At the rate that the e-commerce industry is growing it is crucial that every supply chain strategy now extend to last mile delivery. Consumers are not only expecting to receive their packages quicker than ever before but are also expecting to be able to keep track of them 24/7. Due to the high demand within today’s consumers to receive packages so quickly, retailers and suppliers are facing lots of pressure to meet the customer’s needs while increasing revenue without increasing expenses.
A crucial element involved in providing last mile delivery services today is the ability to optimize transportation routes to meet your consumer’s demands. Seeing as customer expectations are so high, route optimization allows for delivery companies to ensure that packages are delivered to customers in the most efficient and timely manner possible. Route optimization also allows companies to know where each driver is and how many deliveries they have for the day, which is key to determining the most cost-efficient routes. By implementing route optimization, delivery companies are also able to save money when it comes to fuel/labour costs, have an increase in productivity and are able to maximize delivery driver hours.
Another element of incorporating last mile delivery into your supply chain is having the ability to keep track of packages during the “blackout period”. Typically, once a company passes a package over to the delivery company it tends to hit a point where the company isn’t 100% sure of what is occurring, also known as the blackout period. With last mile delivery features a company can easily track the blackout period to get information on whether there are any delays, damages, traffic stops, etc. when it comes to packages that are being delivered. This benefits the company because if there are issues within this blackout period it can easily be resolved in terms of contacting the driver or the customer to send them a notification that something has occurred, as well as ensuring a timely delivery.
Finally, obtaining proof of delivery is key for last mile delivery. This ensures that items in transit were successfully delivered to the right recipient. To avoid any complications between the customer and the supplier, proof of delivery allows for proof that the package has arrived and is also in good condition. Not only is this beneficial for the customer but by securing proof of delivery you also get the opportunity to reduce paperwork. By reducing paperwork you get rid of the chance of lost documents, reduce the number of errors that occur and also reduce the number of damaged documents. Secondly, you have access to real-time information through proof of delivery because as soon as the signature is received from the customer the system will take that in and process it immediately, and that information can lead to even quicker invoicing.
When it comes to increasing productivity last mile delivery is the direction shipping couriers should be heading into. The reason being because it not only allows a more efficient experience for consumers but for the retailers and couriers as well. As the e-commerce industry continues to grow the efficiency will need to grow with it, therefore incorporating last mile delivery is certainly something that can speed up that process.