Last-Mile Tracking and Why it matters for Businesses in 2020?

Last-Mile Tracking and Why it matters for Businesses

“Cracking visibility problems depend on Last-Mile tracking.”

Real-time visibility plays an active role in sustaining the excitement of buying a product until the product reaches you. 

Imagine that Michael has placed an order for a rugby kit. The E-commerce website promised that his order would be delivered within three days. He waits for five days patiently. But he doesn’t get any update either through SMS, email, or call. 

Do you think he will still wait for the delivery or cancel it?

Well, no surprises. He does cancel the order. The reason is really simple.The E-commerce website did not keep its promise of delivering the product within three days. Also, they did not provide a clear update on why the delivery got delayed.

You can safely assume that Michael won’t place any orders with that particular E-commerce website again. 

All Michael wanted was real-time visibility. 

Visibility has become a necessity rather than a comfort or luxury. Last-mile tracking determines how a business cracks its visibility problems. With consumers’ delivery expectations being really high, it is crucial to keep them updated about the delivery. This is what last-mile tracking is all about. 

72% of Logistics IT providers mentioned that visibility is their most critical challenge for their customers.- Top 100 IT providers and market research survey, Inbound logistics, 2016 

What is last-mile tracking?

Last-mile tracking provides updated real-time information of the order to the customers. It gives a sense of control and visibility for the customers over their delivery. In short, last-mile tracking aims to provide actionable visibility over the delivery with real-time tracking. 

Today, deliveries come with the ability to track shipments. Most of these deliveries offer only the estimated time of arrival. But the reality is that consumer expectations on the depth of visibility are changing. Many of the latest on-demand delivery apps are giving a minute-by-minute view of the order status. 

The definition of real-time tracking is changing. Beyond knowing the status of a shipment, real-time tracking uses data and predictive analytics to improve efficiency and visibility throughout the supply chain.

Last-mile tracking is essential for companies to avoid pilferages and track the movement of their stock. This is what last-mile tracking solutions aim for, end-to-end visibility. 

End-to-end visibility is a combination of internal last-mile tracking (for businesses) and last-mile tracking for customers. The leaders in the logistics industry have set end-to-end visibility as an emerging business requirement. 

Your last-mile providers should be able to handle two things; shipment visibility for consumers and solving the internal delivery challenges. Last-mile tracking handles visibility requirements of logistics providers and customers. 

The rising consumerism has made last-mile tracking the most crucial aspect for logistics businesses in 2020. Beyond this growing consumerism, here is why last-mile tracking matters the most for businesses in 2020. 

Why is last-mile tracking essential for businesses in 2020? 

Logistic providers demand complete visibility and control over last-mile operations. They require a setup that has versatile and customizable delivery dashboards that communicate critical information and guide supply chain professionals in making optimal decisions. Last-mile tracking solutions provide that setup for last-mile deliveries. 

Why is last-mile tracking essential for businesses

Four essential reasons last-mile tracking matters the most for businesses in 2020: 

  • Enhancing transparency through proactive communication
  • Preventing failed deliveries
  • Managing costs and the customer experience in the last-mile delivery
  • Predicting accurate delivery time

Enhanced Transparency through proactive communication

Enhanced Transparency through proactive communication

The lack of a clear pattern of communication can make your last-mile deliveries catastrophic. To make the customers an active part of the delivery experience, you need a clear communication pattern. A clear communication pattern makes your consumers believe that you are a responsive and trustworthy logistics provider. 

70% of retail supply chain professionals mentioned that it is essential to improve bidirectional communication with consumers on; delivery experience, resolution of delivery options and package tracking.- Redefining Final Mile Delivery in the Age of the Customers. 

These 70 percent of retail supply chain professionals also agreed on the fact that there is room for improvement; when it comes to communicating with logistic providers and being responsive about in-transit issues. Miscommunication between logistics providers and customers is a clear bottleneck in the last-mile delivery. 

How last-mile tracking enhances transparency in last-mile delivery? 

Last-mile tracking solutions come in handy to make the delivery process transparent. Today, consumers want to  track goods from the moment they are dispatched until it reaches them. 

Last-mile tracking makes supply chain processes simpler, faster, and organized. It improves transparency by:

  • Monitoring fleet or driver activity 
  • Predicting theft or pilferage
  • Planning efficient routes
  • Real-time billing
  • Quick customer feedback and many more 

Preventing failed deliveries 

You have ordered  an E-reader and expect it to reach by 3.30 pm. But you have an official meeting scheduled suddenly and you return home to see the ‘Sorry, We missed you’ message. 

Failed deliveries lead to an increase in operational costs. Also,  it leads to unhappy customers who never trust the company again and could even hurt the company’s brand reputation. 

Failed deliveries can be classified under these brackets: 

  • Late delivery
  • Missed delivery 
  • Failed First-time deliveries: Re-delivery or collection by the customer 
  • Undelivered order
  • Lost order with a replacement being sent
Statistics of Failed Deliveries

The millennials have brought about a paradigm shift in the last-mile delivery. More importantly, they expect flexibility in deliveries. They may change the delivery address or time at even the last minute. 

