Understanding Dispatch Strategies
Table of Contents
What is a Dispatch Strategy?
Dispatch Strategies are a means by which your deliveries get assigned to providers based on the preferences you define. They allow you to decide how your deliveries get assigned, to whom, and when/if your deliveries get auto-reassigned. LB Delivery Dispatch uses dispatch strategies to ensure that your orders are delivered in the most timely and cost-effective way, and ideally, to automate as many aspects of your delivery workflow as possible.
Note: Lunchbox will create default Strategies based upon your initial Delivery Dispatch agreement. These will be the first Strategy in your account.
Dispatch strategies are customizable and it may be fitting for some businesses to use more than one, but let’s have a look at our default dispatch strategy:
To reach the Dispatch Strategy settings page, follow these steps:
From anywhere within the LB Delivery Dispatch dashboard, click on the Settings icon.
The first page you land on in the Settings section will be the Dispatch Strategies page.
Clicking on the first row will open the first Dispatch Strategy in your account (this one is called Job Settings):
Inside the Dispatch Strategy, you will find a variety of information and options, but we'll focus on a few key pieces that make up the default dispatch strategy.
Key Dispatch Strategy Features and Settings
Add allowed providers from the list and define strategy.
The first function provided by dispatch strategies is the ability to filter all of the providers you work with down to only those that should handle a particular job. You may have dispatch strategies for different geographic locations, which are served by different providers. Or you may have them for different workflows, high package value vs. low package value, for example. By using Dispatch Strategies together you are able to create a comprehensive delivery experience.
List of Allowed Providers
The list of allowed providers allows you to limit the number of delivery providers available to a delivery. Through this list, you can add (or remove) any provider that is currently enabled for your account. That way, when creating a delivery with that dispatch strategy, only the providers you choose will show availability for that delivery.
By default, you should Uber assigned to your initial dispatch strategy. This ensures that you can start delivering as quickly as possible as these providers require almost no setup work!
When the Auto Dispatch toggle is enabled, a job will be matched with a delivery provider as soon as it enters the LB Delivery Dispatch portal. This means that a delivery will be dispatched to a delivery provider almost immediately. In most cases, this is the preferred method of dispatch. The delivery provider each job gets dispatched to is determined by the Selection Strategy setting described below.
The most common setting is to have auto-dispatch enabled. If you have any questions, please contact the LB Delivery Dispatch support team.
Jobs that are assigned via auto-dispatch are assigned to a delivery provider based on one of three selection strategies:
Price: Choosing a price-based selection strategy will compare all of the available delivery provider's quotes, and dispatch the delivery to the one with the lowest price.
Ranked: Choosing a selection strategy based on rank allows you to set your preferred delivery providers. Jobs will be dispatched in order, based on which providers are actually available for each job.
Reliability: Choosing a reliability-based dispatch will engage with LB Delivery Dispatch's proprietary algorithm that ranks each delivery provider's reliability. This is determined by a number of factors including completion rate, cancellation rate, and on-time rate.
The most common selection strategy used is a price-based strategy.
Behavior or requirements for this strategy.
Reassigning A Delivery Provider
One of the most utilized features of LB Delivery Dispatch is the ability to re-assign a delivery to a different provider, ensuring your delivery is completed. Re-assignment can be done manually, but by utilizing a dispatch strategy and enabling Auto Reassign, LB Delivery Dispatch will take care of this automatically on your behalf. You can configure this using the Strategy Rules:
Auto Reassign on Failure
The first scenario that auto reassign can engage is upon provider failure. When this occurs, the delivery transitions to the next provider in the selection strategy. For example, a price-based strategy will select the next lowest-priced provider.
The most common setting is to have auto reassign on failure enabled.
LB Delivery Dispatch will attempt to Auto Reassign on Failure a maximum of two times. Should all three providers fail, you will need to manually assign to another provider or handle the delivery outside of LB Delivery Dispatch.
