Businesses are constantly under pressure to fulfill the demands of a “need-it-now” society. This sense of urgency, combined with the massive growth of e-commerce and online purchases, has heightened the importance of last-mile delivery: the last and most vital leg for an order to reach a customer’s door.
The last-mile is your customers’ physical point of contact, influencing customer experience and attempting to set customer expectations for future orders.
This final step in the logistics system has become a driver for new efficiencies. Therefore, companies are constantly striving to manage customer satisfaction and delivery optimization, bringing the final leg of delivery to the forefront.
Let’s look at some of the top ways to simplify last-mile logistics.
- Adopt Technology that Meets Company Requirements
All too often, businesses implement technology only to discover that it does not perform as expected, necessitating the modification of their business processes to accommodate the technology. This is incorrect. Businesses should be able to control their own business processes, and technology should be adaptable to fulfill their needs.
A logistics solution should provide advanced functionality in a fully integrated solution, as well as accuracy in reporting and execution, ease of use, and visibility into the whole delivery process, including the last-mile delivery for e-commerce.
Consider the speed and ease of implementation, reliability, flexibility to support your business processes, and service-level commitment while assessing technology.
- Optimize the Customer Proximity
The final warehouse or distribution center should be positioned as close to the customers as possible. This helps in saving money in the long run while also reducing delivery times, costs, and fuel usage.
Warehouse proximity to regions with a high volume of orders would reduce the last-mile problem and could also be used as a pick-up or drop-off location for customers. This also improves the ROI of warehouse operations by making inventory management seamless and time-efficient.
- Install a Reliable Real-Time Delivery Tracking System
Real-time delivery tracking would allow businesses and customers to keep track of the status of a package until it arrives at its final destination. This tracking would enable businesses to share real-time delivery updates.
Missed schedules, route optimization issues, a lack of proof of delivery, and an inability to support contactless payments can all have an impact on the customer experience and business.
The most serious threats to logistics operations can be overcome by implementing a cutting-edge solution to streamline operations and maximize efficiency.
- Prepare for Seasonal Demands
As per Deloitte insights, an ordinary customer will buy at least 15 gifts during the holiday season. During the festive season, there is a sudden increase in online shopping, which leads to more deliveries being completed on the same day.
Owing to the greater demand, pre-season planning is required to ensure sufficient levels of delivery vehicles, manpower, and sub-outlets to store shipments from transportation hubs.
E-tailers hire last-mile carriers ahead of peak season to maintain a consistent delivery rate and order fulfillment rate. A large number of seasonal workers also volunteer to be last-mile deliverers. Temporary workers and on-demand last-mile delivery services can aid you in easily encountering seasonal demand.
- Tracking Software
Even if the parcel has not yet left the warehouse, there is a chance that something will go wrong. Your company can keep an eye on the flow of the shipment before it is dispatched, thanks to the effective tracking system.
Live tracking technology is currently improving visibility into what is happening at each stage of delivery. Delivery companies can also use good fleet maintenance companies to keep their vehicles from sustaining irreversible damage.
Offering shipment tracking can be very helpful to both the client and the dealer. The knowledge that your package has arrived from a properly secured source makes the customer happy.
The dealer, on the other side, can keep a record of the parcel or shipment. Constant communication between the customer and the trader can help both parties stay on track. It can be used to observe moving objects and provide a timely ordered sequence of location data for further processing.
- Real-time Communication with Customers
Customers today expect flexible deliveries because they are not always at home to receive their orders. As a result, customers must be kept informed of what is happening with their packages at all times during the shipping process.
This benefits not only the customer but also the driver because it makes sure of customers’ availability at the time and during regular office hours.
- Dynamic Vehicle Routing
Route planning can significantly reduce delivery times by making an investment in software that not only instantaneously schedules routes based on previous routes but also takes into account variables such as time, vehicle capacity, location, and traffic to recommend the most efficient routes.
Any traffic updates that may affect timelines can be communicated to the delivery driver in real-time, allowing for dynamic fleet routing.
Last-mile logistics accounts for approximately 28 percent of total delivery costs. It is not only the last leg of the delivery, but it is also the most difficult part of the entire delivery process.
Last-mile delivery has become a make-or-break opportunity for retailers due to the explosive growth of omnichannel e-commerce. Use these methods to improve the efficiency of your last-mile delivery and watch how your business grows.