet another obstacle for a company new to the space. When adopting a crowdsourced model, paired with the complete suite of TomTom Maps APIs, smaller companies can leverage innovative routing, traffic, and geofencing technologies to help allow small businesses to reach their customers at the last mile, and within the all-important estimated time of arrival (ETA).
When customers place an order, the most important measuring stick for satisfaction with their experience is usually adherence to an ETA. TomTom’s Routing API accounts for numerous road attributes to calculate the most accurate ETA from driver to customer, to build that customer trust. Street geometry, speed limits, road closures, lane details and even physical curvature all can create additional strain on an ETA’s accuracy, especially if a driver deals with unexpected road conditions.