PHILADELPHIA — What’s new in the last mile? A gig driver’s network, that’s what.
Bringg is joining forces with WorkWhile to launch The Driver Network, a collection of gig economy drivers made available to businesses looking for last-mile delivery drivers on a daily basis. The companies announced the network on Wednesday during a session aptly titled “What’s Next in the Last Mile,” at the Home Delivery World conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
“No one player can stand up and [dominate] the market anymore,” Guy Bloch, CEO of Bringg, said during the panel discussion. Bloch said last-mile delivery is now about partnerships and collaboration. “The Driver Network lets you source drivers.”
Bringg is collaborating with WorkWhile, an hourly labor technology platform, to create the network. Bloch said at full force, the network will have hundreds of thousands of drivers companies can tap into.
In a post-session interview with Modern Shipper, Bloch demonstrated the solution, which is powered through the Bringg app. A driver can see available jobs, and their prices, before choosing which ones to accept. Online automotive parts distributor WorldPac is among the first users.
“Prior to Bringg, we had routed deliveries and we might have seven drivers,” explained Patrick Richelieu, executive vice president of operations for WorldPac. “Now, we can have peak times and Bringg can tell us how many drivers we will need.”
WorldPac can then turn to The Driver Network to fill those needs, eliminating the need to hire more drivers without giving up the flexibility to obtain more drivers during times of need.
“We try to take a worker-first philosophy,” Jarah Euston, CEO and co-founder of WorkWhile, said. “The whole idea is to get workers that work for your team.”
WorkWhile provides hourly workers in a number of job categories, not just drivers. Euston said the company is collecting thousands of data points on drivers that are fed into its machine learning models, which right now have about 70% accuracy in predicting the likelihood of any given worker showing up to any given shift. If WorkWhile’s model predicts a worker is unlikely to make a shift, it will mitigate the risk by sending a backup worker if necessary. If the model proves wrong and all the drivers show up, WorkWhile covers the added cost.
Bloch noted that The Driver Network saves companies like WorldPac from needing to reach out to several staffing agencies.
“We are giving access to all the staffing agencies,” he said. It’s part of Bringg’s approach to democratize the last mile. The company is building partnerships with companies throughout the ecosystem, whether that is technology providers, gig economy delivery providers or parcel carriers.
“We are building our platform into the Salesforce of delivery,” Bloch said.
Bloch noted that as the pandemic wanes, companies that had embraced the last mile out of necessity are now becoming more engaged in building a sustainable business.
“I see everyone coming back and understanding that the last mile is the most important mile,” he said.
Because of this, Bringg and others in the space need to continue their technological innovation. “This is a digital play, so we can never come to stagnation,” Bloch said.
He said innovation will continue in the space. Right now, that innovation is around building networks — like The Driver Network — and platform technology. For instance, he said Bringg just had a small algorithm change for a customer and it immediately cut 15% out of the last-mile expense.
“The last mile is the most expensive mile,” Bloch said, but it is one that retailers can’t ignore. “We do all this because customers want to buy where it’s convenient, where it’s fast, and if you don’t do that, they buy from someone else.”