How Does it Work?

This page will give you an idea of the basic flow of jobs through Spatula and discuss some of the options along the way. For a more detailed list of features, check out the Features Page

Step 1 - Creating Jobs

No matter who you are making deliveries for, 3rd party retail vendors or internal parties in your organisation, you need a way for delivery jobs to make it into Spatula. This is achieved in one of 3 ways:

  1. Use the Spatula ‘Vendors’ module to set up vendors or sites with an online form. Spatula gives you a unique web address where that vendor can visit using any browser to find their dedicated delivery request form. In the settings, you will select which of your pre-configured sets of rules for auto-assignment of job offers you want for requests coming from that delivery request form. You’ll also select which of your designs for the live driver tracking page will get sent to customers.

  2. Use the New Job form to type the jobs directly into Spatula

  3. 3rd party systems can be connected to Spatula using the Spatula API. This is particularly useful for large clients that require jobs to be sent through automatically from their own systems. The API is designed for simple integration, but this strategy require some work from a software developer.

  4. Pseudo API integration. The last option is to use Zapier to connect 3rd party systems to Spatula. Zapier is itself a 3rd party product that enables non-coders to write pseudo-code to connect a range of different software products together.


Step 2 - Assigning Jobs to Drivers

Once a job has been created in the system, you need to assign each job to the appropriate driver. This can either be done manually, or by using the ‘Dispatchers’ module to automatically offer new deliveries to some or all of your drivers. Here are the options:

  1. Select a ‘Dispatcher’ for the job. When a new job is created with a Dispatcher selected, Spatula will run all of the policies that you have set up for that Dispatcher. Each policy has a delay time, which is how long after the job is created that the policy runs. For instance you would have at least one policy that runs immediately, but then run additional rules some time later that offer the delivery to more and more drivers. Each policy defines a cohort of drivers that meet the policy criteria and offers the job to all of them at once. The parameters used to define a dispatch policy are proximity to the 1st task, number of jobs already assigned, and driver team. As soon as any driver has accepted the job, the offer is withdrawn from all other drivers.

  2. Click the ‘Assign’ button next to the job and select the driver.

  3. Drag and drop the job from the job list to the desired driver in the driver list.


Step 3 - Driver Completes the Job

Once the driver has the job assigned to them in the Spatula Go driver app, they then work through the delivery. The driver can capture extra information on the job:

  • Customer signatures

  • Photos

  • Notes

They also have several actions they can take on a job that will change the job status and capture a timestamp:

  • Send a tracking link (this ‘Starts’ the job)

  • Mark a ‘Task’ as complete by crossing the task out with their finger (note that a single ‘Job’ is made up of at least 1 ‘Task’, but can be as many as you like). Typically a job is either a single task, representing something like an appointment, or two tasks, a pickup task and a dropoff task.

  • Mark the ‘Job’ complete by going to the job details page and clicking the Complete button.

Finally, the ‘Navigate’ button will launch Google Maps and automatically set the route to the next incomplete task on the job.

As an example, the flow for a typical delivery for a restaurant would be made up of two tasks (pickup and dropoff), and flow like this:

  1. The driver clicks ‘Accept’ to grab a delivery that has been offered to them.

  2. The driver clicks ‘Navigate’ to use Google Maps to navigate to the restaurant for pickup

  3. When the driver arrives at the pickup, they mark the pickup task as complete. They do this on arrival so the timestamp represents when they arrived ready to collect the food.

  4. When the food is ready, the restaurant hands it to the driver and the driver clicks the ‘On My Way’ button. This triggers the ‘Started’ timestamp for the jobs report. If the delivery team is utilising SMS tracking links, this button also automatically sends an SMS to the customer with a link for the customer to open the live driver tracking page. When this button is clicked the dispatch team will be able to see the ETA of the driver to the task location within the main dashboard.

  5. When the driver arrives at the customer’s delivery point, they mark the delivery task as complete - this creates a timestamp of the time of arrival for the delivery.

  6. If there is a problem with the delivery, the driver would take a photo and/or add a note to the job that shows and explains the issue. This enables the management team to identify problem deliveries by the presence of a Note in the jobs report. Any further complications with the delivery should be dealt with outside of Spatula, by direct communication between the Driver, Customer, Dispatcher and Restaurant through a process agreed by the delivery team and the restaurant in advance.

  7. When the job is finished, the driver clicks the Complete button in the job details page. This will immediately remove the job from the driver’s phone and mark the delivery as completed in the dashboard.


Step 4 - REVIEW AND REPORT

Reports in Spatula are a useful way of assisting the dispatch team to complete a range of additional tasks including:

  • Calculating driver pays

  • Calculating vendor delivery charges

  • Review driver performance

The Jobs Report allows you to filter all jobs be date range and other information on the job. The filtered list can then be exported to CSV for further analysis or action.

The Engagement Report lets you track which jobs have had the On My Way button clicked, and which driver tracking pages were visited by the customer. You can also see any ratings that were submitted by the customers through the tracking links and the average rating per driver.