The way to the destination is often full of hurdles - this also applies to the everyday life of employees in the delivery service. Truck drivers, for example, face challenges such as long waiting times, inefficient routes and empty transports. They also have to comply with numerous strict guidelines and do a lot of paperwork every day. Digital tools can help to speed up work processes and increase transparency in the supply chain.
Against this background, Maico Strauss, IT expert at METRONOM, has dedicated himself to the development of the so-called Driver App for METRO's Tech Unit. The purpose of the app was clearly defined right from the start: The tool was intended to ensure faster processes in route planning and delivery - on the basis of simplified, digitalized processes. The aim was to increase satisfaction on both the driver's and the customer's side.
Drivers are faced with a wide range of delivery challenges - from long waiting times and cumbersome routes to the time it takes to fill out various forms.
Development of a digital tool that accelerates processes - from goods storage, preparation and route planning to goods delivery, payment and confirmation of receipt.
The new driver app - installed on a smart device - digitizes the driver's work steps. This makes the processes more efficient and the driver reaches his destination faster. In addition, customer satisfaction increases - thanks to fast, punctual and accurate delivery of goods.
Not an easy task for Maico Strauss and his 10-strong team. The IT experts not only had ambitious goals, but also had to incorporate various requirements and points of view into the development of the digital tool - for example the classic manager's perspective with clear ideas about the project and the end product. In addition, a fast, flexible and practical approach was required in order to avoid that the developed solutions are already outdated when they are introduced.
Maico Strauss and his team therefore made every effort from the very beginning to understand the daily challenges in the delivery process. They accompanied the drivers through the delivery process and spoke with route planners and customers. In this way, the IT experts got to know the requirements of the various players and summarized them in "user stories".
More speed - more efficiency
Maico Strauss cites an example in which theory and practice collided and in which, as an IT specialist, he drew important conclusions from the practical test: "Usually drivers wear protective gloves when loading and unloading, which they do not take off - even if they hold a block for the customer to sign off the goods received after they have delivered the goods. We were not aware of this when we defined the processes. The first prototype of our app was far too filigree - the buttons could not be operated in a user-friendly way with gloves on. Much too impractical for the drivers".
The concrete feedback was immediately implemented by the developer team in the next sprint. The keys of the device were made larger and the team also planned an additional pen for easier operation. It was an agile process: while the project was still going on, new functions were continuously tested and incorporated with the users.
The work has paid off: With the help of the Driver app, data can now be transparently traced and the driver's work steps can be made more efficient. The app optimizes route planning and always determines the optimal route for the driver based on a geographical factor and a time factor. In addition, the time and effort required for administrative work is reduced and around 50% paper can be saved. And thanks to optimized processes and a fast and efficient delivery service, the satisfaction of both drivers and customers increases.