Delivery Management System: A Definitive Guide

Delivery management system

I was watching the movie Moneyball when something struck me. I realized that it bore a striking similarity with what today’s delivery managers (or) dispatchers face. But how in the world is it related to a delivery management system?

The sports manager (Brad Pitt) works under severe cost constraints to build a team. Inspite of the issue, he selects the right team members for all matches to deliver good results. He uses a smart sports evaluation method named Moneyball to make this happen.

Similarly, businesses face rising cost pressures while managing last-mile logistics operations. Despite the cost pressures, they assign the right order to the right delivery agent. That is when your delivery management is successful.

But how do you turn a painful delivery management process into a profitable one? The answer lies with a delivery management system. This post explains how a delivery management system contributes to your workforce productivity and leads to last-mile excellence.

What is a delivery management system?

How do you deliver shipments from one location to another successfully? You do it with the help of a delivery management system. A delivery management system in logistics is the process that enables the successful delivery of goods from one location to another. It sounds simple in words, but not in reality.

Different steps are involved in delivery management, from receiving orders until they reach customers’ hands. Delivering management is becoming increasingly stressful with complex logistical constraints and rising order volumes. The greater the stress, the higher the chances of your work-life balance gets disturbed.

What is delivery management software?

For a delivery management system to be successful, you need the right tech assistance. A delivery management software is a tech tool that automates, streamlines and digitalizes the end-to-end last-mile logistics processes. Planning, managing, optimizing and executing the final-mile logistics operations aren’t possible without delivery management software.

Why do modern enterprises need delivery management software?

A person using Locus delivery management software on his tablet

Over half of consumers in September 2021 were at least somewhat concerned about shipping delays in the United States. A quarter of the total respondents were very concerned. – Statista, Worries over holiday season shipping delays among U.S. consumers in 2021.

Modern customers are unforgiving when it comes to delivering orders on time. It frustrates them if you deliver the wrong product or make them wait for deliveries. The unforgiving nature of customers has necessitated dispatchers to manage deliveries with utmost precision and precaution.

As delivery management determines customer satisfaction, it is necessary to have a tech tool like delivery management software. Find out why modern enterprises need delivery management software.

Enable end-to-end visibility in the last mile

If you are a dispatcher, you would have experienced sleepless nights and long working hours when you have questions like these.

  • Was the order delivered at the right time?
  • Was there any route deviation?
  • Did the fleet driver reach the wrong delivery location?
  • Did the delivery turn out to be costly or cost-effective?

The complexity in the last-mile delivery increases when you don’t have proper visibility. This is why you need delivery management software to understand the current status of orders.

Identify the exact customer locations

Imagine your driver needs to deliver an order by 4 pm. He drives in a puzzled state to find the right address which results in him reaching the customer’s location at 4.15 pm. By the time he reaches, there is no one in the delivery location. Technically, in logistics, we call this missed delivery.

When you deal with time-sensitive goods like food or medicines, unexpected delivery delays may lead to losing customers. Even if delivery agents may not have any fault in it, their performance drops due to this ambiguity in location. Using delivery management software helps you eliminate the confusion in identifying and reaching the exact customer destinations.

Measure and analyze workforce performance

You manage dispatch planning and delivery management of 100 delivery vehicles. Every time, 20 to 30 vehicles experience a delay in delivering orders, resulting in a delay in returning to the warehouse.

Being confused at this scenario, you go back and check the data. You finally find out that excessive idling, detention time, and route deviation causes these delays. The data findings lead you to act quickly and solve this problem.

Using data insights not only identifies problems like these, it also helps you set performance targets. Based on driver skill sets, vehicle capacity and other constraints, you can easily set realistic delivery performance goals. A delivery management software analyzes historical data, identifies significant inconsistencies and documents them. This historical data comes in handy for devising your dispatching strategies for the upcoming rides.

Allocating tasks to the right person

Drivers may not have complete knowledge of the city they drive in. But they are familiar and comfortable driving in certain areas. They may know how to avoid traffic restrictions and ride smartly in those areas.