Enabling last-mile tracking can prevent failed deliveries and make the delivery process flexible. Know more about last-mile innovations that helps in fulfilling deliveries on time.

How last-mile tracking helps prevent failed deliveries?

Last-mile tracking helps in monitoring the change in delivery locations and time. If  a customer is unavailable, it helps delivery agents update the information in real-time and also fix the suitable time slot for the delivery

Last-mile tracking helps logistics providers accurately predict delivery times and communicate it to the customer. It allows customers to choose their delivery time windows. Selecting the desired time windows makes the delivery process convenient and reduces the risk of first-failed delivery

Managing costs and the customer experience in the last-mile delivery 

Managing costs and the customer experience in the last-mile delivery

Many logistics companies feel the heat when it comes to managing both the costs and the customer experience simultaneously. The rising consumer expectation has made it quite challenging to manage costs, while  providing a delightful delivery experience. 

Preserving the quality of experience is a priority for many logistics companies. This means if something comes up unexpectedly, companies must be in a position to manage it. For example: If your vehicles are out of commission and you have orders queued up, it becomes a headache. 

There is an increase in demand among consumers for free shipping. Consumers are no longer willing to bear the cost of delivery. The logistics providers and retailers are expected to cover these costs. Hence, they have to increase the efficiency of delivery to offset these costs. 

44% of retailers find that managing the expectations of free and low-cost shipping is a big concern for them. Also, 47% of retailers are concerned about rising shipping costs – Survey on last-mile 2018, Oracle. 

On one front, consumers do not want to pay for shipping. But on the other, they want products to be delivered quickly. 

Consumer expectations on the delivery arrival period have changed rapidly. Hence, E-commerce companies have increased their investments on two-day delivery, and same-day delivery.

The maximum waiting time of deliveries for consumers has reduced from 5.5 days in 2012 to 4.1 days in 2018.- Alix Partners, Home Delivery Shopping Survey. 

Consumers today expect a refund or discount if there are delivery delays. They give brownie points to retailers who automatically refund shipping costs for late delivery. There is also pressure on managing costs when consumers demand return or replacement of the delivered products at lower or zero shipping costs. 

The only way to manage costs and offer a quality delivery experience is by speeding up the deliveries. Speeding up deliveries can improve delivery efficiencies. Last-mile tracking software is the foundational component towards enhancing delivery efficiencies and meeting the growing delivery expectations. 

How last-mile tracking helps in managing last-mile delivery costs? 

Insights from last-mile tracking enable you to uncover past trends. By identifying past trends, you can reduce operational costs without making drastic changes to the company’s logistics. 

Last-mile tracking allows you to monitor the routes that fleet drivers are taking and identify the traffic patterns, idling time, and driving time.. This enables you to take efficient routes, thereby cutting down your fuel costs and delivery times. 

Using last-mile tracking improves the overall quality of the last-mile delivery process. In the long run, it reduces telephone calls customers make to get information. 

The last-mile tracking system helps you provide live status updates on delivery to the consumers. This reduces the waiting time and missed deliveries, thus elevating the customer experience. 

Last-mile tracking solutions provide electronic proof of delivery. These electronic proofs eliminate unnecessary paperwork and contribute to accurate delivery records. They reduce physical storage space in an office, thereby reducing the time and cost spent on sending delivery confirmations.

Predicting accurate delivery time

Predicting accurate delivery time

Delivering products on-time is crucial in increasing customer loyalty.. A company failing to fulfill its promise on delivery time and date loses trust among the customers. 

13% of consumers would never order from retailers if deliveries are late.- Oracle Retail, Global Consumer Study, 2019 

Today, logistics providers are facing constraints in routes, fuel usage, idling time, and so on. In such cases, it is necessary to predict accurate delivery time in the last-mile. Winning or losing the last-mile depends on how you stick to the delivery schedules on-time. Predicting accurate delivery time determines successful on-time deliveries. 

How Last-Mile tracking helps in predicting accurate delivery time?

For a shorter delivery trip, it is enough to check the traffic and weather conditions. But if fleets are planning for longer and cross-border trips, then predictive analytics becomes more important.  

Predictive analytics uses historical data with machine learning to make highly accurate predictions. It ensures that you come up with a dependable Expected Time of Arrival (ETA). It strengthens the ability to meet customer expectations and improve repeat business. 

Last-mile tracking impacts ETA in positive ways like:

  • Creating loyal customers who trust your predictions and analytics
  • Allowing logistics managers and fleet managers to change plans before a delay occurs
  • Sending alerts when shipment arrives
  • Reducing employee downtime and enhancing productivity 
  • Reducing On-time In Full Deliveries (OTIF) fines 
  • Helping in efficient fleet management

Conclusion

Today, E-commerce companies are increasing the options for delivery like one-hour delivery, same-day delivery, and local pick-up at brick and mortar retailers. They are striving hard to provide greater control to their customers over the last-mile delivery. 

Last-mile tracking lays a platform to make your deliveries customer-friendly. It assists effectively in giving a higher level of visibility and control over the last-mile delivery process.  

Locus’ MotionTrack solution provides real-time visibility insights into last-mile delivery. It provides real-time data for rider configuration, distance analysis, tracking deliveries through SMS, and dashboard insights. 

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