Collaboration

How Slack helps delivery platform Stuart thrive in an on-demand world

Shared channels connect headquarters with local businesses to seamlessly coordinate thousands of daily deliveries

Author: Lauren JohnsonJanuary 10th, 2020

When we buy our favorite products online, we often expect same-day or next-day delivery. That’s great service, but European delivery platform Stuart aims to take e-commerce up a notch, advancing what it means to deliver goods in a fast and sustainable way.

Meet Toby, a custom Slack bot Stuart created to help track delivery statuses. Toby operates in shared channels, a feature that connects two independent organizations in the same Slack workspace so they can share messages, tools and files in a shared Slack channel.

To be updated on the status of an order being delivered by one of Stuart’s couriers, a delivery partner can simply enter #eta into their shared Slack workspace. Toby will reply with an estimated time of arrival within seconds. Having the bot lend a hand lets the client support team spend less time triaging messages and more time helping customers.

We recently sat down with Andrew Baylis, Stuart’s Head of Liveops and Support, to learn more about how the company uses Slack to support teamwork while making the delivery process smoother and speedier for both clients and couriers.

“With the support team transitioning to shared channels with our enterprise customers, we saw a 30% reduction in workload.”

Andrew BaylisHead of liveops and support, Stuart

Setting clients up for successful deliveries, in shared channels

Operating in more than 100 cities across France, Spain and the U.K., the Stuart platform connects over 2,000 local restaurants, grocery stores, retailers and e-commerce platforms with couriers. Locals can become couriers via the platform too; they just need to have their own smartphone and a bicycle, scooter or car to start delivering. By keeping deliveries within the communities they serve, Stuart aims to support local businesses and promote sustainable on-demand shopping.

Stuart currently collaborates with about 20 of its clients using shared channels. If the ETA for a delivery is unavailable, Toby tags a client support agent, who can then manually intervene. The bot is integrated with both Intercom—a business messenger app—and Slack, triaging chats and emails between Stuart clients and couriers.

Toby can also identify if multiple client support agents are asking about the same delivery in different threads. In those instances, it pings the most recent agent and alerts him or her to previous threads.

Baylis explained how looking up delivery statuses manually would require interrupting support agents, creating distractions and potential mistakes. But with Toby, the process is automated and instant.

“With the support team transitioning to shared channels with our enterprise customers, we saw a 30% reduction in workload,” Baylis said.

Connecting remote teams and reducing email traffic with Slack

There are nearly 250 Stuart employees, across offices in London, Barcelona, Madrid and Paris. Teams are distributed, and some employees, including many of the developers, work from home offices.

“Slack channels keep all of our teams aligned and informed. You can have open, collaborative discussions without having to book a meeting. Between the offices, channels ensure we’re all singing the same song.”

Andrew BaylisHead of liveops and support, Stuart

To support cohesion between these remote and distributed workers, Stuart’s employees communicate in Slack channels. From operations to customer support to marketing, every team at Stuart has its own Slack channel to organize decisions, communicate regularly and build team spirit. Baylis says one of the most useful features is message threads, which allow participants to organize multiple discussions within a single channel.

“Slack channels keep all of our teams aligned and informed,” Baylis says. “You can have those open, collaborative discussions without having to look in calendars and find a one-hour slot to book a meeting to have that discussion. Between the offices, channels ensure that we’re all singing the same song.”

Stuart’s most active companywide channels include:

  • #cheers to celebrate company successes
  • #celebration to recognize employee victories and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other milestone dates
  • #okr, which is updated each Monday with performance updates on each of Stuart’s top five OKRs (objectives and key results)
  • #intelligence, a channel for employees to share industry-related news and resources

Another benefit of sharing company news and making decisions in Slack channels? Reduced email traffic, freeing employees to spend more time working toward their goals, rather than sifting through their inboxes.

“I remember in a previous company, I was getting 200 to 300 emails a day. Now using Slack at Stuart, I wouldn’t say I get more than 30 a day.”

Andrew BaylisHead of liveops and support, Stuart

Maintaining strong relationships through open communication

With some help from Slack, Stuart has created an effective, collaborative workplace where remote and distributed teams can come together to make decisions and share information as swiftly as its own delivery service. Such a strong internal communication foundation creates a better experience for all of Stuart’s customers, from its client companies to couriers on the front line of deliveries.

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