Today, it is critical to track the movement of products to and from the customer. Big players like Uber and Amazon are already using collaborative technologies to remove blind spots in their last mile delivery systems.
Customers are demanding seamless delivery services. A recent survey revealed consumers expect companies to have ‘much faster’ delivery times. This means the way you manage last mile deliveries plays an important role in gaining more customers and profits.
This is different from a decade ago when last mile deliveries were considered to be out of the view of businesses. Once the product was shipped, there was no way of tracking it until the customer received it.
The norm changed with Uber. By allowing users to track real-time location of drivers, Uber changed user behavior in a fundamental manner. This small shift paved way for a whole new on-demand economy to which the Logistics industry is no stranger.
To stay competitive and profitable, businesses need to take control of their last mile logistics. Taking control means, gaining end-to-end visibility across your supply chain.
Leverage technology to track your fleet and avoid being last mile blind.
How can businesses improve last mile visibility?
Technology removes the blind spots you will encounter with same day deliveries. Here are four leading questions you can use to improve the way you look at the last mile.
1. Do you know exactly who did a particular delivery on any given day?
You want to make sure that your customers receive the products right. It is more likely to happen when you can and do hold the person accountable for the delivery.
With technology, however, you can assign the delivery to a particular rider and have it on record for a later review, if needed.
Much like the way a local sweets seller manages a home delivery, a system working on real-time assignment assigns orders to delivery partners based on their availability and proximity. Technology assists businesses in this task by specifically associating the delivery partner to a task and keeping a record to be reviewed later.
Pre-determined routing, on the other hand, allows you to assign specific areas to delivery personnel. This is a more efficient approach because the delivery partner is well aware of the area, can navigate fast and find missing or incomplete addresses.
2. Can you tell exactly when the product was delivered?
The safety of your product depends entirely on the delivery partner. It helps to maintain a keen oversight by tracking their movements in real-time.
Real-time driver tracking allows you to check where a delivery partner is and the exact time he or she delivered the order.
It allows you to calculate average delivery times and promise more accurate times to your customers. This invariably translates into a superior customer experience.
What’s more, is that it improves how well you utilise your capacity, which brings me to the next point.
3. Do you know if you are utilizing your capacity well?
Vehicle and driver utilization indicates whether you are using delivery vehicles to the fullest or not. This is particularly important when working with Light Commercial Vehicles. We wrote about it earlier when we launched Hulk service.
Analytics systems for fleet maintenance and route planning software can help you maximize productivity and reduce the number of empty miles traveled. With a real-time view of vehicle locations and utilisation, you can dynamically route vehicles to the next job when needed.
For example, after delivering the products, your vehicles have to return empty to the warehouse. You can improve this situation by backloading the truck. Real-time tracking helps you check what vehicles are near the vicinity to pick up inventory or customer return orders on their way back to the main facility.
4. Can you find local fulfillment centers close to your customer’s address?
Micro-fulfilment is an upcoming and promising trend in Logistics. Micro-fulfillment brings warehouses and the /goods closer to the end customer. The delivery costs go down, delivery times improve and the orders get delivered with higher efficiency.
Think Airbnb for logistics. Micro-fulfillment allows people to turn surplus storage spaces at Kirana stores or basements into mini-warehouses for companies.
Micro-fulfillment spaces deserve the attention of retailers and brands that currently use warehouses located on the outskirts of the city. Technology will help you find and match these mini-warehouses to your customers to deliver products as quickly as under 4 hours.
A determination to find answers to these questions have helped us develop a plug and play solution that businesses can use to offer instant deliveries to their customers.
If you are looking to grow your delivery fleet, or build a new one, consider Shadowfax’s Same day delivery service. It’ll save you a lot of time and ensure reliable deliveries at customers’ doorstep.