Last Mile Delivery Optimization
How last-mile delivery software will benefit modern enterprise businesses in 2022?
Jan 4, 2022
9 mins read
- Higher volume of deliveries in dense urban areas reducing fuel efficiency
- Increased diversions like traffic, and dropping packages off increasing idling rates
- Increase in failed and missed deliveries
- Complex routes leading to added miles traveled
- Rising operational costs for deliveries
- Wrongly entered addresses
- Difficulty to allocate ad-hoc deliveries in real-time
- Meeting on-time delivery timelines
- Managing high delivery volumes with minimal resources
- Driver shortages
- Uncertain events leading to increased vehicle downtimes
- Lack of transparent communication with consumers and drivers
These are just some of the challenges that modern enterprise businesses face in the last-mile.
If you are a modern enterprise business, you too should have faced either one, a few of them, or all of these challenges in your final-mile. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the increasing e-commerce orders are pushing brands to overcome these last-mile delivery challenges.
During 2021, enterprise businesses have gone through a rough patch, unlike other years. 2022 is the year where businesses will work with a renewed focus on their last-mile deliveries.
Some delivery businesses face problems in their last-mile
Enterprise businesses that directly deliver goods/services to their customers are the ones that face challenges in their last-mile.
- Supermarkets and grocery stores offering deliveries
- Food and beverage delivery businesses
- Restaurants and hotels involved in deliveries
- Pharmacies providing prescription delivery services
- Emergency and non-emergency medical transportation businesses
- Third-party logistics providers
- Courier services
- D2C brands
- Home services
- Furniture retail businesses
- Non-essential businesses
- Mail carriers
- Meal-kit businesses
- Cosmetic and apparel deliveries etc
Benefits of a last-mile delivery software for modern enterprise businesses
In 2018, the last mile delivery market in North America was sized at 31.25 billion U.S. dollars. It is expected to grow to just under 51 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. – Statista report, Estimated market size of last mile delivery in North America from 2018 to 2022, December 2018.
With the last-mile delivery market expanding rapidly, enterprise businesses will be looking to invest in technology like last-mile delivery software. As customer demands evolve quickly, 2022 will be a cornerstone year for businesses looking to invest in last-mile delivery software.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the delta plus variant in 2021 have accelerated the customer usage of same-day and on-demand delivery options. Customer experience has turned out to be the crucial x-factor that determines the competitiveness of a business. Last-mile delivery largely determines whether an enterprise business provides a great customer experience.
Check Out: Last-Mile Delivery Routing
Recent tech improvements in last-mile delivery software have made it easier for enterprise businesses to manage the ever-changing customer demands. Find out how the usage of a last-mile delivery software could benefit modern enterprise businesses in 2022.
Improves visibility of shipments
Let me show you some instances that can distort the last-mile delivery experiences.
- Reaching customer’s doorstep despite being told that he/she will be unavailable
- Being clueless about the fulfillment status of deliveries
- Customers repeatedly asking how far the delivery person is from their location
- Fleet drivers picking up returned goods even when there were other runners in the vicinity
These are the instances that can be dangerous to both the end customer and the business. As fulfillment is turning highly dynamic, the importance of last-mile visibility has increased. Last-mile visibility has turned out to be the crucial differentiating factor for a success or failure of delivery operations.
A sophisticated last-mile delivery software helps businesses gain real-time visibility into their fleet operations. It alerts the businesses if they are diverting from the planned routes or if the vehicle has idled beyond a planned limit. Beyond giving logistics executives the control over last-mile operations, it reduces spoilage, theft and vehicle downtimes.
The predictive intelligence and Machine learning algorithms of a last-mile delivery software helps fleet managers plan ETAs (Expected Time of Arrival) of their shipments and keep their customers informed. Planning ETAs with last-mile logistics software helps them be updated on whether deliveries would reach customers on-time, delayed or early. This enables them to take corrective actions, optimize routes and keep customers informed about ETAs, thereby enabling data-driven decision-making.
Also Read: TrackIQ: Reimagining fleet management
We are in the age of instant gratification, where customers are ready to pay extra for quicker deliveries. The breach of on-time delivery promises made to customers can lead to huge losses for a business. More frustrated customers leads to fall in revenues, thereby hurting the brand loyalty of the business reducing its competitiveness.
An enterprise-level last-mile delivery software optimizes real-time delivery routes for drivers. It factors real-world constraints like traffic, delivery windows, delivery priority, breaks, driver skill set, vehicle capacity, time-on-site, transit time, etc. This kind of optimal route planning also helps increase the number of deliveries and save fuel.
