Last-Mile Delivery plays an important role in the transportation of products to their intended destination which greatly affects the supply chain. There are many challenges that can arise that can negatively impact operations and it is essential that there are strategies to ensure that customers receive their packages on time.
What is Last-Mile Delivery?
Last-Mile Delivery refers to the movement of goods from the warehouse shelf to the desired destination. This final destination is usually the customer’s doorstep. Last-Mile Delivery aims to deliver a customer’s package in the fastest time possible which is now important in the age of online shopping. It is also considered to be the most important aspect of a logistics and supply chain business.
Strategies to Improve Last-Mile Delivery
Last-Mile Delivery might be perfect for offering the customer the best possible service, but it has issues of its own. There is a strong need to constantly evaluate the current Last-Mile procedures and come up with strategies that will be able to improve operations. All these things will be able to not only improve your service offerings but it will also ensure that your customers will have a positive experience each time.
Here are some of the strategies you can implement for an effective Last-Mile delivery process.
Establish and Measure Standard Operating Procedures
You need to have standards in place for the delivery process as it will assist in measuring your performance. To begin the process you should look through old data from your previous last-mile deliveries, such as service and load times in order to identify some best practices. It will assist with creating new practices that must be followed throughout the last-mile delivery process.
After creating standard operating procedures that should be followed, it will become easier to compare the planned delivery performance against the actual delivery process. This data can be used to measure on-time delivery rates, increase driver productivity and find areas of improvement to ensure that customer expectations are being met and that there is an improvement in profitability.
Tracking orders ensures that you constantly have real-time information about where the order is and you can also share this information with the customer. It gives the customer more visibility and control throughout the delivery process. You are also able to communicate better with customers and it makes them believe that you are trustworthy and responsive.
Having a tracking system in place ensures that you prevent delivery delays as you are able to track the routes that drives are using. If you notice that there is traffic you can choose another route, therefore, reducing the intended delivery times as well as fuel costs.
You are also able to provide customers with accurate delivery time as you can track traffic and weather conditions. The predictive analytics used to estimate the delivery times will assist in improving customer satisfaction and guaranteeing customer retention.
Let customers choose
Allowing customers to choose their own delivery date is not only beneficial for them, but for you as well. It allows them to have a better experience as they are able to choose a date that fits their own schedule and won’t miss the delivery.
This also reduces chances of having to make a repeat delivery where you are not even sure if they will collect the package. You are able to reduce your expenses as the driver will only make a delivery once and you won’t have to pay for their fuel expenses each time they try to make a delivery.
Giving more control to your customers regarding delivery dates will help establish your brand as being trustworthy and will ensure that you gain customer loyalty. It will increase their chances of leaving a positive review online and recommending your brand to their loved ones.
Businesses can make use of technology in order to handle Last-Mile Delivery demands. One of these technologies is Transport Management Software (TMS) which can manage your entire supply chain. TMS ensures that you have order accuracy and ensures that those orders arrive on time as it double checks the accuracy which sometimes leads to delays.
TMS is also able to offer route optimization as it contains information that it collects regarding routes and how to leverage those routes leading to lower fuel costs and transportation costs.
TMS helps you to gain better visibility as it provides real-time updates regarding modes and routes. It also eliminates the common issues that occur such as showing when stock is unavailable through the “out of delivery” status and informs customers about when their shipments will be delivered.
Use third party fulfillment for Last-Mile Deliveries
Third-party fulfillment providers are one of the most effective options to ensure effective transfers and distribution of customer packages. One of the reasons for this is because they have the option for you to store your products closer to your customers which makes not only deliveries faster, but cheaper. It ensures that the pick, pack and shipping process is faster. Their experienced staff is additionally able to provide the best quality when packing and they are more knowledgeable about the delivery areas. This ensures that your customers receive a better service.
Last-Mile Delivery is an important part of satisfying customer expectations and offering them excellent service. Having last-mile delivery strategies in place will increase your productivity and the delivery experience for both your workers and your customers.
Find out How TMS Refines Last Mile Delivery.