Digitalization of internal delivery processes
Meals per day
At the start of the project, many internal processes had already been digitalized. However, the delivery process had not been touched since the 90s and much of it still relied on paper and experience. When the number of customers increased significantly in 2020, management realized: "This needs to be easer and more digital". The main goal of the new software was to replace the daily planning and execution of 100 individual tours. Moving away from a paper-based process to a fully automated system with clear benefits:
Avoiding errors that occur in manual steps (e.g. manually calculating amounts of money)
Better overview of delivery times and the current status of a tour for customer service employees
Smplified onboarding process for new drivers
Since there are still many areas in Germany where the mobile network does not function reliably, a solution had to be found to ensure that the app also works smoothly in offline mode.
In addition, the software had to meet the needs of a variety of users. The age of the drivers at Hamburger Küche ranges from early 20s to mid-60s, with varying levels of experience in using smartphones and software. Therefore, the user interface had to be understandable and usable for all age groups. Another challenge was providing real-time data for office planning. The goal was to provide all driver data instantly to the office. Additionally, a connection had to be made to the existing merchandise management system. It was particularly important to understand the existing processes and transfer them to the new software.
During the conceptualization, we quickly agreed with Hamburger Küche that the new solution would consist of three components:
An App for drivers to view and perform their assigned tours. It was important that drivers could use the app on their personal phones, so it had to function on both Android and iOS, as well as on older devices.
A web application for the office. Here, tours are planned, payments are managed, an overview of current tours is displayed and much more.
A Backend that manages data storage and tour planning.
For the app, we decided to use Flutter, which allowed us to provide a cost-effective solution, as we could develop iOS and Android apps with one team in one codebase. Since it had to be offline-capable and the office wanted to receive data in real-time, we used Firestore as a kind of "protocol" for driver data. Firestore comes with these features built-in. Additionally, it has the advantage that work can continue even if the backend fails momentarily. Thanks to this tech stack, we were able to build an initial MVP within two weeks, which allowed drivers to complete a tour and mark customers as delivered. To ensure that the drivers could handle the app well, we were in close contact with the drivers and accompanied a tour to see where there were still problems. The web application was implemented in a separate back office with React/Next.js. We made sure that it worked completely responsive for mobile, tablet, and desktop computers. Since the application is also connected to Firestore, all driver data is displayed in real-time in the back office. In addition, we developed a Node.js backend and used OpenAPI to enable the integration of the app, back office, and existing ERP system. For better data storage and complex tour planning, this backend also uses a PostgreSQL database. Over a project period of just under three months, together with Hamburger Küche, we were able to bring the system to a point where all delivery processes could be handled. After a brief internal testing phase, it has completely replaced all paper-based processes in delivery and has been in use by more than 100 drivers daily since mid-2021.
CEO • HKH Hamburger Küche & Heimkost GmbH
“You need people with enthusiasm about such a project, and the cc.systems team has exactly that.”