How do you reduce delivery times in a city while also improving the customer experience when you need to deliver 240.000 packages a WEEK?
This is the challenge facing Stuart, a delivery service company in over 70 cities with over 3 million packages delivered in 2018. Actually, Delivery service doesn’t quite cover it. Stuart focuses on the ‘the last mile’, operating for the largest part in densely populated cities like Paris, London, Barcelona or Madrid through independent couriers.
You think ‘same-day delivery’ is fast? Try ‘same hour’. But how do you get such a massive amount of packages delivered quickly while also realizing:
- ease of use for the customer
- environmentally friendly transportation
- less congestion in the cities
You’ll need some state-of-the-art technology using smart algorithms and to build those, you need some great developers. That’s where Agilogy comes in…
Stuart realized from the start that their business would be built around great software. Technology is key to their business model so like many tech start-ups they got together a great team of developers. They built magnificent proprietary software but as they grew quickly, they started running into staffing problems. The IT challenges were becoming numerous and finding the right talent was taking too much time to stay on their projected growth path. Not being able to move ahead was starting to cost real money.
A big challenge was on the Backend side. The code is built in Scala making use of the Akka toolkit. During this process they also built extensive libraries to further develop their complex algorithm. It’s complicated stuff and they couldn’t find the right people fast enough. Since Agilogy specializes in Scala, it was almost natural that we would meet.
To make a long story short, we provided the IT talent to help them accelerate the work on their algorithms in what they call the ‘dispatcher’, the central engine that assigns the invitations for delivery jobs to the ‘drivers’ in the most efficient way. Those drivers can then choose whether to accept or decline a job based on price, convenience, etc. They are completely free to choose.
The recipient in turn decides when they want the package to be delivered and they can follow their package in real time on the app and know the Estimated Time of Arrival.
This may sound simple, but imagine doing that for thousands of packages, 24 hours a day in real time under different traffic conditions, weather, availability of drivers, different allowed weights and volumes of packages, regulations, etc. etc. Like we said, it’s complicated.
In the near future the goal is to bring Machine Learning into the engine by taking actual experience from drivers in real situations and adapting the routes on the go.
Agilogy is helping Stuart to improve their algorithms and realize their business objectives in an agile way. We have no doubt that better IT talent makes better systems and in the end faster and more efficient deliveries.
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A developer at Agilogy is never alone. While every project has its dedicated developers, we all work in a team and can gather from each other’s strengths and collective experience covering a broad range of programming skills.
We also believe that learning is never done. Technologies evolve and new programming languages and frameworks appear constantly. That’s why we invest a lot in training, both in-house and traveling together to seminars and events.
We believe we’ve created an organization where the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.