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8th Light Grubhub Feature Medium

Building a better applicant tracking system to get delivery drivers on the road.

When a core SaaS vendor announced a substantial price increase, Grubhub’s team was inspired to make lemonade out of lemons. The SaaS solution already required considerable maintenance overhead, as the platform wasn't built for their particular use case. A custom software solution would be easier and cheaper to manage, while also better serving their needs.

8th Light Grubhub Nachos

Supplying delivery drivers.

Grubhub’s driver onboarding platform funnels its entire fleet of drivers through the application process and out onto the road. In addition to lowering maintenance and operational costs, it also would allow the team to automate many tedious and long-running tasks. The app integrates with dozens of credit agencies, background checks, and other sources to comply with all legal requirements, and prepares the team member to be successful in their role.

Grubhub Mobile Placeholder

Grubhub’s applicant tracking system manages applications and hiring for their entire fleet of delivery vehicles across the United States.

Grubhub came to us to spearhead this work against an aggressive deadline in order to avoid incurring costs. The project presented an opportunity for the 8th Light team to model best practices to improve the way the client team delivers software. Because of our established and successful partnership, we introduced new tools, norms, and ways of working that have expanded the impact of this work with templates and methodologies that have become more common throughout the organization.

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Leading with design.

Having relied for so long on an unfit solution, the team needed to step back and imagine what a solution fit for their purpose might look like. As a result, our team spent the first month of the engagement focused on product definition. Leveraging market research and interviews with system users, we designed diagrams and user flows to best capture the organization’s needs.

We also sparked insights through event storming — a domain-driven design technique in which users walk through the events happening in the software system and show what the product will do. The exercise validated our assumptions and ensured we built software that met everyone’s needs. It also helps the team rethink their own processes. Oftentimes, this technique exposes new ways of interacting, removing duplication and extra steps.

8th Light Grubhub Design Brainstorm

The new, custom applicant tracking system empowers Grubhub’s leadership with more insights into their fleet of drivers, and more confidence in the system’s health.

Introducing predictability and taking ownership.

Whereas third-party integrations often feel like a black box, our team helped expose the underlying complexity and empower nontechnical stakeholders to influence its outcomes by delivering in a transparent, methodical, and iterative process. After capturing the overall product vision, we used a roadmap to build out features in phases and hosted regular planning sessions and demos to stay on track.

8th Light’s team was instrumental in helping us not only find a solution that worked for us, but they helped us implement that solution every step of the way.

Kevin Li
Engineering Manager

The planning sessions allowed the team to understand their progress and set priorities that provide the most value possible at the deadline. The demos allowed the team to gather feedback from users and stakeholders, and continually confirm that their progress is leading toward desired outcomes and meeting requirements.

The resulting platform has already yielded a number of benefits:

  • Median onboarding time has gone from an hour and a half to 20 minutes.
  • For the first time, Grubhub’s team can run their own data analysis and compose their own success metrics for their applicant tracking system.
  • In addition to a lower maintenance cost, the custom solution is also modular and entirely owned by their team — so the next evolution can already start today.
  • Grubhub saved millions of dollars in monthly subscription fees for a product that did none of the above.
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