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All You Need To Know About Last Mile Delivery Software

Last Mile Delivery Software

Online sales is growing and it shows no signs of slowing down. According to a leading consultancy, online sales of existing players are expected to further grow by 10-15 percent in Europe and by 35 percent in China by 2020. And the demand for better delivery experience will only increase with the growth of online sales. Therefore surfaces the need to execute a seamless last mile delivery.

So, how does an organization deal with last mile delivery? What role can technology play in this field? How to get greater control over last mile delivery? Well, we will get there soon. First, let us quickly revisit what last mile delivery actually means.

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What is last mile delivery?

What are the major challenges associated with last mile delivery?

What is last mile delivery software?

What are the core problems a last mile delivery software can solve?

What is first mile delivery?

What tools can help achieve an effective last mile delivery?

How to Monitor Last-Mile Delivery?

What is last mile delivery?

Last mile delivery can be defined as the movement of goods to the end consumer’s doorstep from a transportation hub, say for instance a warehouse. It is the last leg of the entire delivery process where it reaches the end customer. A great last mile delivery model paves way for timely deliveries that result in customer delight. 

Take for instance a situation where your delivery personnel reaches a customer’s location two hours late that too without prior notice. The customer planned her entire day based on the expected delivery time. Thanks to poor last mile delivery execution, now her entire schedule goes haywire. This not just affects the customer experience but has a domino effect on other deliveries that get subsequently delayed too. 

On the other hand, a seamless last mile delivery experience can act as a big competitive differentiator for retailers and ecommerce brands. The key lies in making the entire past mile delivery process predictable, transparent and centrally controllable. 

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What are the major challenges associated with last mile delivery?

The last mile situation can get quickly out of control and escalate into higher fuel costs, missed delivery schedules, incorrect deliveries, hassle for delivery personnel due to bad address quality and several more. As a vendor, there is a whole different set of challenges such as:

  • Lack of Visibility

A major problem in last mile delivery can be attributed to that fact that in most countries delivery fleet owners belong to an unorganized sector, hence curbing visibility by multifold.

  • Ensuring Consistent & Seamless Deliveries

Also, next-day and same-day deliveries are getting increasingly common, Customers, especially millennials, demand it to be as smooth and hassle-free as it can get. These customers want complete visibility and flexibility into their delivery options and expect real-time tracking as a defacto. 

  • Collaboration Between Customer & Delivery Personnel

Real-time collaboration between the customer and the delivery personnel is one of the key challenges that is encountered time and again when executing the last mile. At the time of delivery, it might so happen that the customer is not at home or is out of reach. Such situations not only cost the company time and money but also exposes goods to risks such as theft, damage etc.

  • Route Optimization

Another significant challenge with regards to last mile delivery is continuously optimizing routes and ensuring productivity of drivers. Failing to be on top of these two aspects can take a toll on customer experience scores and increase operating costs.

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What is last mile delivery software?

Last mile delivery software is a typical software or platform that enable companies to manage last mile delivery in an efficient, transparent and controlled manner. It encompasses a variety of functions and capabilities such as route optimization, digital/electronic proof of delivery, real-time tracking of shipment status, collaboration between customer and delivery personnel etc. 

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What are the core problems a last mile delivery software can solve?

Increase visibility, boost customer experience and engagement, optimize delivery routes and customize delivery locations are some of the major challenges that a last mile delivery software can address.

  • Optimizing Delivery Routes

To ensure on-time delivery and increase fleet productivity it’s crucial for businesses to constantly intimate drivers with the shortest and most convenient route to a customer’s location.

  • Increasing Fleet Visibility

A last mile delivery software can give businesses real-time visibility into where their vehicles are and how much time is being spent idling. 

This not only gives supply chain and logistics executives better control over their fleet but also helps to minimize thefts, pilferage, and spoilage.

  • Enhancing Customer Experience and Engagement

Advanced last mile delivery software empowers businesses to be completely transparent with delivery processes. Customers waiting for deliveries can easily know where their parcels are, who is going to deliver, when will it arrive, if there are any delays and more. Customers can also chat with service agents to escalate queries.

  • Customizing Delivery Location and Time

Modern customers are mostly on the go. Last mile delivery software allows customers to change delivery location as and when they want. This makes the delivery process flexible and increases customer loyalty.

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What is first-mile delivery?

First-mile delivery can be defined as the movement of goods from a retailer or a manufacturer to a courier service provider who begins the process of delivering the goods to its final destination.

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What tools can help achieve an effective last mile delivery?

Growing customer expectations, rising operating costs and increasing delivery complexities are driving the need for businesses to invest in advanced supply chain and logistics platforms to deal with the last mile delivery challenge. 

Here are some tools that can help businesses address these core last mile delivery challenges.

  • Tools that Enhance Visibility

Gartner cites ‘visibility’ as one of the biggest challenge in supply chain management. Businesses need tools that empower them to track a vehicle’s location in real-time, reduce theft and pilferage, monitor productivity of drivers and optimize delivery routes.

  • Tools that Boost Customer Experience

Customers today are impatient. They want to know where their parcels are, who will be delivering their goods, when will they receive their parcels, change delivery locations, customize delivery timings and if there are delays in delivery. They want to know all these and that too in real time.

Advance supply chain platforms empower business to allow customers to track their goods from the moment they are dispatched till they reach the owner’s hand. This ensures complete transparency and greater customer trust. Such tools can also boost customer engagement by escalating customer queries to service agents via online chat platforms.

  • Tools with Geofencing Capabilities

Geofencing capabilities allow supply chain and logistics executives to get real-time alerts when a vehicle enters or leaves a factory premises. This drastically reduces vehicle idle time and increases productivity.

  • Tools that Boost Productivity

Fleet productivity is of great importance when we talk about very short delivery cycles. And to ensure high levels of productivity, it’s necessary to use tools that report location of vehicles, help optimize delivery routes, automate job allocation and ensure greater control over third-party logistics.

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How to Monitor Last-Mile Delivery?

Monitoring last mile delivery can get extremely complex if businesses do not invest in the right supply chain and logistics platform. 

Savvy organizations, that are inclined towards delivering a seamless customer experience, are leveraging software platforms that increase visibility into supply chain and logistics by multifold. 

Such platforms make reporting easier and core-supply chain processes transparent. Things like monitoring fleet or driver activity, predicting theft, planning efficient routes, quick allocation of tasks, real-time billing, quick customer feedbacks and much more makes monitoring last mile delivery simpler, faster and organized.

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