When the coronavirus pandemic struck Hawaii, local produce delivery company Oahu Fresh saw demand surge faster than it ever expected. To ensure quality, accuracy, and speed for a much larger number of Hawaiians, Oahu Fresh tapped leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology firm GetSwift Limited (ASX: GSW).
“GetSwift is a perfect match for us,” Oahu Fresh’s Route Logistics Manager Thalia Casady said in an interview. She explained that the company, which was founded in 2009 and serves produce along with local artisanal products to Honolulu and other parts of Oahu, has seen its staff grow dramatically as weekly deliveries surged to 1,600 from 100 following the onset of the pandemic.
GetSwift, which is headquartered in New York, provides a SaaS platform to clients to manage inventory, routing, and logistics for everything from fruit and dairy in Canada to billiard tables in Texas to farmer’s market produce in New York City. The company has expanded even further afield, with Heineken using the get GetSwift platform to manage deliveries in Egypt and Malaysia. GetSwift also offers a SaaS scheduling platform that helps companies manage schedules and payments for hourly workers.
Casady said the company began looking for a solution like GetSwift as it became increasingly difficult to manage heavy volume. “We would scramble to manage our routes and deliveries without their technology to help,” she said.
Prior to onboarding with GetSwift, Oahu Fresh was doing many time-consuming tasks such as texts notifications manually that the platform can automate. “It was great to have alerts automated,” Casady said. “The alerts are important to create more of a connection with our customers.”
Looking ahead, Oahu Fresh intends to expand geographically with the help of GetSwift’s platform. The company currently serves about 60% of the island of Oahu but is in the process of expanding to 100% coverage.
Casady said GetSwift will help Oahu Fresh reach 100% coverage without changing rates for customers. “We couldn’t do it otherwise,” she said.
In addition to geographic expansion and coronavirus-driven demand, Casady said there are other factors driving volume increases. “There’s the convenience of delivery and it has also become cool to buy from local farms to support the community,” she said.
Indeed, Oahu Fresh works with several farms in Hawaii focused on sustainability and other social causes. Customers can purchase produce from farms including Kahumana, which has grown organic produce since the 1970s and also provides community service to the homeless and disabled.
Another local operator in the Oahu Fresh network is Ho Farms, which grows Japanese eggplant and other vegetables while focusing on conservation on their land. There is also Small Kine Farms, the only Portabella farm in Hawaii, which uses its own compost and a high-tech pasteurisation and growing process.
GetSwift itself has recently taken steps designed to help communities work together to manage the pandemic. It recently released a major new feature called Fleets that will allow clients to share their drivers across locations or even with other companies – such as merchants in the same shopping centres.
That feature should help small companies including family-owned restaurants manage deliveries without giving up large chunks of their profit margins to big third-party operators notorious for onerous fees.
Interested in conquering the chaos of delivery? GetSwift can help you start improving your delivery operation in hours. Get in touch.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020