This is a guest post by Rishi Khiani, CEO and Managing Director of Antfarm— the business incubator that is home to Scootsy, a popular intra-city service that delivers from the best restaurants and stores in Mumbai.
If you are in Mumbai and want your lunch from Jimmy Boy, snack from Suzette, dinner from Trishna, and ice cream from The Parfait Company, chances are your convenient and anxiety-free life is powered by Scootsy. It just got better. You can now track your deliveries in real-time on a map inside the Scootsy Android or iOS app that you know and love. You can watch your order get to you turn-by-turn while you wrap up your meeting, or get ready to plan the chai break, or get ready for that big dinner with friends.
I first heard about HyperTrack when my CTO Kunal Sheth and I were reviewing our home grown tracking solution. Real-time tracking is valuable for our customers who count on us for timely deliveries of their favorite food. It is only when we built an in-house solution is when we realized the complexity of the problem. Our drivers were occasionally shown flying over rooftops the driver would hop on the map because location data would sync every minute phone batteries were getting drained if we polled for location more often and we could think of a hundred things we could do with this data to better understand our own operations and make it more efficient.
Our expertise is to bring the best restaurants stores and retailers in Mumbai online and deliver across town in time. Our developers have a number of features to develop in order to enable this. The more we learned about location tracking the more we realized how much development time it would take us to build and operate it ourselves. We heard about HyperTrack from one of their blog posts and thought we should give them a try. We liked the approach of providing the product as an API so our team could control the end customer experience and integrate it into our product stack.
As a sanity check Kunal downloaded their demo app SendETA on two mobile devices and simultaneously used it on a trip made on a two-wheeler. One mobile device was his high-end smartphone handset and the other was the device used by the delivery fleet. Once we got confidence in the technology he scheduled the test integration of their driver SDK into our home-grown Android app for delivery management and the consumer SDK into our iOS and Android consumer app. Due to the real-time nature of how our pickups and deliveries are assigned the order of things can change on the fly. The HyperTrack APIs were initially a bit rigid but they took our feedback to make it more flexible.
In addition to tracking pickups and deliveries we wanted to track the path of the delivery executives when they were idle and waiting for a task to get assigned. It was important for this tracking to be as accurate as the live trips but not as important for this information to be as real-time on the dashboard. Since the battery life of devices is of critical importance HyperTrack solved this problem by decoupling the frequency of collecting location data and the frequency of transmitting it to the server. Since the network radio uses many times more battery than the GPS radio for the same frequency of tracking this was an interesting solution. We are going to benchmark the results as we get more usage.
I love watching all the live deliveries on the HyperTrack dashboard especially on weekends when our orders peak. I especially love the way they show me battery levels of each driver. Much of the time of my operations team goes into answering where the delivery exec was before their battery died towards the end of shift. Now there is so much more transparency in my operations when my delivery executives are out and about.
The cool thing about a SaaS product is that the features that HyperTrack built for us are now part of their product stack for the global user base. To that extent I feel like we have contributed to someone else halfway across the globe benefitting through us. Scootsy is looking to expand in select international cities and we like that HyperTrack works anywhere in the world.