Survey Analyzes Disruption to Last Mile Deliveries Among 'Essential Businesses'

Emergence of New Features was Key, While Disruption was Less than Originally Thought


​​​​​​Wisconsin-based tech company Applied Data Consultants, developer of advanced dispatch software Elite EXTRA, surveyed its customers to learn how their processes changed with the pandemic and how much their businesses were disrupted.

Given Elite EXTRA is at the forefront of last mile deliveries, providing advanced dispatch, optimized routing, tracking, and visibility for its 125,000+ daily users, Elite EXTRA Founder and President Jim Ward wanted to learn first-hand the pandemic’s effect on the company’s clients, most of whom were in the essential business category.

Users surveyed were in nearly 40 vertical industries, including automotive parts, electrical and building supplies, and others. Statistics showed that only 11.5 percent of users reported a high level of disruption in their day-to-day business, while 30 percent reported little to no change in their expected revenue. Another 30 percent expected a decline of 25 percent or less.

According to Ward, the survey results showed Elite EXTRA customers were impacted less than the average businesses across the United States, which according to analysts, ranged from 25 to 60 percent, depending on the state and nature of the business – over twice what Elite EXTRA clients reported.

Ward indicated that when the pandemic hit, the company was already in the process of providing contact-free proof of delivery for clients, as well as offering external delivery services, a service to help with a driver shortage that was already a threat prior to COVID-19. External delivery services allow clients to call in either crowdsourced or on-demand couriers to augment driver fleets.

“When we were developing these new features, we had no idea that a pandemic would happen,” said Ward. “We expedited completion of them so we could get them into the hands of our customers immediately to reduce the impact of the coronavirus. We’re pleased we were able to provide tools to help them compete during these disruptive times.”

The survey also found that despite the declines, the users expressed a positive outlook for the coming months, with 28.8 percent anticipating business as usual, and 59.6 percent of users feeling somewhat or extremely positive about business in the coming months.

Users were also asked about what other resources were helping support their business and many cited improved communication amongst staff, as well as the Elite EXTRA platform as being highly beneficial. Specific benefits indicated were routes being built automatically, improved knowledge of drivers’ locations, monitoring deliveries to ensure they will be delivered on time, the ability to call in external delivery services, and a contact-free way to deliver. 

Additionally, users indicated that they were struggling to get employees to return to work, as many are concerned about their families’ health. Staffing was the most commonly cited concern regarding business operations.

The pandemic has forever changed the way business is conducted, but resources like Elite EXTRA can help companies navigate these challenges and stay strong. 

To view the full survey results white paper, click here. For more information on Elite EXTRA, please contact

Source: Elite EXTRA