Use These Uber-like Capabilities to Provide Unified Service for Your Customers
Most of us have experienced the benefits of using the Uber ride service at one time or another. Uber has revolutionized an age-old method of transportation and made it seamless and transparent to both company and customer.
Uber shows you the GPS location of available drivers on an interactive map, calculates the total cost of the ride upfront, sends you a text message or phone call when the driver will arrive, lets you pay for the ride using a credit card, and when the ride is over, Uber emails you a receipt that includes the driver’s name, charges, payment method, service time, and driver rating.
What does all this have to do with business management software for home medical equipment providers? Well, today’s leading software ERP platforms offer HME/DME businesses Uber-like capabilities that seamlessly connect your back office, customer service reps, dispatchers, and drivers into one unified service for you and your customers.
Here are a few examples of how software platforms and smartphone mobile technologies help "Uberize" the HME/DME industry:
1. Utilize dynamic scheduling and routing software.
Using interactive maps and real-time delivery status updates, dispatchers can make quick and smart routing decisions to add new orders or make changes to a route, because truck locations and delivery statuses are updated in real-time. Customer service representatives can use this same information to quickly answer customer calls about delivery status.
2. Track truck inventory.
Mobile devices can be used to scan products that are loaded, delivered, picked up, and unloaded to maintain a perpetual truck inventory. Having real-time access to truck inventory availability and truck capacity puts you and your driver in a position to schedule additional deliveries or pickups.
3. Mobilize ERP software pricing, invoicing, and payment functions.
The ability to calculate order totals and process the payment with a credit card at the point of delivery eliminates traditional time-consuming and labor-intensive invoicing and A/R collection processes. It’s also a great way to reduce the order-to-cash cycle from days down to minutes.
4. Eliminate paper.
Email the customer a copy of the invoice and proof of delivery instead of using snail mail in order to eliminate mailing, paper, and printer costs. A paperless system also gives you instant access to uploaded and submitted documents and helps with tracking (documents are time- and date-stamped).
5. Record delivery times.
Use recorded delivery time information to help educate customers on the value of your delivery services and fees. Measuring service times also helps optimize route capacity planning because both drive times and service times are recorded, analyzed, and incorporated into ongoing route planning activities, which leads to greater routing efficiencies and on-time deliveries.
6. Incorporate GPS tracking and interactive maps.
GPS saves you time (and potential overtime costs) by providing drivers with turn-by-turn directions. Calculating drive times between stops allows drivers to communicate arrival expectations directly to customers by text or phone. Customer service representatives can use the same information to field customer delivery status inquiries because delivery updates are transmitted back to the office, thanks to the seamless integration of mobile technologies and ERP software systems.
7. Capture additional delivery information.
Mobile devices are great for gathering additional useful information, for example: recording customer comments about the delivery using the smartphone’s microphone (speech to text), uploading signed documentation for proof of delivery, utilizing electronic forms to take customer surveys or capture additional customer attributes for sales and marketing activities, or creating a new order for a future delivery.
These are just a few examples of how HME/DME companies can implement Uber-like capabilities to improve delivery operation efficiencies. “Uber” new life into the customer service experience and do more than just deliver! TIMS Software can help. Let us show you.
* This column has been reprinted, courtesy of Gasworld US, where a previous version of this article authored by Computers Unlimited President David Schaer originally appeared.
This article was originally written by Patty Harrison of Computers Unlimited. Published 2018-03-05. Modified 2019-03-05.