According to a global report on the state of mobility in transportation and logistics, 59% of Transport & Logistics (T&L) companies in the US and 78% in Canada believe that the last-mile is the most inefficient process of the entire supply chain. Processes are difficult to plan and parcel volumes are subject to changes that are often unpredictable.
Lack of transparency, poor routing capabilities and delays in transit make the last-mile expensive and time consuming. These problems are so consistent with and ever-present in supply chains across industries that they are popularly known as ‘The Last-Mile Problem’. It can be solved by figuring out multiple ways for fulfillment resources, lowering delivery costs, optimizing fulfillment locations, using technology to optimize delivery and dynamic routes, creating flexible delivery schedules, and providing real-time updates to customers during the delivery process.
Check our last-mile delivery routing use-case
Addressing the last-mile challenges that come in the way of scaling a business
20% of all US businesses fail within 12 months. This figure increases with time—50% of businesses fail in five years and 65% in ten. While bad partnerships, poor product-market fit, and lack of research are some of the typical reasons for these failures, what many of these businesses fall short on is a strong tech support system to rely on. The above figures are dreary but not a deterrent for businesses to dream big. Scaling a business is no easy feat and it can only take place on a solid foundation. Recognizing the aspirations and challenges of growing delivery business in the face of digital disruption is vital in gaining a sense of direction and avoiding failure.
The scale-up phase for any business is the trickiest to function in. Most companies know what to do when they start off as well as they do when they have reached the great heights they aspired to. The interim stage has neither the agility of a startup nor the stability of a well-established organization. It runs on continual efforts to develop and manage the systems that have been established. Some of the challenges that come in the way of scaling a business include:
- Ever-changing customer preferences: The last-mile continues to be in a state of flux, and this makes walking at the same pace as the customer vital. For growing businesses, offering products and services at competitive prices is a great way to get customers’ attention, but not nearly enough. Businesses need to quickly gauge and respond to consumer behavior—think fast and act fast. Customers want the next new thing and anticipating their needs is a good plan to have. Businesses need to keep their ears to the ground, use social listening to understand the customers’ needs and come up with innovative solutions for them.
- Lack of visibility: As the business grows, its systems become more complex and transparency becomes more difficult to maintain. According to a consumer study, 93% of customers want to be in on the entire delivery process, from the time it leaves their warehouse to the time it reaches their doorstep. Nearly half the customers said they would not order again from brands with poor visibility and 98% said delivery was a crucial aspect in ensuring their brand loyalty.
- There is a need for complete visibility in the supply chain and especially so in the last-mile—visibility not just for all systems and operations but visibility for customers as well. Investing in last-mile visibility tools helps businesses accommodate last-minute customer requests while maintaining productivity.
- Unpredictability in transit: Even as we are well on our way to post-pandemic normalcy, unpredictability is a logistical challenge that continues to plague the last-mile. While most of what happens in transit are beyond our control, having a communications plan in place can help inform of delays and even prevent them. Data-driven decision making can be the key solution for stakeholders navigating unpredictable environments.
Logistics solutions to enable last-mile growth
The need of the hour is a technological support system that growing businesses can rely on. Last-mile efficiency is the most elusive part of the supply chain and the most challenging to attain. Locus’ dispatch management platform can help streamline processes and unlock last-mile growth.
- Efficient planning and execution: With the help of AI-driven logistics planning, brands can manage their delivery operations with ease. Locus’ dispatch management platform helps with timely order scheduling and resource allocation. Our route optimization software makes last-mile planning fast and efficient.
- Finding convenient time slots: Locus’ time-slot management system allows logistics managers to plan last-mile operations more systematically. It also allows customers to pick the most convenient time slots for their deliveries or home service requests.
- Real-time tracking of orders: Locus’ live visibility tool helps in tracking orders in real-time and providing live status updates to customers, improving supply chain visibility and keeping customers satisfied.
- Personalizing customer experience: With Locus’ advanced data analytics and insights, businesses can offer customers better, more personalized delivery services. It also allows decision-makers to stay on top of market trends, customer preferences and on-ground happenings.
While starting your business is one thing, scaling it is a completely different ball game. Growing businesses need a plan with clearly defined goals and aspirations. Manual processes that made sense when you were a small team no longer apply and this is the time to shed the excess baggage. Streamlining and automating processes in the last-mile can help get rid of redundancies and bring efficiency. Locus can be that end-to-end solution for all your last mile concerns.
Want to solve a last-mile delivery problem that helps to scale up your business? Try a demo with Locus now!