How to send SMS/email delivery ETA/time-slot notifications for your own vehicle deliveries

:warning: This feature requires Breww’s Advanced Deliveries Addon to function. Find out more or subscribe here.

If you’re using Breww’s Advanced Deliveries addon to optimise your own vehicle delivery routes, Breww will calculate an Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) for each delivery on the route. You will improve your delivery success rate if your customers know when to expect the delivery, so letting customers know their delivery’s ETA is important.

Breww has two methods to notify your customers of their ETA:

  • SMS (text message) - additional charges apply
  • Email

Sadly, sending SMS messages isn’t free, so we have to pass on a small charge for each text message. Breww doesn’t charge you any extra to send email ETAs.

Configuring ETA notifications

If you go to SettingsDelivery settingsDelivery ETA notifications, you can get started. From here, you can configure the content of your SMS/email messages, choose how you’d like them to be sent (by default) and set your “ETA drop window”.

The ETA drop window defines how long the time period we tell your customer is. Half of the drop window time will be applied to each side of Breww’s expected ETA. Some examples:

  • If Breww’s delivery ETA is 10:00 and you set a 1 hour ETA drop window, we will tell your customer to expect the delivery between 9:30 and 10:30.
  • If Breww’s delivery ETA is 12:46 and you set a 30 minute ETA drop window, we will tell your customer to expect the delivery between 12:31 and 13:01.

For email notifications, the message can be as long as you’d like, but please be aware that SMS messages are charged per “segment”. For messages containing just simple characters (examples of non-simple characters include emojis, Chinese characters, etc), you can send up to 160 characters in an SMS. If you enter more than 160 characters, this can be split into multiple segments. In this case, the character limit per segment becomes 153, and you’ll be charged the SMS cost for each segment. If you include any non-simple characters, the message limit becomes 70 characters rather than 160.

As you enter your message into Breww, you will see a live preview of your message. Breww will also show you the number of characters and how many SMS segments this counts as, so there are no surprises on the costs. To keep your SMS costs down, keep your message to just one segment.

Please also bear in mind that the cost is based on the actual message sent, not the length of your message template. In your template, you can use variables such as {{ order_number }} but in the real message, this will be replaced with something like #123. You may wish to leave a few “spare characters” in case variables change in length, e.g. when you surpass order number #999 and get to #1000.

The price per SMS sent varies based on the country the SMS is being delivered to, and in some cases, even the mobile network/carrier of the number. These prices can also change daily. You can see the latest prices at all times on the settings page and in the confirmation window before sending notifications.

Defining which customer contacts will be sent notifications

Often a single customer will have multiple contacts listed in Breww. For example, there may be an accounts department contact in addition to the usual point of contact. To ensure the right person receives ETA notifications when they are sent, you need to apply the Receives delivery notifications tag to them. This is a similar concept to how Breww determines which contacts receive invoice and delivery note emails.

You can configure multiple contacts at a single customer to all receive the notifications if you need, but please bear in mind the costs involved in this if using SMS notifications.

Sending notifications

At this time, notifications are never sent automatically. It’s always up to you to tell Breww that you would like notifications to be sent.

This can be done by going to the run and using the Send delivery ETA notifications button.

Don’t worry; nothing will be sent immediately. You will be able to see the deliveries on the run, how messages can be sent (i.e. do they have an email or mobile phone number available), the ETAs that will be sent and have the opportunity to confirm sending or abort. If a customer doesn’t have any communication method available, you can see this from the two red crosses and can update the customer before sending notifications (or leave them to not receive a notification). The screenshot below shows roughly how this looks:

When should I send notifications?

It’s up to you, but we would recommend sending them once you know that no further changes will be applied to the run (or the timings may become incorrect). This might be the evening before or first thing on the morning of the delivery run.

If changes to the run are made, you can re-send notifications if you’d like to. Please bear in mind that the messaging may be confusing to your customers and you’ll be billed for any extra SMS messages sent. If you attempt to re-send messages, you’ll see a warning letting you know that they have already been sent to help avoid mistakes from being made by doing this multiple times by accident.

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