How Circuit Gave a Courier Company Its Competitive Edge
How a bicycle courier company managed a 20-25% increase in daily deliveries after COVID-19 restrictions led to more direct-to-consumer deliveries.
Note: We recently spoke with the owners of a bicycle courier company that uses Circuit to help pharmacies deliver medications to their patients. At our customer’s request, we won’t be disclosing their name or other identity-revealing details in this piece, as they see “Circuit as their competitive advantage in the industry.”
There are a handful of logistical problems that arise when delivering medications in a major city.
First, pharmacies deal with two types of medication orders. There are orders filled for patients who went to the doctor that day because they don’t feel well. Generally, these orders are filled locally and need to go out on the same day. Then there are recurring orders for patients with chronic ailments. These orders are often shipped in bulk packaging to the pharmacies and don’t always require same-day delivery.
Second, it’s very time-consuming and inefficient to transport medication orders by car in a metropolitan area. This is due to several one-way streets and frequent traffic jams.
These are the problems our customers wanted to solve by starting a bicycle courier company that lets pharmacies deliver medications to their patients quickly and cost-effectively.
When the founders started building their bicycle courier company, they had two couriers on staff. Over the course of a year, their team grew to include 10 couriers who can execute more than 400 successful deliveries on any given day.
But scaling up to that capacity required more than just a dedicated team — it also required a route optimization tool.
If you manage a team of drivers and want a simple, cost-effective way to keep track of them (while making their routes more efficient), sign up for a free trial of Circuitsign up for a free trial of Circuit.
How Our Customer Used Circuit to Scale to 400+ Deliveries a Day
When it comes to running a successful bicycle courier company, efficiency and speed are critical because the goal is to increase your delivery capacity. Right now, our customer works with 10 pharmacies, but by increasing its capacity and working with more pharmacies, it can lower its service rates while growing its team.
Because the founders know this, they started looking for route optimization software to help with route planning from the very beginning. “We tried Circuit because of its free trial, and everything just worked for us,” one of the founders said. “There was no reason to check any other route optimization tool.”
Here’s what route planning looks like in real-time for our customer:
First, they take recurring orders for chronic patients from the pharmacy and import those addresses directly into Circuit, creating an optimized route for their couriers.
The couriers then go to their respective pharmacies and pick up the bulk orders and any same-day prescriptions. Couriers add those new stops to Circuit’s mobile app via their smartphone and then re-optimize the route. Now the courier has a fully optimized route that works with their favorite navigational tools, such as Google Maps or Waze.
Circuit also has a priority stop feature. This is where a courier can designate a stop as high priority, and then Circuit creates the route around that stop.
“But our couriers only do that once per route,” one of the founders told us, “because we want them on the fastest route possible, and Circuit always finds the fastest route.”
With COVID-19, our customer saw an increase in demand. More patients wanted their prescriptions delivered to them, so they didn’t have to risk going to the pharmacy where it’d be difficult to remain socially distant.
Because of this, our customer saw a 20-25% increase in daily deliveries after COVID-19 lockdowns were put in place.
Thanks to the processes they already put in place — including using Circuit as a route planning tool — this bicycle courier company could meet this demand without having to change their team or process.
As long as cities and individuals continue to curb the spread of COVID-19 by social distancing, the demand for local pharmacy delivery will likely only grow. With a dedicated team of couriers and a route planning tool like Circuit, our customer is confident that they have the right ingredients to grow with that demand.
If you manage a team of drivers and want a simple, cost-effective way to keep track of them (while making their routes more efficient), sign up for a free trial of Circuit.