Auto Reassign on Pickup / Dropoff Time
The second scenario that auto reassign can engage is if a provider is taking too long to assign a driver. In this instance, LB Delivery Dispatch will automatically dispatch the job to the next provider in the selection strategy without canceling the first. As soon as a provider assigns a driver to the delivery, LB Delivery Dispatch will cancel the request with the other provider. By engaging a second provider LB Delivery Dispatch ensures that your delivery is completed as quickly as possible.
There are two ways to enable auto reassign on pickup or dropoff time, either in relation to the pickup time or the dropoff time. It is best to only enable one of them. For both options, you can determine if you want to engage the functionality based on the number of minutes before (until) or after (since) the associated time.
The most common setting is to have auto reassign on pickup time enabled and to set the threshold as 10 minutes since pickup time.
LB Delivery Dispatch will only attempt to Auto Reassign on Pickup / Dropoff Time once. It is possible to manually dispatch more providers, but you will be responsible for canceling the unnecessary fleets manually.
Different Dispatch Strategy on First Reassign
When this setting is enabled, you are able to use a different dispatch strategy when a delivery is reassigned for any reason (automatically or manually). This can be useful when the initial dispatch strategy is not well suited for dispatching providers with little to no lead time.
The most common reason to enable this setting is if the majority of your deliveries are assigned to providers that require more than a few hours of lead time. For most other scenarios, it is best to leave it disabled.
Auto Reassign Considerations
A few important items should be considered when enabling auto reassign on your dispatch strategy:
You will not be charged a delivery fee from the provider who is canceled by Auto Reassign, but the fee for the 2nd provider is oftentimes higher than the 1st.
You may be charged a cancellation fee by the provider who was canceled due to Auto Reassign on Pickup / Dropoff Time.
Auto-Dispatch does not need to be enabled in order for Auto Reassign to function.
Define fees and how it can be split between you and your customers.
Dispatch Strategies contain additional settings to create the best delivery workflow for your business. These features are utilized in specific scenarios that are outlined below and can be configured under Delivery Fees:
Dispatch strategies allow you to control the cost of your delivery dispatching in two ways.
Maximum Delivery Fee
Enabling this setting, and setting a maximum fee, puts an upper limit on the delivery fee that can be automatically incurred. When no provider is found under the Maximum Delivery Fee, LB Delivery Dispatch will not Auto Dispatch the delivery. Deliveries that are impacted by this setting can still be manually dispatched via the Job Details page.
This setting is specific to each organization and its desire to balance automation vs. cost control. The majority of LB Delivery Dispatch customers do not have this setting enabled.
This setting applies to both an initial Auto-Dispatch as well as any Auto Reassignment that may be attempted.
Cost Splitting Options
Cost-splitting options are only applicable to customers that have completed an integration with LB Delivery Dispatch. By utilizing these features, LB Delivery Dispatch will split the delivery fees from the provider(s) into an end-customer fee and a merchant fee. This is useful for merchants that want to subsidize the cost of delivery and have access to change that subsidy through the LB Delivery Dispatch portal and not their integration.
These settings are only applicable to those LB Delivery Dispatch customers with a custom integration. If you are not using a custom integration, changing these settings will have no impact on the end customer experience and should be avoided.
Maximum Fixed Fee
With this enabled, 100% of the delivery fee from the provider will be assigned to the merchant, up to the maximum fixed fee listed. For example, if the maximum fixed fee listed in the dispatch strategy is $3.00 and the delivery fee is $3.99, the end customer price delivered via the API would be $0.99.
Maximum Percentage of Package Value
With this enabled, 100% of the delivery fee from the provider will be assigned to the merchant, up to the maximum percentage of package value listed. For example, if the maximum percentage of package value listed is 10%, for a delivery with a $100 package value, the merchant would pay up to $10 in delivery fees. The customer would pay the remainder.
In most scenarios, these features should be left disabled. If you would like to enable them please reach out to the LB Delivery Dispatch Support team to discuss your needs.