How many articles and posts have you read about the growing need for on-demand/same-day delivery and thought "how can I keep up"? While your customer requests begin to grow as Amazon and Uber continue to set the pace, there are ways you can manage your delivery offerings and profits at the same time. Hear from Riccardo Bocci, WorkWave® Route Manager's Product Manager, and Antonio Perini, CEO & Founder of Milkman, as they discuss merchant demands, shopper expectations, and the solution to sustaining on-the-fly orders: mixed-demand.

So, what is mixed-demand?

It's the belief that all businesses can potentially offer the on-demand experience, without being overwhelmed by the complexities. Building a business purely for on-demand is not viable for most companies -- and not being prepared for customer demands could mean losing out on business. One of the possible answers is mixed-demand: a mixed balance between planned orders and on-the-fly additions. Businesses should be prepared to have their fixed resources to deliver on existing orders while keeping some smartly-allocated wiggle room in route plans in order to manage and accept on-demand requests. A mixed-demand approach allows you to fully leverage your fixed resources, to unveil overcapacity and to better price your services. It’s an opportunity to offer high-level service (even same-day) while remaining profitable, but it needs to be enabled by a technology that truly understands it.

Riccardo explains that there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution and finding the right balance requires you to take into account your own data, customer requests and fleet. He shares some advice on how you can determine the right mix for making your routes profitable. Don’t miss Riccardo and Antonio’s interview with Supply Chain Brain and read on!

So, how do you get started with your mixed-demand offerings?

Plan

This is where you start! A well-built plan allows carriers to get a better understanding of their costs and resources –- making it easier to find the balance for offering same-day deliveries, while staying profitable. You’re setting yourself up for success, receiving fewer customer support calls and making drivers happier!

With efficient and realistic schedules you can begin to look towards expanding your delivery offerings while beating out the competition.

Route

Now it's time to dispatch and execute! YES you need a good plan in order to route better, but it's just as important to get the right plans to the right people. Don't overlook this step -- or you could potentially have an influx of customer support calls and angry drivers.

When you're mixing planned orders with same-day deliveries you also need the ability to route in real-time and make last minute decisions. In order to support this, you'll need a mobile app that can improve your routing and will keep your drivers organized. Stay connected with automated updates and alerts that allow you to react in the moment and make intra-day changes.

Track

Keep an eye on what's happening throughout the day and gain visibility with alerts that could potentially disrupt your routes. Make sure this information is available at all times, so that you can react faster and keep your customer informed.

Mixed-demand isn't just about fitting in orders when requested, it's about providing a superior customer experience. Without keeping an eye on the progression, you’re missing out on a key part to your success.

Analyze

Compare the set plan to execution events to improve operations by exporting your routes at the end of the day. Reviewing your results will allow you to plan for your fleet's availability and response to requests. If you don't understand how you're running and analyzing the data, it's impossible to make a plan for improvement.

Analyzing your data will allow you to strategically plan how much of your fleet should be scheduled in advance and how much you should devote to on-the-fly orders. You'll start to truly understand your mix of customers and their mixed-demands.

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