Delivering food isn't as easy as some may think. Different variables can greatly impact the success of each journey, and the hungry customer's enjoyment at the end of it. Stuck in traffic? Take a wrong turn? Struggle to locate an address? All of these things can lead to cold or spoiled food, and a deeply unhappy customer. Now, OrderMe, the food delivery logistics company, is working with HERE to ensure delivery drivers are as efficient as possible.
We spoke with Mohammad Al-Abdulqadir, founder and CEO of OrderMe, who tells us more about the company: "I came to Saudi Arabia after graduating in the United States, but didn't want to become an electrical engineer -- instead, I was in love with solving problems, and optimisation."
This lead to Mohammed deciding against founding an e-commerce business, instead opting for the world of logistics, and how to make deliveries more efficient. He explains:
"We needed to start simple: tell the drivers where the address is. Then, we needed to have our own navigation system which offered optimised routes. It took two years to develop this app, ensuring our navigation has two parts: first, the navigation itself, and second, the ability to select the right driver to pick up the right order."
So, order 19 could be delivered before order 17, depending on the distance, the temperature of the food, and how quickly the food degrades. A 45-minute wait for an ice-cream delivery, for example, would never work. As a result, all of these factors are incorporated into the system to ensure that food arrives to the customer as efficiently as possible.
So, where does HERE come in?
Hunger to innovate
OrderMe is using HERE maps and services to integrate optimisation algorithms into its system, letting restaurants in Saudi Arabia deliver food faster and more efficiently, while saving money in the process. Mohammad tells us more:
"We looked at a few companies to provide maps for OrderMe, but every one had limitations, apart from HERE. With HERE, we can use its API and SDK to track and tell the driver what to do and where to go to optimise their journey. The distance matrix, for example, is incredible important. We always need to know the best route and how long it takes."
"This means that traffic also needs to be taken into account -- a journey could take five minutes when the roads are clear, but at other times it may take 25 minutes. By using the HERE SDK we can plan our deliveries better, while also giving the driver directions and telling him what the speed limit is on the route."
Wide, up-to-date coverage is also incredibly important, according to Mohammad, as Saudi Arabia is a developing country and the infrastructure is still seeing considerable change. This can occasionally mean that the maps are outdated, but with regular HERE updates, the issue can be addressed.
Find your way
The features OrderMe now offers solve a real problem in the region, where houses don’t always have clear addresses. For a restaurant, this is a headache, as it's very easy for drivers to get lost and delivery times delayed.
Now, the app, which is available on Samsung Galaxy tablets, can show drivers exactly where they need to go and how long it will take to get there, solving key issues for restaurants in the area. New features, too, will help further address this problem. Mohammad explains:
"We will soon be offering images of the front of customers' buildings within our navigation to make it clearer for drivers where the destination is, and will also be introducing the ability to communicate and call the customer through the app. These features will be introduced in the near future."
Companies like Shuneez, for example, are working with OrderMe to better serve their customers, and the work with HERE, as well as the new features, will help ensure that nobody gets a cold meal. Mohammad concludes:
"Our aim is to make deliveries more efficient, and HERE is helping us do that. It's really a perfect fit."