Solutions 4 Delivery – Disrupting Quick Service Restaurant delivery via innovative SaaS products
The point-of-sale (POS) system is about much more than the moment a customer pays for a pizza. Today, it’s the critical hub that brings together logistics, inventory, customer management, and more, enabling these parts to move like clockwork. The payoff is a hot pizza at the doorstep at exactly the moment it’s expected (and a happy customer).
In 2016, the founder of a Dutch pizza chain was seeking ways to upgrade operations to allow his growing business to expand even faster. The weak link, he determined, was an outdated POS system that couldn’t keep up with potential demand.
This insight led him to Solutions 4 Delivery, a startup with a mission to build smart, innovative technologies that enable franchise food delivery companies to scale efficiently. Looking around the industry, they found many successful chains that struggled to scale due to dated, legacy systems. They set out to create an end-to-end POS system that seamlessly integrates the processes triggered by a transaction.
To make this possible, Solutions 4 Delivery needed a world-class mapping solution for optimized delivery. By choosing Google Maps Platform, the startup found much more than the quickest way to get from point A to B. Google Maps traffic, distance, and routing calculations enabled pinpoint precision in other key aspects of the POS workflow, from deciding which meals to cook first, to how to manage stock, choose the right vehicle, and even onboard new staff.
Building tailor-made POS solutions for unique location needs
For Solutions 4 Delivery, one of the challenges in designing an optimal POS system is that one size does not always fit all. In a market like Romania, an emerging European country, traffic and road conditions are known to be erratic. Food delivery times depend on this unpredictable nature of daily life. By contrast, in the Netherlands, ultra-modern infrastructure and compact urban layouts mean food deliveries rarely take more than 10 minutes.
Solutions 4 Delivery created a software-as-a-service (SaaS) POS system for food delivery franchises for a range of environments. That means partnering with each client to craft an individualized POS strategy. The startup’s unique value lies in combining the ease of plug-and-play with the versatility of custom-made solutions.
To make this vision work, Solutions 4 Delivery needed a robust array of powerful mapping tools to underpin the flexibility of its product. Google Maps Platform met this need with a range of location-based APIs. Just as importantly, Maxim says, the Google team together with partner Localyse shared Solutions 4 Delivery’s ethos of partnering to grow together. It enabled creative discussion on how to get the most out of the range of Google Maps Platform APIs.
“We strive to be the partner who month-by-month shows our clients new POS enhancements that will grow their business,” says Maxim. “We have a different approach from just being the vendor thinking about the next sale. So it’s important for us that Google Maps Platform and partner Localyse take the same approach, working as a team to build new solutions.”
Solutions 4 Delivery’s approach has yielded significant results for both its business and its food delivery clients across Europe.
Because the end-to-end process is connected in today’s POS system, accurate location intelligence enables Solutions 4 Delivery to optimize seemingly disparate operations. These activities include the order of cooking meals, bundling those meals into delivery runs, and selecting the right vehicle for each run (with the choice between fast cars or nimble bikes determined by traffic congestion and street layout).
“The result of Google Maps Platform integration is simply faster delivery and lower overhead,” says Maxim. “Cutting delivery runs by nearly a quarter has yielded cost savings of 10% by requiring fewer drivers and vehicles.”
For Solutions 4 Delivery, one unexpected advantage of Google Maps Platform is decreasing the training time food chains require to onboard new staff. The POS systems built by Solutions 4 Delivery provides the intuitive Google Maps user interface (UI) that employees already use in their daily lives.
That means the tablets and mobile apps on which POS systems communicate have the familiar feel of Google Maps features many younger workers have used most of their lives. It yields an estimated 60% saving in training time, which also translates into cost savings.
“When we look at who is working in these stores, it’s mostly tech-minded young people, the new generation, and for them it’s pretty difficult to understand the older legacy-based POS systems,” says Maxim. “So we created a system that was way simpler to use with Google Maps UIs, which they already know from using Google Maps on their smartphones. For them, our POS system is as easy as navigating with Google Maps on their mobile device.”
Expanding into the US market and beyond with AI solutions
Solutions 4 Delivery plans to launch in the United States, hoping to accelerate the growth it has already seen, having expanded from four employees just three years ago, to 50 today. The team is looking at new Google Cloud features such as the Dispatcher API will further optimize delivery sequencing, enhancing client competitive advantage.
They key will be gaining as much insight as possible from these data resources, says Maxim, which is one reason why Solutions 4 Delivery is looking at Google Cloud AI and machine learning solutions for the next chapter in its growth journey.
“We foresee using Google Cloud AI solutions such as Google Cloud AutoML and Google Cloud AI Platform in all parts of our business, from chatbots and customer relations management on the frontend to managing inventory on the backend,” he says. “We see huge opportunities here that facilitate global expansion. We believe that POS system transformation for food delivery will only grow in importance. And Google Maps Platform and Google Cloud AI innovation will combine to allow us to invent more smart technologies to empower food delivery companies and help them scale.”
As Solutions 4 Delivery expands across Europe and into the US, it’s been able to look more broadly at delivery data to identify trends that will make its POS platform increasingly powerful. Data from Solutions 4 Delivery customers (mainly mid-sized players with a few hundred to thousands of stores) can be pooled, which allows them to start to compete with global food delivery giants.