Last-mile deliveries are becoming more complicated with each passing day. On one side, customer expectations are increasing, and on the other , delivery companies are struggling with rising distribution costs and pressures to maintain profitability.
How automation eliminates delivery complexity in the last-mile?
Technologies like automation have made it possible to run last-mile operations efficiently. It has eliminated the repetitive and time-consuming tasks in logistics. Also, it has paved the way for handling last-mile logistics effectively.
Here’s how automation benefits last-mile delivery.
Effectively handles reverse logistics
Managing customer expectations determine your customer experience. Some customers may habitually return goods for no reason. It is a big challenge to manage such customers. In this case, outdated return processes would lead to delivery inefficiencies, excess inventory, and costs.
Automation technologies provide real-time information on returns, especially to those who return goods for no purpose. These insights create visibility throughout the supply chain. This visibility enables logistics companies to think and become more strategic in their last-mile operations.
Therefore, utilizing automation helps delivery companies save money, time, and effort to handle and decide reverse logistics operations.
Plan and Optimize routes
Manually planning routes involves more workforce, cost, and time. Route planning requires mind numbing calculations to decide the optimal route based on mileage, driver-hours, capacity, and total stops.
Planning and scheduling routes become easier with route optimization software. Because it incorporates various factors like
- Work hours
- Truck capacities
- Service windows
- Traffic constraints
- Waiting time
- Number of stops and so on
Route planning software takes into account the last-minute orders and makes automatic schedule changes. It provides better results than manual methods, thereby maximizing load, deliveries, and minimizing transportation costs.
How route planning software improves your delivery performance?
Delivery companies should view route planning software as a continuous improvement process and not as a quickfix. Insights from multi-stop route planning software provide a new routing and scheduling approach, thereby enabling performance improvements in the last-mile delivery.
Real-time communication with consumers
Customers have expectations on delivery like speed, convenient delivery options, etc. Engaging with your customers is crucial in providing a delivery experience that they love.
Two things are necessary to engage with customers
- Real-time delivery alerts: Updates of a package from the first-mile till the last-mile delivery.
- Customer reviews on delivery service: Following up on delivery service through customer review.
Regular mobile updates or timely mobile alerts on delivery progress are crucial in creating a delightful customer experience. Positive or critical feedback helps in improving the delivery experience.
Track driver performance and progress
51.4% of consumers expect discounts or refunds on their shipping costs for shipment delays.- Convey, Last-mile delivery: What shoppers want?
Delivery delays matter a lot for customers, and fleet drivers are well aware of this fact. Using automation for deliveries helps logistics managers track delay in deliveries and rectify it quickly.
Logistics companies that outsource logistics operations to 3PL companies demand visibility on the working hours of the drivers. Tracking driver progress helps them plan their last-mile deliveries.
Implementing automation in deliveries helps in estimating delivery time per order and also find out and fix delays caused due to external factors or unwanted breaks.
In case there is a delay, automation calculates the Expected Time of Arrival (ETA) and informs customers. It also helps delivery companies provide additional delivery options like alternate pick-up location, drop-off time, thereby enabling them to maintain delivery schedules effectively.
Online shopping is increasing every year with rising consumer expectations. Meeting consumer expectations is a massive responsibility, and a lot of it depends on how efficiently companies can manage their customer fulfillment centers.
Logistics companies want to increase the speed of order handling and reduce last-mile delivery costs. Manually streamlining these large volumes of packages leads to time-consuming, tedious, and costly last-mile deliveries.
Check out: How to Streamline last-mile logistics?
Managing moving pieces of parcels determine on-time deliveries in the last-mile. Automation technologies like shipment or parcel sorting solutions help in handling all the moving pieces efficiently. They enhance flexibility to cater to different time windows of consumers. Also, they help in enabling cost-efficient deliveries.
Automation technologies create delivery processes that improve customer experience and also reduce the costs involved in the last-mile delivery.
Locus’ Dynamic routing software allows automated multi stop route planning for deliveries, thereby reducing the time spent by fleet drivers on the road. It quickly alters routes based on sudden changes in delivery operations due to traffic or unexpected delays.
Fleet Maintenance Software from Locus creates end-to-end visibility for parcel carriers. It provides real-time insights to fleet managers.
Locus’ IntelliSort is the best-in-business for warehouse automation operations. It helps you to allocate and sort large volumes of parcels conveniently.