Expanding on the theme from my last newsletter article from back in January 2017 has already been a big year for MonkeyMedia Software, and hopefully for you too. The biggest change has been with the delivery of improving our catering menus (“Open Mapping for Catering”) in MONKEY. At the time of writing, the vast majority of our clients have been transitioned onto the open mapping release. We now have only a handful of clients on the old system and are soon to be upgraded.
Many of our clients have taken advantage of the new features that open mapping has brought. Hopefully, many can see the huge benefits that this development has provided. However, as with many transformational projects, it came at an extended cost in terms of delays to the exciting work we had planned for this year.
You are probably aware that this development has taken us longer than anticipated. This hard slog has taken its toll on the technical team. These delays have led to some client sponsored projects becoming backlogged. Given these delays, we were faced with the option of committing all of our development resources to those client-specific projects to try to catch up. Alternatively, we could return to our stated goal to prioritize on the enhancement ideas and fixes set out by our user base. I am happy to say, we have chosen the latter option.
With that decision in mind, I want to set out a clear path forward for product development prioritization at MonkeyMedia Software: We are going to put MONKEY users first. This simple statement has a wide reaching impact. Key is that we are going to continually focus the majority of our development resources on addressing the items that have been highlighted through the MONKEY Ideas and support portals. It will mean that if you do not have the support of the wider MONKEY user community, we will not be able to prioritize your request. This has not been an easy decision to make, but I feel like this benefits the most MONKEY users.
Next Up: Enhancing Delivery
With our new goal in mind, our next three development sprints (six weeks) will be dedicated to the highest priority item in the MONKEY Ideas Portal. Yes, it’s the long anticipated delivery fee by zone enhancement. Below is an outline of what we hope to achieve:
Standardizing the Fee Structure
We are planning to bring delivery and gratuity into the standard fee structure instead of being separate. To achieve this, we will be taking the bringing over the effective dates, only currently available on delivery fees. This will mean that changes to all fees can be scheduled well in advance.
Allowing Fees to be Assigned with the Service Channel Structure
This one is very exciting for us as it brings the ability to have separate fees for different service channels, delivery types, regions, and stores. A common example usage is a fee specific to takeout delivery, that's calculated separately from your catering delivery fee. Or perhaps a public improvement fee (PIF) that's specific to one or more stores in a city.
The service channel configuration model is something that we plan to incorporate into more features as it provides a great deal of flexibility, and easily adapts to real world scenarios.
Allowing for multiple fees
As many of the fees may have variations across the stores and regions, we are providing the ability to have many different configurations of a fee type that can be assigned using the service channel structure. For example, this will allow for one of your franchisees to charge a higher delivery fee and not be bound by the corporate rates.
Associating Delivery Rules with Fees
Where there are multiple delivery fees applicable, the delivery rule will define which fees apply, by associating delivery rules with specific fees. For example, you can have a $5 fee defined for a 2 mile delivery radius, and a $10 fee for orders up to 10 miles. Another example usage would see polygon mapping used to more accurately manage geographical variances, allowing for higher fees to be charged for delivery areas that are difficult to reach or are traffic hot spots.
To manage all of this complexity, we are going to be working hard on allowing the fees to be created and edited directly from the admin console, and not require the creation of database scripts by the support team as with previous fee configurations. This will mean that you have the power in your hands to maintain and deploy the fees necessary to support your operations.
We can't wait to bring these exciting enhancements to the MONKEY platform. Thank you to everyone that has requested the addition of these features through the MONKEY Ideas Portal with your comments and votes. Your opinions on how we develop MONKEY matter a great deal to us. If you are not signed up for the Ideas Portal, please reach out to our support team, and we will create an account for you.
Hope you are having a wonderful summer. Long may it continue!
Vice President, Product Management