Last-mile delivery helps enterprise businesses to schedule deliveries for the next day or the same-day within minutes. In addition to some factors and constraints while planning routes, dispatchers can add personal business knowledge, and local geographic familiarity of drivers. This added human intelligence optimizes routes smartly and helps fleet drivers start their day’s work without any further delays.
Overall, last-mile delivery software enables fleet managers to fulfill the maximum number of deliveries within the shortest amount of time possible through the minimal usage of resources. Also, it cuts down operating costs for deliveries and total delivery time.
Let’s look at this scenario.
Michael orders some t-shirts from his favorite brand and wants them to be delivered to his house on Saturday. Though his office declared a holiday during Saturday, the CEO calls for an urgent meeting. There is no one in his home or neighbourhood to collect the parcel. He feels that it would be great if the parcel is delivered to his office address.
Modern customers like Michael want to change their delivery location and time if needed. This is just an instance. Enterprise businesses have to deal with hundreds of such customers at the same time. In such a situation, it is difficult for them to reschedule the deliveries of hundreds of customers given their load, routing and capacity constraints etc.
Why do such problems of missed and failed deliveries occur?
- There is no prior timely notification or alerts given to the customer expecting deliveries
- Delayed deliveries made when customer is not home due to unexpected events
- No flexible options for customers to reschedule convenient delivery time windows and location
- Wrongly entered address of a customer
An AI-driven last-mile delivery software enables customers to reschedule their delivery date and time easily. It helps customers to contact the delivery personnel by calling them, chatting with them online or SMS their delivery preferences. These communication options help customers give instructions where to leave the package or deliver it precisely.
Last-mile delivery software helps enterprise businesses provide customizable and flexible delivery for their customers. Allowing the customers to control their delivery preferences increases positive feedback and improves their trust, thereby increasing repeat customers.
Last-mile delivery software helps enterprise businesses to accommodate their customers’ last-minute delivery changes. As the last-minute changes are entered, it automatically assigns vehicles, adjusts routes and informs drivers, helping them easily accommodate customer requests.
Improved productivity and scalability
- Unnecessary vehicle idling
- Unplanned route diversions
- Delivery failures
- Route delays
- Unexpected Stoppages
There are some words that enterprise businesses or fleet managers do not want to hear often. If they encounter these problems often, it means the productivity and efficiency of their fleet is falling severely.
With last-mile delivery software, enterprise businesses can on-board third-party logistics partners when their in-house logistics capacity gets exhausted. By planning routes based on the number of orders in a location and time windows, it helps fleet managers optimize the number of deliveries in a day. This helps them effectively scale their last-mile logistics and manage deliveries during peak business hours.
Manage ad-hoc deliveries
Here’s another interesting scenario.
Mary, being a fleet manager, assigns delivery orders to her fleet drivers and manages them daily. On a regular day, one of her drivers calls in sick while the other drivers are fulfilling their delivery orders. She gets a batch of last-minute orders and is finding it difficult to manage them in real-time.
Replanning the entire delivery schedule manually can take hours and is a grueling task. One of the major reasons for enterprise businesses witnessing an increasing number of failed deliveries is because of its inability to manage ad-hoc delivery requests. In the age of instant deliveries, they struggle to reroute orders in real-time.
Last-mile delivery software with its dynamic route planning abilities help fleet managers like Mary solve these rerouting issues in a single go. It automatically reroutes deliveries based on proximity, delivery preferences, re-delivery time windows, driver schedules, planned destinations, current vehicle locations and more. It ensures that drivers are not burdened with tasks beyond their working hours and their existing deliveries are not disturbed.
The last-mile transportation is the most crucial component of logistics and supply chain operations for enterprise businesses. The utmost priority of any business is to build a seamless delivery experience through their last-mile logistics operations. The most effective tool that can supplement your efforts towards optimizing final-mile logistics is a last-mile delivery software.
The decision you make on selecting the right tech partner to purchase this tool is equally critical. Locus is one such valuable tech platform that can improve your dispatching operations on a wider scale.
Locus’ last-mile delivery software is a modern-day dispatching platform for effectively optimizing your last-mile logistics. We work with a variety of enterprise businesses with different last-mile problems and are successful in building a solution that fits their business goals and needs.
Locus’ last-mile delivery software enables businesses to power up their logistics operations with minimal resources and lesser costs. Its optimal route planning and scalability help your enterprise business boost productivity and improve customer retention.
Turn your dispatching operations for final -mile least-manual by clicking here!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lakshmi Narashimman is one of the senior writers at Locus. He is a voracious reader and a passionate writer who loves making complex aspects sound simple.Read other blogs by this author
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How last-mile delivery software will benefit modern enterprise businesses in 2022?