Backed by Australia Post, MailPlus is the nimble pick-up and delivery service thats tailored to small and medium-sized Australian businesses.


Every day, drivers are under pressure to save time and be efficient. They were using printed spreadsheets to log and keep track of tasks.


The UX challenge was to craft an app to be just as mobile, fast and efficient as the Mailplus drivers.

Backed by Australia Post, MailPlus is the nimble pick-up and delivery service thats tailored to small and medium-sized Australian businesses.


Every day, drivers are under pressure to save time and be efficient. They were using printed spreadsheets to log and keep track of tasks.


The UX challenge was to craft an app to be just as mobile, fast and efficient as the Mailplus drivers.

Discovery

UNDERSTANDING THE USERS

This project began with a data driven design approach to gather quantitative data with a large sample size. This data would be used to establish how drivers were most and least efficient, how runs were structured and the pain points of each run.

A primitive app called 'Run Capture' was created to track driver geo-location without need for driver interaction. This was rolled out state-wide for multiple franchises and runs.

Drivers could also add additional optional information about each stop such as errands performed and items delivered. By displaying these back to the driver as live statistics, it subtly encouraged drivers to out-do each other.

This gamified the experience of data collection, providing a wealth of data about how many clients and errands completed in given timeframes in different areas.

screenshot run capture app

QUANTITATIVE FINDINGS

Drivers often make one stop, to service multiple businesses and then walk between them as opposed to returning to the vehicle each time.

Drivers who adopt this approach are more efficient in terms of errands, but less effective at sales. This behaviour varied slightly between regions.

High Business Density Mailplus Driver

HIGH BUSINESS DENSITY

  • High amount of clients and errands recorded per stop.
  • Businesses buy less in bulk (the night before) and add-on sales are poor.
  • Additional items often requested at time of delivery that are not in stock.

Low Business Density Mailplus Driver

LOW BUSINESS DENSITY

  • Errands are less, but the bulk order (the night before) per business is far higher.
  • Driver has more time to talk to each client and tends to sell more products to each.

QUALITATIVE FINDINGS

To better understand the quantitative data and give it context, qualitative on-run testing was conducted by sitting with drivers on two separate runs. One in high density area and the other in a low density area.


HIGH BUSINESS DENSITY

Drivers expressed frustration about the sales process. 3 pain points were identified;

  1. Selling additional items on a run means returning to the van which reduces efficiency
  2. Stock logging on paper is tedious and is often left to end of day when mistakes are made
  3. No easy way to know if you have product available for sale, results in missed opportunities

It was also observed that these drivers, while efficient at getting to multiple clients often missed single errands as they didn't always carry the list with them or tick off errands as they go.


LOW BUSINESS DENSITY

Drivers expressed frustration at their counterparts who worked on high density runs. The current paper system made drivers look better when they performed more errands for more clients as opposed to making more sales and by extension 'making mistakes'.

Solution

RECOMMENDATIONS

The app had to be an essential part of the drivers workflow and not just a paper weight. It would need to assist drivers in two main areas - sales and errands.

For drivers

  • Digital 'to do' list of errands that can be easily checked off one by one
  • Easy to use single handed
  • Check inventory fast
  • Add items for purchase with ease
  • In-app sales figures to encourage cross sales personal bests

Better trolleys were also a recommendation given to allow drivers to make less trips per stop.
These features meant 0 reliance on the old paper based system and also meant drivers could accomplish more in a run by making less returns to van per stop.


For Franchises

The geo data gathered was used to produce a heat map that helped Mail Plus franchises better structure their runs around business densities. In addition, a dashboard to give sales metrics around items sold at each stop and region would help franchises capitalise on their sales potential.

DESIGNING FOR REACHABILITY

One Handed Use

Field testing underscored the importance of drivers being able to use the app one handed, as they use their other arm for carrying goods. This meant deliberate placement of buttons and features for the thumb.

List scrolling and operation (a frequent job task) was placed in the natural zone.
Completing a job and finalisation tasks were placed just a reach further to prevent accidental taps.

Secondary tasks such as signature and proof of delivery were placed a stretch further, as these functions should only be undertaken after items have been delivered.

screenshot run capture app
Cross Selling Feature in app

CLOSING SALES

Cross Selling

Batch pricing and stock management were a hassle for drivers to do on the spot in a paper based system. This resulted in reduced efficiency and missed cross selling opportunities.
The sales process for drivers was streamlined by giving them on-the-spot access to stock levels and sales in-app, without need to do maths or return to the van. Drivers can easily increase batch volume on product fulfilment or add on entirely new items with totals bulk prices updated automatically.
By recording sales data, it also ensures franchises can maximise greater on-demand availability of products region by region to accurately forecast future sales.
This automated calculation for drivers, streamlined the driver's run process making it a pain free addition to their day while also increasing franchise profitability.

Results

SUCCESSFUL DELIVERY

The digital solution became an essential part of Mailplus drivers' daily routine- providing a structure that removed assumptions and guesswork.
It ensured greater consistency around errands and simplified their driving route. It provided a new revenue stream with the ability to cross sell with ease.
By extension it gives Mailplus franchises access to real time metrics that increase efficiency, productivity and profitability daily.


3 screenshots of MailPlus