What happens when you assign the New York Times Square area to a driver who is more familiar with delivering goods at Union Square? Beyond reducing delivery speed, it reduces the chances of a hassle-free delivery.

A delivery management software enables you to factor driver skill sets and familiarity with an area while allocating tasks. It ensures that you allocate the right tasks to the most suitable driver. Also, it helps you decide the number of orders a driver has to deliver based on the vehicle capacity limitations.

Improve route planning

On one fine day, you get a complaint that delivery to a particular area is getting delayed. After contacting the drivers, you find out that they are experiencing unexpected stoppages like road closures, area maintenance, or traffic jams. Problems like these signify that your route planning needs to improve.

A delivery management system adds accuracy to routes by factoring in all real-world constraints that delay your operations. When delivery exceeds a stipulated time, it alerts that as a Service Level Agreement (SLA) breach. This helps you come up with the best possible routes for the upcoming deliveries and avoid SLA breaches.

Features to look for in a delivery management software

Employees using delivery management software

As delivery managers, you deal with many responsibilities, from managing fuel costs to analyzing workforce performance. Apart from knowing the whys of using a delivery management system, it is also essential to know the hows. It is the hows that guide your purchasing decisions. This is the right time to discover the features you should look for in a delivery management platform.

Route optimization

The most critical feature to look for in a delivery management platform is route optimization. Route optimization feature calculates the accurate delivery windows and comes up with a cost-effective delivery route. Its dynamic nature helps you manage the on-time delivery targets for scheduled, on-demand and ad-hoc order requests. Also, it helps you plan routes in a way such that there are no overlaps in delivery routes.

Download whitepaper: Why Businesses Need Route Optimization

Track and Trace

A fleet tracking system ensures that you get a comprehensive view of the vehicles and their routes. Its control tower feature gives you active control to manage the fleet, check driver availability, and understand delivery requests. Providing updates on SLAs enable you to monitor on-ground activities and manage delivery exceptions before they occur.

Fleet tracking software facilitates customers to share their delivery rescheduling preferences, special delivery instructions or pass their delivery feedback. Overall, it offers greater convenience to customers and eliminates miscommunication with them.

Geocoding

Human dependencies in spotting the right address increase shipment processing time. With the help of a geocoding feature, you can avoid this issue. Geocoding engine converts the most improper and inaccurate addresses into exact geographic coordinates. You can avoid wandering around streets and fulfill orders on time by pointing out the precise customer locations.

Order management

Managing orders across different fulfillment models and hybrid fleets is grueling. Dealing with hundreds to thousands of orders daily has made order management indispensable. Through an advanced rule engine, the order management feature automates your workforce on a single unified space. Therefore, it ensures that you seamlessly manage the order lifecycle with minimal manual intervention.

Analytics and Insights

The on-ground and historical data provide you with rich analytical insights on performance gaps. Understanding these performance gaps enables you to effectively set realistic performance targets for your workforce. With its visual representation, the analytics feature helps you identify delivery errors and generate dispatch plans that address these performance gaps.

Stand out in your delivery management using Locus!

Like the sports manager in Moneyball, you too have to compete against big names in the last-mile logistics. The investment in the right delivery management software differentiates your performance in the last mile from your competitors.

Now, you have come to the final question, ”From whom should I purchase the delivery management software?”

The Locus dispatch management platform is an integrated solution that helps you perform all delivery management functions, from order management to post-delivery analysis. Its advanced machine learning algorithms ensure that you assign the right orders to fleet drivers and plan the most optimal route. Its control tower feature helps you identify the inconsistencies like SLA breaches and minimize them.

With the help of intuitive dashboards, Locus dispatch management software makes your workforce management simple and effective. Generating dispatch plans for complex circumstances and multiple real-world constraints saves your working time. Hence, it restores your work-life balance and ensures you spend enough time with your loved ones.

Looking to make your delivery management process smart, simple and effective? Try a demo with Locus!

delivery constraintsDelivery Optimization SoftwareRoute Optimization