“The same will happen in Guildford and Swindon, and when he arrives at the other end, the team in Bristol will try and give him work for the return journey.”
When a customer books, either by phone or online, the CitySprint system identifies those couriers who are able to do the job by location and workload.
Its software then selects the optimum courier, and sends the job details electronically.
The courier confirms acceptance of the job on their GPS-enabled hand-held device, a CityTrakker.
As the courier proceeds to the collection point and onward to delivery, the CourierLocator software will track their movements in real-time.
However, it’s up to the individual driver whether they accept the job. CitySprint is not able to set a minimum working requirement because of its drivers’ self-employed status.
Drivers provide their own vehicles
So does a ‘pick and choose’ approach cause the company any problems?
“No, because everybody’s tracked and we have a relatively large fleet, so the job is simply offered to the next available courier,” says Baker.
The self-employed status also requires couriers to provide their own vehicles.
Few guidelines are given, but Baker encourages drivers to operate vehicles that are less than four years old.
The recruitment process includes a ‘knowledge test’, which tests street knowledge, as well as what drivers should do in certain situations, customer care and their role as a CitySprint courier.
Document and driver licence checks are then carried out, together with various background checks due to the sensitive nature of some of the courier’s customers.
Finally, the driver’s vehicle is checked and they are given training on the CityTrakker device before being given log-in details to the company’s purpose-built ‘ifleet’ driver management system.
The ifleet system not only allows CitySprint to communicate with drivers, but it provides a vital data gathering service allowing the regular review of driver details.
Vehicles will be inspected either monthly or on a three-monthly basis depending on the type of vehicle, with photographs taken and stored on ifleet for future reference.
Fuel rates based on delivery time
Meanwhile, fuel is paid according to a mileage rate that is dependent on how quickly a particular delivery needs to be completed and the size of the vehicle involved.
Baker queries the traditional fleet approach to fuel reimbursement.
“If you’re driving somebody else’s vehicle and they are fuelling it for you, where’s the incentive to drive more efficiently?” he asks.
CitySprint’s policy means it’s in the driver’s own interest to drive as economically as possible unless the job is urgent and that’s reflected in a higher reimbursement rate.