What is a leased software product?

Many businesses offer a service marketplace that brings together clients with service providers. The business presents itself as the provider of the service in some way, while the real service provider executes the service. This means the business has the responsibility of keeping the client happy, by ensuring an acceptable level of service is provided by the service provider.

Call centres and controller agents ensure that service providers give a sufficient level of service. The communication this requires is expensive and can be slow, leading to dissatisfied customers not having the information they want when they need it. Service providers on these platforms provide a service according to a set workflow. After introducing the service provider and the client to each other, the platform must ensure the service is delivered according to the workflow.

Polymorph’s solution is a Workflow Automation Platform that allows us to customise apps that capture the stages of the workflow, and make it visible to the relevant role players.

It therefore reduces the communication needed by the platform employees to gather and distribute information around compliance to the workflow and performance of the service provider. Our platform allows us to customise and roll out a solution within 6 – 8 weeks, with very little up front development cost. There is much less risk to the client than a bespoke software development project would carry, and monthly cost includes hosting, maintenance and development, a much more predictable costing model.

A case study of how it works

Linebooker is an online marketplace that acts as a transport broker between clients with loads that need to be delivered, and transporters that can deliver loads. Without Linebooker, these clients have to organise delivery on their own. Additionally, the Linebooker platform includes a bidding system that ensures that clients are getting a competitive rate.

It therefore reduces the communication needed by the platform employees to gather and distribute information around compliance to the workflow and performance of the service provider. Our platform allows us to customise and roll out a solution within 6 – 8 weeks, with very little up front development cost. There is much less risk to the client than a bespoke software development project would carry, and monthly cost includes hosting, maintenance and development, a much more predictable costing model.

Roleplayers

There are at least 4 role players in the workflow:

  1. Linebooker Controller: Coordinates the delivery workflow, from before the transporter has to pick up the load, all the way through to the transporter getting paid after successful delivery and proof of delivery being presented. Before the introduction of our product, this involved many phone calls and SMS messages to regularly get the current status and location of the load.
  2. Client: The client lists the load, and owns the load until it is successfully delivered to their customer. The client needs regular updates on the location and status of the load. This used to be done through phone calls to the Linebooker Controller.
  3. Transporter: The transport company’s driver is assigned a load to pick up at a certain address within a certain loading window. The driver then has to deliver the load at another location during the delivery window. The final responsibility of the driver is to get someone at the delivery site to sign the Proof of Delivery, as this is used to confirm delivery and a necessary requirement for the transporter to get paid. The Linebooker Controller may regularly contact the driver by phone to get the current status and location, in order to update the other role players. In some cases, the transporter has their own controller that acts as a communicator between multiple drivers and the Linebooker Controller.
  4. Customer: At the delivery location, someone has the responsibility to confirm that the load has been successfully delivered, and sign the Proof of Delivery. This person needs to know whether the delivery will be on time, and if not, what the new delivery window is estimated to be. This information is usually communicated by the Linebooker Controller.

Workflow

The service driver provides a service to the client according to a set workflow. All deliveries follow this workflow, and by tracking the driver’s progress through the workflow, the quality of service is made visible in real time. The steps in the workflow are:

  1. Assign job to driver
  2. Started job
  3. Arrived at load point
  4. Loading truck
  5. Finished loading
  6. Arrived at delivery location
  7. Unloading
  8. Finished unloading
  9. Proof of Delivery captured

The Solution

We created 3 apps for the Linebooker Platform:

  1. Driver App : Used by the driver on a smartphone. This app logs the steps as the Driver takes the load through the stages of the workflow. It also logs the location of the load during delivery, as well as capturing the Proof of Delivery digitally as a photograph.
  2. Linebooker Controller App : Used by the Linebooker Controller on a desktop in a browser. This dashboard gives an overview of all loads on the system and where the loads are in the workflow. The Controller can quickly see whether deliveries will be on time or not, and intervene if needed.
  3. Client Dashboard : The Client, and their Customer if they prefer, can view the status of their loads only. This gives them visibility of where their load is both in terms of location and workflow. It is functionally very similar to the Linbooker Controller app, but restricts the information shown to only the loads that belong to the client.